Office 365 Groups

Office 365 groups are a collaborative feature within Rutgers Connect that enables users to access shared versions of the following:

An Office 365 group lets you choose a set of people that you wish to collaborate with and easily set up a collection of resources for those people to share. Items in the group's resources (Calendar, OneDrive, OneNote) will automatically be shared to the members of the group. 

Office 365 groups within Rutgers Connect currently offer the following resources:

Shared inbox

Each group contains a shared inbox, which is accessible to all members. This shared inbox is fully searchable so it creates a living archive of the group's messages. Newcomers to the group can search or scroll back through the history to get up to speed quickly on what's been posted in the group previously. 

Messages addressed to the group's email common email address will be delivered to this inbox. Members of the group can elect to have group messages appear in their personal inbox by subscribing to the group via email. 

Additional Information on Office 365's Shared Inbox can be found here.

Shared files library  

 

Your group has a SharePoint files library when your users can store, share and collaborate on documents, workbooks, presentations, images or any other kind of file they need to work on.

Files stored in the group's file library can be edited via Microsoft Office desktop products as well as with Office Online (Word Online, Excel Online, PowerPoint Online, etc). These files have version control, which will track all changes made and also recovery to previous versions. Group libraries can also be shared to users external to the group. 

Additional Information on Office 365's Shared files library can be found here.

Shared calendar 

Each group owns a shared calendar to post events related to the group. Each member who has subscribed to the group is automatically invited to events posted to the calendar so those events can also appear on their personal calendars if they wish. 

Group calendars can be shared to users external to the group.

Additional Information on Office 365's Shared calendar can be found here.

Shared OneNote Notebook 

The group automatically has a shared OneNote notebook where group members can collect and collaborate on information. 

  • OneNote is very well-suited to act as wiki. It allows information to be organized in multiple tiers – notebooks, sections, pages, and subpages – which makes it easy to peruse all and only relevant documentation. It also offers highly capable search functionality; users can search across all information they have access to or they can choose to search only in a single page, section, or notebook. Additionally, it allows for the embedding of a wide variety of media types, including images, audio recordings, and videos, which can be used to provide a more immersive and in-depth information-gathering experience.
  • Another common application is the creation and storage of meeting notes. As mentioned, OneNote allows users to embed audio recordings, but it also allows audio recordings to be taken from within OneNote. Recording can be started at the beginning of the meeting without preventing any further note-taking; the person responsible for meeting notes can continue to do so for the duration of the recording. Furthermore, any notes taken during this time will be associated with the appropriate time in the recording. If there is a brief note about a topic of interest, the note can be clicked on at a later time and the recording will jump to the point at which that note was taken, so there is no need to sift through a lengthy recording to find the bit of information you want.
  • Another feature of OneNote is handwriting recognition, so those who are more comfortable taking notes by hand can do so using a tablet or touchscreen-enabled computer, and their handwriting will be converted to typed text automatically.
  • Although there are many other uses for OneNote, the last that will be mentioned here is brainstorming. As the notebook is shared with all group members and can be updated in real time, colleagues can collaborate remotely, putting ideas by typing and drawing on a virtual paper that everyone can see at once.

To access the OneNote, select the "Notebook" button located on the top navigation bar in the group's view.

Additional Information on Shared OneNote notebook can be found here.

Guest access - You could add external contacts to distribution groups before, but all they got was email. With groups you can offer guests access to email conversations, files and even the shared OneNote notebook.

Additional Information on Office 365's Guest access can be found here.

If you would like to request an Office 365 group to be created, please contact your Rutgers Connect domain administrator(s).