Office 365 Groups

What are Groups?

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.

Who can use it?

Groups are available for free for all DU faculty, staff and students as part of the Office 365 Suite.

Features and benefits:

Conversations  

Having a Group Conversation is similar to having an email thread, but only Group members participate. Conversations are saved in a Group, so new members will have access to all past conversations. See how to have a Group conversation in Outlook.

Calendar

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.

Files

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.

Notebook

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).

Connectors

Groups in Office 365 have the option of using Connectors. Connectors are a variety of third party programs that can be synced into an Office 365 Group for added functionality.  Some Connectors are free, some need to be purchased. The University of Denver does not have subscriptions for any Connectors, and the terms of use have not been reviewed, so no connector should be used to access or share any information that is protected by HIPPA or FERPA laws. A Technology Review form must be submitted to request new Connectors. Please also note that the IT Help Center does not support any of the Connectors found in Office 365.

Planner

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. For more information, see Microsoft's Planner Quick Start Guide.

Why should I use Groups?

When you set up an Office 365 Group in Outlook, you can choose a set of people that you wish to collaborate with and easily set up a collection of resources for those people to share. You don’t have to worry about manually assigning permissions to all those resources because adding members to the group automatically gives them the permissions they need to the tools your group provides.

Groups can be a great replacement for a ListServ. See why you should upgrade your distribution lists to groups in Outlook.

Groups are ideal for departments who want basic collaboration tools, but don't need the full functionality of Teams. Keep reading for a comparison of Groups and Teams.

Note: Groups is just one option in our list of communication and collaboration tools along with Zoom, Teams, Cisco Jabber, and more. For a full list of alternatives, see the Collaboration Software page.

What is the difference between Groups and Teams?

Teams builds on the functionality of Groups. Learn more about Teams here.

Task 
Groups 
Teams 
Communication 
Group email address 

Internal and external communication (guest access) 

Create channels (sub-groups) 
 

Start a chat with individuals or groups 
 

Turn a chat into a call 
 

Share a file with people in a chat 
 

Share a file with offline participants 
 

Add emoji 
 

And GIFs and memes 
 

Threaded and persistent conversations 
 

@mention, #tag, and like conversations 
 

Search for files, content, and people 
 

File Sharing 
Group file storage 

Restricted access to files (files are public by default) 

Document collaboration (real-time in Edge only) 

Meetings 
Shared calendar 

Schedule a meeting from Outlook 

Record meetings 
 

Automatically share meeting recordings with group 
 

Share desktop or app 
 

In-meeting access to chat and files 
 

Persistent chat before, during, and after the meeting 
 

Calls 
Make, forward, and transfer calls 
 

Make calls outside the university 
 

Mobile 
Chat, call, and meet from your device 
 

 

How do I start using 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.

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  departmentname.groupname-g@du.edu  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.

More Groups FAQs

Learn About Office 365 Groups

How do I add or remove group members in Outlook?

How do I have a group conversation in Outlook?

How do I edit or delete a group in Outlook as the owner?

 

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