This document introduces the Microsoft Office 365 integration as noted in the Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-12-10).
Microsoft Office 365 requires the Microsoft Office 365 LTI app, which can be added to an account, sub-account, or course. The LTI can be configured manually by users who have permission to add and edit LTI tools.
When enabled, Microsoft Office 365 adds functionality to multiple areas in Canvas courses.
Canvas supports an LTI integration with Microsoft Office 365 in Assignments, Collaborations, Modules, Course Navigation, and the Rich Content Editor. This integration allows students and instructors to use, create, share, and collaborate on Office 365 files within Canvas. Users can also view their OneDrive files directly in Canvas.
Microsoft Office 365 is an external app (LTI) available to institutions with Office 365 education or business accounts who have created user accounts for their students. The Office 365 LTI is not supported for personal Office 365 accounts.
The Office 365 LTI supports Microsoft OneDrive in Canvas and can be enabled at the account, sub-account, or course level in a Canvas production environment. The LTI is not available in the Canvas App Center and must be configured manually by users who have permission to add and edit LTI tools. Integration instructions vary by region:
United States: Users can generate their own key and secret to install the LTI tool through the EduAppCenter Microsoft Office 365 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. Office 365 is not currently available for instructors in Free-for-Teacher accounts.
Note: The OneDrive external tool is still available in the EduAppCenter, but the new Microsoft Office 365 LTI should be used in its place.
The Microsoft integration officially supports Microsoft OneDrive in Canvas. However, Microsoft maintains add-ins for additional products, such as OneNote. These add-ins are not managed or maintained by Canvas. Documentation can be found as part of Microsoft's support website.
As part of the Canvas integration, some functionality is limited by Microsoft. Users should be aware of the following limitations by Microsoft in Canvas:
Canvas admins can use the existing Microsoft third-party authentication method to enable users to sign into Canvas using their Office 365 credentials. The LTI integration does not support single sign-on authentication.
The Microsoft Office 365 LTI adds a link to a user’s OneDrive in the Course Navigation Menu. The name of the link aligns with the name added as part of the Office 365 LTI (most commonly named Office 365). After logging in to their user accounts, users can view all files in their OneDrive account.
Instructors can create an online embedded assignment through an external tool. With the Microsoft Office 365 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 Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
When students open the assignment, Office 365 will create a copy of the file in the student’s OneDrive folder for the course for each student’s submission. Students can open the document and make changes per the assignment instructions. When they are ready to submit the assignment, they can return to the Canvas assignment page and submit the assignment. Instructors view each student’s document copy in SpeedGrader for grading.
Instructors can also continue to create regular file upload assignments. However, when an instructor allows file uploads, students can view the Office 365 tab and upload files directly from OneDrive.
Users can create collaborations with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Excel documents. 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 OneDrive folder.
Office 365 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 Microsoft Office 365 LTI app (course or account).
Note: this feature option is not available in the beta environment.
Users can access their OneDrive folder from Course Navigation link. Office 365 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 Office 365 upload assignment options. However, cloud assignment submissions are copied into the student’s OneDrive folder.
The Office 365 LTI tool displays as a Modules external tool. Instructors can add links to OneDrive documents as an external tool.
The Office 365 LTI displays the OneDrive icon in the Rich Content Editor. The icon displays everything in a user’s OneDrive account and allows users to display documents as inline links. Students and instructors can view the icon anywhere they can access the Rich Content Editor, such as discussions and pages (as allowed).
The Office 365 LTI includes an Office 365 viewer, which can be used to preview office documents in SpeedGrader and overrides any other previewer in Canvas.
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. Crocodoc can be used with supported file types.
The following functionality relates to Microsoft Office 365 in the Canvas by Instructure app and SpeedGrader app:
Canvas by Instructure
For any contrary behaviors in the production environment, users should submit a Canvas support case for assistance.
That guideline is more related to defining the use of Microsoft education accounts vs personal accounts; generally institutions provide Microsoft accounts to their students in the same domain. You can still make the integration work for your institution, but you will just have to make sure the Office 365 administrator (for both the faculty/staff and student domains) allows documents to be shared outside the organization. Otherwise students won't be able to view documents in the course, and instructors can't view files submitted by students.
Hope that helps,
For anyone interested in this topic, be sure to RSVP to the next installment in the CanvasLIVE series on Office365: O365 LTI Series: Canvas + Microsoft in the Clouds, which is coming up this Friday, February 10, 2017. RSVP “yes” if you will be there--and if you’re interested, but your schedule doesn’t allow you to attend in real time, RSVP "no" or "maybe" to receive all event updates. Your RSVP ensures that you will receive a notification should the event be cancelled or changed.