Microsoft has started testing an update to Microsoft Teams for Education that it plans to release later this month, according to the Microsoft Teams UserVoice forum. The upcoming update will bring a new “Hard Audio Mute” feature designed to prevent participants muted by meeting organizers from unmuting themselves.
The ability to mute everyone in a meeting has been one of the prevalent requests from teachers worldwide since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers often complain that students cause disruptions during Teams meetings, and it affects learning outcomes with a transition to distance-learning. Until now, there was no option for meeting organizers to mute participants in a meeting, but this is about to change very soon.
Once available in your tenant, the new “Hard Audio Mute” feature in Microsoft Teams for Education will give teachers the ability to change permissions in Teams Meetings. Teams meeting organizers will be able to use a toggle button “Allow attendees to unmute” in the “Manage permissions” section to prevent attendees from unmuting themselves.
The new capability should be a convenient feature for thousands of schools/colleges using the Teams collaboration platforms for remote learning. However, Microsoft Teams still doesn’t allow the meeting organizers to disable/Hard Mute attendee video when it’s time to focus by making it impossible for them to turn it on. If you’d like this to change, we invite you to vote for this feature suggestion in the dedicated UserVoice website.