Distribute a Google Doc Template via Canvas

jperkins
Instructure
Instructure
23
35119

This is one of the most useful tricks that I've learned about using Google docs and Canvas. This is especially useful for distributing documents that you want students to turn back into you. Be aware that in order for you to have access to each student's version of the document, students will have to share it with you.

1. Open the Google Doc up in Google Drive

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2. Share the Document so Students will be able to view it

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3. Copy Link and Open up an Assignment in Canvas

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4. Type "Click Here to make a Copy of the Worksheet" in the RCE

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5. Highlight Text and Click "Link to URL Icon" 

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6. Paste Google Doc Share URL and change the end of the URL from /edit to /copy

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7. Adjust remainder of Assignment Settings and Save the Assignment

When students click on the link, it will take them to the following page where they can make a copy of the worksheet for themselves! You may want to follow these instructions if you want your students to turn their google docs back into you.

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23 Comments
brueckert
Community Champion

Thank you  @jperkins , this is a great little tip for Google/Canvas users!

I'd like to add another tip that might be helpful if you plan on using this strategy for Doc distribution. On the Google Doc template you are wanting to distribute, navigate to the Tools menu, then choose "Script Editor." Delete the placeholder code and add the following:

Capture.PNG

Change the email within the single quotes to your own and click the save button. Now, as soon as the student makes a copy of your worksheet, you'll be automatically added as an editor! You can easily dump all of these shared files into a new folder within your Google Drive through the "Shared with Me" section on the left hand panel of the Drive UI.

jomontuori
Community Contributor

This is a great tip,  @jperkins ​. I think it will help move many of our instructors to leave Google Classroom behind and dive into the richness that Canvas has to offer in instructional tools.

Because it's relatively complicated for many of our instructors, I created a Google Doc Distribution Assignment template and shared it to our institution's Commons. Now I just have to figure out a way to advertise that. :smileyconfused:

clong
Community Champion

Super Cool tip Brian!

clong
Community Champion

Great idea Joe, I searched Commons and wasn't able to find this. Is it public to all users? I'd love to have a look.

clong
Community Champion

 @jperkins ​ to many, worksheet has a very negative connotation and this tip is too good for that. I'd suggest renaming this to "Distribute a Google Doc Template via Canvas"

jperkins
Instructure
Instructure

Thanks for the feed back Chris!

jomontuori
Community Contributor

Hi Chris, I'm sorry to say that our district chose to limit our Commons usage to within the district. But it's a pretty easy set-up. Key things to remember are

  • Change the ending of the Google Doc/Sheet/Slides Share link to /copy. 
  • Create the link to the Google doc within the assignment's Rich Content Editor (see the blue highlighted text in the screenshot below).
  • Set the assignment submission to Online/Website URL.

Here's a screenshot of the template. Hope this is helpful!

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clong
Community Champion

That's great Joe. I've also created instructions for students on how to do this. See: How to Submit Your Google Drive Files in Canvas (for students)

and I've addressed why teachers should really consider using the HTML share method in https://community.canvaslms.com/blog/update-post.jspa?ID=1632&draftID=87087

jomontuori
Community Contributor

These are excellent resources, Chris. Thank you!

rislis
Community Champion

Brian, do you find that using this is still necessary after the Google LTI has been added? I'm losing my Language Arts teachers left and right because we can't find an easy way for kids to submit their Google Doc through Canvas, have the teacher make comments/edits and have the student see those comments and edits on the editable Google doc. Your solution sounds like it would work for that purpose, but for reluctant Canvas users, I'm afraid I'll steer them right back to their Google Classroom atmosphere instead!

THANKS!

clong
Community Champion

We have the Google LTI tool enabled and it seems to be creating a lot of problems when students try and use it to submit assignments. Often times they have to authorize their Google accounts multiple times and when submitting a file form their Google Drive they frequently have problems where it hangs up or takes up to 5 minutes.

Seriously considering disabling the Google LTI tool because of all the frustrations our students experience. We have several support cases on this but there seems to be a bit of a Canvas vs Google blame shifting game going on here. 

rislis
Community Champion

We have found that having students clear their cache helps with the authorization issues. We are 1:1 Chromebook - Google is our world. Have to keep it on and keep crossing our fingers.

glloyd
Community Novice

Investigating Canvas before jumping in (& promoting to teachers) and need clarification. Can I make assignment through Google Classroom and then open student documents inside of Canvas to review, Comment on, Edit, or Suggest (using Google Docs capabilities), and use Canvas SpeedGrader Rubric for actual grade assignment? It seems to me that this would be efficient and flexible but reviewing some of these tutorials, seems as if Canvas users do not use Classroom and instead employ a variety of rather complicated and cumbersome work-arounds.

Please clarify! Thanks!!  @clong ‌ googledocs#google classroom#integrating google docs‌ 

jperkins
Instructure
Instructure

Greg! If you set up the assignment as a URL submission, then you can do what you are talking about. https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-6468?sr=search&searchId=274695d6-ec92-4281-877c-45ace6afd9a...

glloyd
Community Novice

Grade a Google Doc using SpeedGrader --  "This document will show you how to let student turn in an Google doc assignment (so you can annotate) without having to download the Google Doc as a Word Document before uploading. Be aware that if a individual user has registered Google Docs with their account this will happen in the backend" 

So does quoted text above mean that once I (& each of my students??) have gone through process to link Google with Canvas, the functions I described in question above will be available without any other maneuverings or workarounds?   

I will try to develop a model to test tomorrow but trying to get a handle on how it is supposed to work. Thanks again!  @jperkins ‌

rislis
Community Champion

Nice to know, Greg!! My other question would be in regards to the distribution of the document. Many teachers have a "worksheet" or "template" that they wanted to send out to students - that has to be turned in. Besides the change from "EDIT" to "COPY," do you have any ideas?

brueckert
Community Champion

Hi  @rislis ‌, I'm sorry I can't help you on this one. We haven't gone "all in" with the Google LTI at this point, so I don't have enough data to give you a good answer!

fwang
Community Novice

This allows each student to get his/her own copy.

Is there a way to get each group one copy of the document so that they can collaborate on the template?

shirota
Community Novice

Hi Brian, I've tried to retype your code over and over again... but I keep getting an error message.  Can you please help me?

This is what I have: 

function onOpen() {
var doc = DocumentApp.getActiveDocument().addEditor(shirota@punahou.edu);
}

The error message says:

Missing ) after argument list. (line 2, file "Code")

Dismiss

Thank you!

brueckert
Community Champion

Hi Shauna,

Sorry for the late response. I don't get into the Community here as much as I should!

Be sure to put your email address in quotes to designate it as a string. --> .addEditor('shirota@punahou.edu');

Brian

rislis
Community Champion

The Google LTI does this seamlessly. I'd highly recommend it for making sure kids have their own copy of the Google doc or slide or sheet. 

B_Perkins
Community Member

While I appreciate the effort, I am rather disappointed that the document must be shared with the teacher. My Google Drive is already quite a mess with all the documents being shared with me from various teachers, admin, and district level people.  I really miss the feature in Google Classroom where the student submits their work but it does not have to be shared with me and I could always find it within their "class" on Google.

In short, I feel like we're taking steps backward on this since our district (state?) has mandated we switch from Classroom to Canvas. Do Canvas developers read this community?  If so, this is a cumbersome workaround to a feature I've been using for years and it's certainly not making me excited about the (forced) switch to Canvas.

BRIANDORNE
Community Novice

You saved me here Brian!  Awesome simple trick