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Durham University

Computing and Information Services

Project News

Wave One Wrap Up

While the last few months have been a challenge for us all, the teams involved in this wave have all stepped up remarkably and done an amazing job. Their enthusiasm to learn and get the most out of this process has kept us all going and helped us further realise the power of the Microsoft 365 tools whilst working remotely.

Throughout this first wave, we have used five key themes to focus our use cases: automation, accessibility, document management and collaboration meetings and events, and teaching and learning.


During this first wave, we were delighted to see so many teams opt to develop automation in their use cases. Instead of being fearful that the automation tools would be complicated to use, teams embraced them and quickly found just how simple they were to implement.

DARO was one of the teams who used Power Automate and Forms to implement an automated process. They used it to speed up their travel booking process by populating relevant fields and ensuring consistency and accuracy within the form.

Andy Harston from DARO said, All paperwork that I need for my trip is to hand whenever I need it.

See the full details of this success story by visiting our Learning Hub


A theme that runs throughout everything we do so we’re keen to support teams to consider accessibility in every use case. Simple things like showing people how Stream automatically captions video content has made videos more accessible using tools from within the Microsoft 365 platform.

Our virtual open days made great use of the accessibility features baked into Microsoft 365 products. Each event that ran benefitted from live captions for those who needed or wanted to use them, and attendees could select from six pre-determined languages to translate these live captions, in real time throughout the event!

Meetings and events

With everyone making the switch to Teams in March, we didn’t have to look far for use cases on Teams and getting the most out of the platform.

One of the most interesting examples was from HR who wanted to run their leadership summit virtually, rather than cancel due to the Covid-19 situation. Teams Live Events enables users to broadcast video and other content to a large online audience.

Over 100 leaders from across the University joined the session on the day to hear speakers from inside and outside Durham University provide updates about Durham and the Higher Education sector.

The experience of running this event in Teams Live gave us a great head start in planning for our virtual open days, (all 300+ of them) which has contributed to the positive feedback the open day events have been getting this month. All areas of the University have come together in a massive collaborative effort to deliver the open days and Microsoft 365 has been at the heart of it all.

Teaching and Learning

While Wave One focused on Professional Support Service departments, we did still get a Teaching and Learning use case to shout about.

The DCAD team used Microsoft 365 as a platform for their own learning and development as Digital Champions using a ‘Class’ Team type with associated class workbooks and assignments and Microsoft Forms and Quizzes to test knowledge.

The impact of working in this way is that the Digital Champions in DCAD have opened up a totally new way of thinking about Teaching and Learning.

“All along the learning experience has been fun whilst also providing a platform and importantly confidence to explore ideas, and also not to be afraid to make a few mistakes along the way. Great Stuff.” Ben - DCAD

Document Management and Collaboration

University Libraries and Collections have worked with their adoption lead to prepare themselves to make the transition to storing their team documents in the cloud.

Moving to Microsoft 365 isn’t something that can be done overnight but the Library and Collections Digital Champions have given themselves and their team a great starting point. By creating guidance that will inform and empower colleagues to feel confident about moving, storing, creating and sharing files they have laid the groundwork for successfully making the transition.

A top tip shared by the team is to offer some basic training on SharePoint and OneDrive to your team up front which will allow for a better understanding and adoption of OneDrive and SharePoint.

See the full details of this success story in our Learning Hub