What are Groups in Office 365?
Groups are a collaborative option in Office 365. A group will have its own email address, space for file sharing and access to Planner within Office 365. Group conversations are archived within Office 365. More information on Groups can be found here
Can I create my own Groups?
Currently the University of Denver does not allow users to create Groups on their own. Groups can be requested by anyone with a DU email account.
How do I request a Group be created?
To request the creation of a Group, please fill out a request via the Office 365 Group Request form.
Some things to consider when entering your request:
Should the Group be public or private?
Content in a public group can be seen by anybody in your organization (in this case, all students and employees at DU) and anybody at DU can join the group.
Content in a private Group can only be seen by the members of the Group and anyone who wants to join will need to be added by the Group owner.
Information Technology recommends that most Groups in Office 365 be designated as private.
What should I pick for a Group name and email?
Your Group name should reflect the use of the group (for example, if the Group is intended for Office Support staff in Department A, the Group name should be something like "Department A Office Staff) Groups email addresses are designated by a -g at the end, so the email format is firstname.lastname@example.org Group email addresses cannot be the same as a Departmental email address. If the email address that you select already exists, we will work with you to select a new one.
Who should be the owner?
In most cases the owner is the person requesting that the Group be created. Each Group can have up to ten (10) owners, so if you would like to have more than one owner for a Group, just include the DU email addresses of the owners in the request. An owner of a Group can add additional owners to the Group after it is created.
How do I add members to my group?
To add members to your group please read Adding Members to a Group in Office 365.
What other features are available in Groups?
Having a Group Conversation is similar to having an email thread, but only Group members participate. Microsoft has an excellent how-to page on Group conversations here
Conversations are saved in a Group, so new members will have access to all past conversations.
Each Office 365 Group gets its own calendar. Events can be scheduled on this calendar and invites are automatically sent to all Group members. It is recommended that events be added to the Group calendar through the web interface at office365.du.edu rather than through the Outlook application.
Each Office 365 Group has an area for file storage. This can be used to store files that are needed by the Group rather than storing the files in an individual's OneDrive. Files storage in Office 365 using a University of Denver account is HIPPA and FERPA compliant, per the University of Denver's contract with Microsoft.
Each Office 365 Group has an online OneNote notebook where group members can add notes from within Office365.du.edu. These notes can be viewed and edited by all group members in the web interface (Office365.du.edu).
Planner is a feature that is available within Office 365 Groups that allows plans to be created, tasks to be created and assigned to Group members, and progress to be tracked. Planner is only available in the web interface (Office365.du.edu) and is only available to Groups at this time. Microsoft's quick start guide for Planner as well as resources for additional training and how-to articles is available on Microsoft's website here.
How do I view Group conversations and calendars in my Outlook?
For detailed instructions please see our instructions How To View Office365 Group Conversations and Calendars in Outlook for Windows (PC).
Additional actions for Group owners
A Group owner can make additional changes to a Group's name, privacy settings, language and email settings through the "Edit Group" option (this can be found under the three dots) in the upper right hand corner of Office 365. The email address of a Group cannot be changed once it is created. If an email change is needed, a new Group will need to be created. The new Group will not have access to files, conversations or calendar events from the previous Group.
What other resources are available?
Microsoft has many online resources regarding Groups.
Their blog on Groups can be found here