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Sharing Files across Classes with Google Drive

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An instructor came to my department with a question and that was how to share the same content with students who are taking multiple classes across a multi-year program. The particular example in this case is a set of protocols covering the steps that are required for a particular examination. As students take the various classes in the program, professional standards require that they have access to those protocols at all times.

The challenge is how to make those files (they are MS Word documents) available and up to date. Sharing them via Canvas would work except for needing to upload the same files to each course and (especially) if the files need to be changed. The solution I proposed is to use a Google Drive folder, which helps meet a couple of interests. All that is needed is the folder's share link, and each instructor can decide where to put that in their Canvas courses. There is a single place to make updates, and the same link can be used easily outside of Canvas.

In the embedded video I demonstrate how to set up a shared Google Drive folder and post that link inside Canvas. I also discuss an effective sharing setting for an institution like ours, which uses Google Suite for Education. The default at our institution is to limit sharing to people who are institutional users. While this does limit access to official students, it also adds a pain point for students who have to reauthenticate multiple times.

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