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fenstermaker_an
Community Member

Google Doc--> Real Time View of Work

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Many teachers have asked if there is a way to work with Google Docs in Canvas much like Google Classroom. They are able to create an assignment where the submission type is an external tool and a Google Doc Cloud assignment. This will automatically make a copy of the Google Doc for each student. However, the only way for a teacher to see what students have done on the Google Doc is for the student to turn in the Google Doc. The problem is it submits it into Canvas as a .docx format. The teacher is able to see whatever the student has completed to that time stamp, but unable to see the students work in real time. The student will always have to submit the Google Doc again and again as they make changes. In Google Classroom, if you make a copy for each student, you are able to click on the copied Google Doc for each student and see them working in real time. Is there a way to do this within Canvas so that teachers can click on the student's file and see them working in real time? 

1 Solution

Dan, 

Google has released Google Assignments. It integrates with Canvas and creates a similar experience to Google Classroom. You will have to ask your admin to get things set up within your Canvas instance but once set up, it is pretty easy to use. Here is a short screencast about creating an assignment within Canvas using Google Assignments. It shows both the teacher and student views. 

Hope that helps. 

Andrew

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12 Replies
rmurchshafer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi Andrew,

For clarification; when an Google Cloud Assignment is turned in I believe it comes in as a Word doc so that the speedgrader tools work with DocViewer.  I know that is not what you want, but it does make sense in terms of consistent processes for grading.

Is this example is there an existing Google Doc that needs to be created for each student?  If not, what the instructor could do is to use the Collaboration option to create a shared google doc for each student.  This would give the instructor real time access through the Collaboration tab, and once it is "complete" the student turns it in as a regular assignment set up for online submission.  This takes a little more work to set up since you would need to set up a collaboration for each student.

Rick

Robbie_Grant
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @fenstermaker_an ,

Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.

 

Robbie

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Robbie, 

The answer that Rick provided does provide an alternative to needing to create a copy of a Google Doc for each student. It sounds like the teacher would have to make a copy for each student on the back end and set the sharing to collaboration. While this would be a potential solution, it is definitely much more work for a teacher that wants to create an assignment within Canvas that will create a copy of a Google Doc for each student while being able to see edits in real time. It sounds like the real-time viewing/editing of a copied Google Doc within Canvas will not function as it does in Google Classroom. Thanks for sharing the potential solutions. 

kathy_l_pettigr
New Member

Andrew,

     You may have found this answer already since your question was a year ago, but if you make your assignment submission for students a "Text Entry," They can embed their doc just as we do using the blue carat next to the youtube link in the text box tool tray.  Make sure that they have shared the doc with you in the first place. That way, you can see and comment and see student changes in real time just like Google Classroom.  My only complaint is that the window for the instructor to comment is smaller than is comfortable.

Kathy

Image of Speedgrader with live Doc

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Dan-Parry
Community Member

Hi Andrew, did you ever find a solution to this issue? We are migrating across from Google Classroom and this is a big feature that our teachers want (able to see the students "work" as they are doing it, prior to submission). Any luck?

I see Kathy did suggest a workaround but just wondering if there was a simpler process. We are a primary/elementary school so sharing first and then embedding is a cumbersome process for the younger students compared to how simple it was in Google Classroom.

Cheers!

Dan, 

Google has released Google Assignments. It integrates with Canvas and creates a similar experience to Google Classroom. You will have to ask your admin to get things set up within your Canvas instance but once set up, it is pretty easy to use. Here is a short screencast about creating an assignment within Canvas using Google Assignments. It shows both the teacher and student views. 

Hope that helps. 

Andrew

Dan-Parry
Community Member

Hi Andrew, really appreciate you getting back to me with that screencast and run through of how it works.

Yes, can see that it is starting to give a bit of the Goo Classroom functionality back. I have just requested to be a part of the beta for Google Assignments (not available for me just yet..)

As I'm unable to test it out myself, do you have the ability to view the students' document BEFORE they submit? Or is it only after they submit that you get edit access? Our teachers love being able to provide ongoing feedback to the students as they are doing the assignment (not having to wait until the very end after they submit). It would be fantastic if we could just open the assignment in Speedgrader and see the live version of the doc on the left hand side and make annotations/suggestions/comments as need be..

I think this "idea" is what I am talking about so probably not possible just yet - https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/16974-google-doc-external-tool-submission-direct-viewing-of-an... 

Dan, 

Great question and one I hadn't considered. I just tested it out. You are not able to see a student's Doc before they submit it. You can only see their Doc once they have submitted it. In addition, I just figured out that if a student unsubmits their Doc and I don't currently have it open, when I go back into Canvas, it is no longer visible to me as the teacher until they submit it again. However, I did notice that this Google Assignments integration does create a folder in Google Drive much like Google Classroom does. So even though I couldn't open the Google Doc in Canvas to see the student work before they submit it, I could certainly open the folder in Drive and access all of their Docs even if they haven't submitted them yet. 

It definitely isn't a perfect solution yet. It is getting closer to being similar to Google Classroom but there are still some work arounds that teachers might have to employ to make the Google Assignments integration function similar to Google Classroom. 

Dan-Parry
Community Member

Ok well if it is at least creating a folder in Drive (like it would when using Classroom) then that is definitely a start. Not as frictionless as opening it up in Speedgrader and having it ready to view but it is a start.

Hopefully, my beta request gets passed through shortly and I can test it out for myself! Thanks again for your help.

rislis
Community Champion

This has been a long time complaint of teachers leaving Google Classroom. 

The only alternatives I have found that could possibly work:

1. Using Collaborations:  To view student Google Docs before submission or to make edits that the student can see, you can create a Collaboration. It's basically like the student sharing the editing rights with you, but all managed through Canvas instead. The bad part is that you'd have a single collaboration for each student in your course and I can't see how grades could be submitted through Speedgrader.

2. Having students share each document with teachers and use the URL as an online text entry submission.

Nightmare for a teacher's Drive. Cumbersome for kids to do.

3. Using the KAMI External Tool Assignment, but it still requires students to submit and resubmit.

This one's tough. I'd really love some better alternatives!
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gloriabryant11
New Member

How do I put in a beta request?  As a middle school English teacher who used Google Classroom, I loved being able to work with students in "real time" on their google doc writing assignments.  This is the main feature that we miss as we all transitioned over to canvas during this remote learning time.  Being able to rapidly open one student's google doc as s(he) is working on it, comment, then move on to the next student...is really important to us, especially while teaching synchronously online (and especially for struggling writers).

hilgerst
New Member

I just wanted to reiterate how important this future is, particularly to elementary teachers.  Teaching online, it is so hard to actually help students.  This feature allows us to see what students are doing instanteanously.

Also, submitting assignments is very difficult for elementary students.  With Google Classrooms, you have always access to student's work and can see it even if they forget to submit it.  Can Canvas make these improvements?