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Google Integration/Google Docs Assignments


I'm having a nightmare with the Google docs/drive integrations and assignments.

I cannot add the GoogleApps app directly from appstore as even with the URL and keys from my CSM it says its configured wrong and i need to contact my account admin (that's me)

I've manually added it using the details from my CSM and it sets it up fine with the exact same settings the app tries to use but can't.

When I have asked a colleague to check stuff for me we have hit the following issues;

1. They cannot see any docs that are set as part of an assignment it just wouldn't load but then asked them to log in - we realised this is because they didn't have a google account set as a service on their Canvas account

2. They cannot see any docs that are set as part of an assignment the document pane loads but they get a message asking them to ask for permission to view the document or switch account (their account is now set as a signed in service account on Canvas). - they have clicked the ask for permission button and I have accepted that and given that account specific permission with a link that allows them to view the document - it still doesn't load.

I have looked through various other questions/posts here and tried changing some of the settings etc around publish to web/embed links/share links but none of them appear to make any difference.

The only time my colleague has been able to view the document in an assignment is when they have signed in with the account details of the account the original document resides in.

The way I understand it is 'I should be able to set a google doc as an assignment and as long as the students have a google account set as a signed in service they should be able to see it/use it in some capacity and submit it for marking'??

To add to my confusion, my colleague can see the google drive linked to the account I am using with no issues whatsoever by using the Google Drive link that sits in course navigation, the document that doesn't display in assignments works perfectly well there in terms of being viewable.....

Does anyone have any insights or suggestions because I am well and truly stumped. 

3 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @ross_hounsell .  I don't have any insight into your question but notice that there has been no replies to your post.  I am going to share this with the Canvas Developers‌ and Canvas Admins‌ user groups in hopes that someone has an idea that may be helpful.

All the best!

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @ross_hounsell ‌. I wonder if your question has revealed some of the differences between the Google Drive and Google Apps (or is it Google Docs and Google Drive?) integrations that are available with Canvas. I have some notes I share with other faculty at my college, where we use both:

  • Google Drive is a registered service that a user can use to connect to any Google account and can be used for Collaborations, where it is called "Google Docs" and for assignment submissions, where it is called "Google Doc." It only works with Google Docs files (not spreadsheets or presentations).
  • Google Apps is an LTI tool that can be set up by admins for an account. It too can be used for Collaborations, where it is called "Google Apps." It can also be used for assignment submissions, where it is called "Google Drive" (ugh, same label as the other tool). It works with any Google file (word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation). And it allows an instructor to create a Google Docs Cloud Assignment, which creates a copy of the Google file  in each student's Google Drive. Finally, it also can be used by anyone to embed a Google Drive file into the Canvas Rich Content Editor from the "Google Apps" button in the toolbar. More inelegance with this tool is how it adds a link to Course Navigation labeled "Google Drive." Argh!

My college is a Google Suite for Education client and we have single sign-on, which makes the Google Apps LTI especially useful for faculty. (For example, we can confidently limit access to Google files to anyone within our account and link/embed those files within Canvas.) However, it is possible for our students to switch both Google tools between their college-provided Google accounts and their personal accounts. My experience with students is the hassle is no greater than it was when I used to share assignment templates as read-only Google files and gave students instructions to download as MS Word or make a copy in their Google accounts.

I hope this helps. If my college was a Google Suite for Education client and new to Canvas, I would disable the registered service for Google Drive and stick with the Google Apps LTI.

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @ross_hounsell ,

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.