This document introduces the Google Apps integration as noted in the Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-01-07).
The Google Apps LTI can be configured manually by users who have permission to add and edit LTI tools.
When enabled, the Google LTI adds functionality to multiple areas in Canvas courses.
Canvas has improved its integration with Google Apps making it easier for instructors to include collaborations, content sharing, engaging course content, and assignment distribution directly within Canvas. The integration also makes it easy for students to collaborate with instructors and fellow students on individual or group assignments.
Google Apps is an external app (LTI) available to institutions with Google Apps for education. However, anyone with a Google account can use this integration.
The Google Apps LTI supports Google Drive in Canvas and can be enabled at the account, sub-account, or course level in a Canvas production environment. The LTI must be configured manually by users who have permission to add and edit LTI tools.
United States: Users can generate their own key and secret to install the LTI tool through the EduAppCenter Google app page. Instructors in Free-for-Teacher accounts can add the LTI to individual courses.
Worldwide Regions: Users should contact their Canvas Customer Success Manager (CSM) for region-specific configuration credentials. Google is not currently available for instructors in Free-for-Teacher accounts.
Note: Once the Google Apps LTI is added to a production environment, the institution's beta environment will adapt the settings from the production environment on the next beta refresh, which will allow users to test the integration in beta. However, please note that the integration is still subject to all feature limitations that may exist in the beta environment.
This integration is not affiliated with the current Google Drive web service in Canvas. If instructors and students already have Google Drive set up as a web service, they will still have to authenticate through the LTI.
The Google Drive web service should be disabled by a Canvas admin in the Account Settings page. Retaining the web service may cause confusion for students, who would otherwise see tabs for both Google Drive and Google Doc when uploading a file submission.
Documentation for the Google Apps LTI and related Google Drive features can be found using the Google Drive tag in the Canvas Guides.
As part of the Canvas integration, some functionality is limited by Google. Users should be aware of the following limitations by Google in Canvas:
Canvas admins can set up Google as an authentication method so users can sign into Canvas using their Google credentials. However, the LTI integration itself does not support single sign-on (SSO) authentication. After users log in to Canvas using Google, they will also have to authenticate into the Google LTI.
The Google LTI adds a link to the user’s Google Drive in the Course Navigation Menu. The name of the link aligns with the name added as part of the Google LTI (most commonly Google Drive). Users can authorize the Google Apps LTI to view their Google Drive account. If authorization to Google Drive is not successful the first time, authorize the application again.
After logging in to Google Drive, users can view everything in their My Drive folder. They can also open files in a new browser window and edit files directly.
Users can only authenticate into one Google Drive account at a time. If users need to authenticate into Google Drive using a different account, users can open the User Settings page, remove the integration, and then authenticate again using the new Google Drive account.
Note: The approved integration shows that the token has a short lifespan, but Canvas gives the app a refresh token that can be used to get new tokens when necessary. Users can still use the integration even if the expiration has passed.
Instructors can create an online embedded assignment through an external tool. With the Google Apps external tool, this assignment type creates a view of the assignment file that acts as a template for a student’s assignment submission. Accepted assignment types are Google Docs, Spreadsheets, and Presentations.
When students open the assignment, Google Drive will create a copy of the file in the student’s Google Drive folder for the course for each student’s submission. Depending on how the document is configured, they may not need to log in. The students can update the document per the assignment instructions and submit it without leaving the page. If students want to view the version of their cloud document submitted for the assignment, they can view the document in the assignment details page.
Instructors view each student’s document copy in SpeedGrader for grading.
Instructors can also continue to create regular file upload assignments. However, when instructor allows file uploads, students can view the Google Drive tab and upload files directly from Google Drive.
Note: When the Google Apps LTI is enabled, this feature no longer requires students to set up Google Drive as a web service. If the web service is still enabled, students will view tabs for both Google Drive and Google Docs.
SpeedGrader displays any uploaded file type that is supported like other Canvas assignments. Some files cannot be previewed in SpeedGrader and have to be downloaded for viewing. However, SpeedGrader does support previews for native Google file types.
Users can create collaborations with documents, spreadsheets, or presentations. The creator can add individual users or groups from the course to participate in the collaboration. Collaborators can be added or removed at any time, but once a user is added to the collaboration, the user always has access to the collaboration in the user’s Google Drive folder. Collaborations require a name before they can be saved.
Google Apps complements Canvas with an updated Collaborations page. The page design update is controlled by the External Collaborations Tool feature option, which can be enabled by a Canvas admin and must be enabled in the same location as the Google LTI app (course or account).
Note: This feature option is not available in the beta environment.
Users can access their Google Drive folder from the Course Navigation Menu. Google Apps does not display a folder directly in a user’s Files page.
Like other uploaded files in Canvas, student submissions are copied to a student’s submissions folder in user files if the file was uploaded using the File Upload or Google Drive upload assignment options. However, cloud assignment submissions are copied into the student’s Google Drive folder.
Google Apps displays as a Modules external tool. Instructors can add links to Google Drive documents as an external tool.
Google Apps displays a Google Drive icon in the Rich Content Editor. The icon displays everything in a user’s Google Drive account and allows users to display documents as inline links or embed them directly. Students and teachers can view the icon anywhere they can access the Rich Content Editor, such as discussions and pages (as allowed).
If the icon does not display directly in the tool bar, the icon is included in the More External Tools drop-down menu.
The following functionality relates to Google Apps in the Canvas by Instructure app and SpeedGrader app:
Canvas by Instructure
For any other contrary behaviors in the production environment, users should submit a Canvas support case for assistance.
Thanks @jthoms for sharing your comment. Nothing on the roadmap at this time to connect the SSO and the LTI app. This integration is a Public Beta, we'll listen to feedback from customers and from there determine if and what we will further develop. Comments and feedback are supper appreciated as that helps up make that call.
Makes perfect sense! Thanks for the additional info Deactivated user :smileygrin:
Perhaps others in the community might weigh in regarding mixing Canvas Google authentication with institutional SSO.
Very, very nice!
One suggestion: it would be great if the procedure for embedding a Google file (via the rich text editor) gave an option of whether you wanted the embed to include the Google toolbar (as it does now) or if you wanted it to show only the document without any of the Google doc tools.
For cloud assignments, is there any way to add a rubric as well? Normally this would be added by returning to the assignment page after publishing, but that option is not there.
Cloud assignments are created by loading a document through an external tools. In Canvas, all external tools require you to add the rubric before you change the assignment type to an external tool and save the assignment.
Hope that helps!
Have you tried removing the integration from your user settings page? It shows up in the list of approved integrations. Delete it and then try to authenticate again. The team is working on a ticket to help switching accounts more easily in the future.
Institutions outside the US need to contact their CSM to get the credentials to set up the integration. The link in the EduAppCenter is only for US-based institutions. Your CSM can help you get it ready to go.
That does help, although it does feel a bit clunky. I saw before that you were passing along the pdf issue. We have been trying some internal testing before passing this along to the rest of our school, and with cloud assignments, I keep getting errors that the file could not be converted and to download it. When I try downloading it, I get an xml error page about a missing key. Could that be connected to the pdf issue?
I have enabled new Google Apps integration via LTI and I see the Google Drive icon on my left hand menu, and I am authenticated, but I do not see the Drive icon in the Rich Content Editor. Is there any step I need to do?