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Collaborations - add template document

Collaborations - add template document

At the moment, when you create a collaboration group, you can add a blank document (365/google etc). We would like to add a document that has been partially completed by the instructor to help scaffold how the students create together.

I know we can do a cloud assignment - but how would we effectively do a cloud assignment to a group, rather than each individual?

My thinking is that if you select a google doc for example, I should be able to view my google drive, and then select my doc that I want to use as a template for all the students, and then a copy is created for each group.

Cheers

(2)
14 Comments
Community Advocate
Community Advocate

This is a great shout. 

We use collaborations a lot with Office365 LTI

There are currently two options:

  • Quickly edit the document or copy and paste slides across (if using PowerPoint).
  • You can overwrite the existing document with a new one. Works for Word, PowerPoint and Excel. PowerPoint updates instantly, Excel takes a refresh and Word gets there eventually...

It would be so much better to do what you can do with Cloud Assignments and allocate a template file as you mention. I wonder what the difference really is eg if you can do it with one, why not be able to do it with another?

Community Member

Great - thanks for that insight Gideon - we will give it a whirl.

Cheers

Anthony

Community Team
Community Team
Community Member

Thanks for that Stefanie

This is related, but I think a different use-case - I think... ??

In my scenario, a teacher wants a group to work on a pre-filled document to structure/ scaffold their document for them as a start. The only option at the moment for the group is to create a blank document for them to start from scratch.

My reading of the idea above is that it is about navigation consistency, whereas mine is more about supporting staff create scaffolded collaborations for their students.

Cheers

Anthony

Community Team
Community Team

Yes, aengland@pymblelc.nsw.edu.au‌, I also saw it as different, but thought you'd be interested!

Learner II

Voted up. This is a great idea, especially the part about copying the collaboration for each of the groups - for example if you have 30 groups of students and you want each group to collaborate on their own copy of the same collaboration template - there is no quick way of doing this. Currently you would have to manually go into each group's specific environment, create the collaboration there then add each student individually. 

P.S. if this idea is implemented please can it be integrated with Office 365 collaborations as well as Google docs.

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

This is such a great idea Anthony. There is so much more the integration could do to enhance Canvas use and experience especially in terms of work flow and ultimately, to support staff making the change (the impact of the collaboration tool in Office365 is huge once staff see what it does).

I don't know what the relationship is between Microsoft and Canvas in terms of who controls the developments or indeed what sort of road map they have for improvements. I would certainly add this to my Top 5 (which currently is..)

  1. Accessing resources that are shared with colleagues - such a huge issue 
  2. Embedding Office365 into Pages
  3. Rubric use with Cloud assignments
  4. Office365 docs in Speedgrader preview
  5. Selection of existing document as template
  6. Removal of observers from the collaboration list!!

Great stuff

Surveyor

It's possible to achieve this function (automatically opening a copy) with Google Docs by posting a URL to the doc you want to use as a template to Canvas:  Change /edit in the end of the link to /copy.  But then you still need to enroll students in groups or have them auto-enroll.

I'm very surprised that this isn't already baked into the Collaborations tool, because the ability to automatically make and share something blank is, quite obviously, of very limited use.  I guess another alternative is that you could give them view access to a second document (the template) which students have to cut and paste into their own blank document, but it begs the question: when the workaround is so obvious and easy, why isn't Canvas already able to do it?  Fingers crossed that someone is reading this.

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Let's hope so!

Surveyor

I totally agree with Daniel Pell.  I too am VERY surprised that this isn't already baked into the Collaborations tool, because the ability to automatically make and share something blank is, quite obviously, of very limited use.