If you need to work in a group your lecturer may set you up with a group in Office 365, any groups you are in can be found in the left hand side of your Office 365 webmail.
Your group will enable you to have conversations and share files, clicking on the conversations tab will take you to the conversations area (this opens by default when you go to the group). You can click on 'Send Email' to create a new thread
Or reply all to reply to the thread you are on
To access the files in a group click on the files icon
Clicking on the New tab will open a menu that enables you to create a new folder, Word Document, Excel Workbook or PowerPoint presentation
You can also upload an existing document from the files on your computer
If you create or open a Word, excel or PowerPoint, these will open in Office online apps, (in your internet browser) which means they can be edited straight in your browser, they are then automatically saved to you group files and you can also work collaboratively in real time on these documents.
If you click on a document or create a new document, it will open in your browser, you can start editing it
There is no need to save your document as it will save as you go, you will see it swapping between Saving and Saved as you type
Office Online apps work like regular office, but you might find some more advanced features are not available, however they are perfect for the majority of things you will want to do. If you find a feature missing, you can open the document in the desktop application, but make sure that no one else will work on the document in the meantime and that you reupload it to your group!
When you use an Online app, you can see changes as they happen, coloured flags show you who is editing and where, and you will see their changes as they type!
you can click on their initials in the top right to see where they are in the page and either initiate chat or jump to where they are:
Chats will open in a right hand side bar:
If you see a coloured flag on the document, that is where someone is editing and as well as being able to see the edits as they do them, you can hover on the flag and see who it is:
You can also make comments on the document by clicking the comments button iin the top right hand corner:
Note: Comments will be saved with the document automatically, Chat will not be saved.
Using the Online apps always makes sure that you all have access to the same updated document, be wary if you open the document in the desktop application as if any of your group makes changes in the meantime, you could overwrite those when you resave your document - so if you need to, make sure the others know!
More help on co-authoring documents can be found on this page from the Co-edit a document section: Using Word Online