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shawnw_cowley
New Member

canvas and Chrome Books, MS Office or Google Docs?

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Hi Team,

        I have just recently started using canvas with chromebooks.  I had put in a few files such as a MS Word Resume for my students to fill in and a budget on an excel spreadsheet.  A number of my students thought they were turning in the spreadsheet  with their data input, but it was my base document missing their data.  I advised them that they needed to download the form because I think they were working within Google Docs and it never saved their data?  Not sure.

So, my question is, is it better to provide something in a Google Doc file in canvas when using chromebooks or is it better to stick with a MS Office document?

Thanks for any and all advice,

                                          Shawn

1 Solution
jdecker
New Member

I would definitely stick with using Google Apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) with the Chromebooks--this extension is available (and should already exist on Chrome OS by default) if you want to stick with Microsoft (Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides - Chrome Web Store ) but I think Google Apps is the way to go (even outside of Chromebooks)...

If you have not already, you should have your students register their Drive via their Canvas profile (assuming your Canvas admin has enabled/allows this web service) to make it easy to submit Drive-housed content for assignments as needed.

(And yes, I am completely biased to Google Apps :smileylaugh:)

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4 Replies
jdecker
New Member

I would definitely stick with using Google Apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.) with the Chromebooks--this extension is available (and should already exist on Chrome OS by default) if you want to stick with Microsoft (Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides - Chrome Web Store ) but I think Google Apps is the way to go (even outside of Chromebooks)...

If you have not already, you should have your students register their Drive via their Canvas profile (assuming your Canvas admin has enabled/allows this web service) to make it easy to submit Drive-housed content for assignments as needed.

(And yes, I am completely biased to Google Apps :smileylaugh:)

Thanks so much Josh.  As a newbee on Canvas, I didn't know they had to register their Drive, that makes great sense.  Thanks for the tip and going forward I will still with Google.  Im a huge fan as well, but in general like to work in the "full MS Office" for most documents, primarily because I'm used to all of the extras in powerpoint, word and excel.  But for the purpose of placing assignments in canvas, no doubt that is the way to go.

The student experience with Google Drive integration in Canvas is great.   I encourage all of our students to do this in the very beginning and then they are set for their 4 years.  If you aren't familiar, have each student log into Canvas, click on Account - Settings, click on Google Drive under Other Services and authorize their Google Drive account.   All set and it literally takes 30 seconds to do!

clong
Community Champion

Hi Shawn,

It sounds like you wanted students to use your Google file (budget spreadsheet in this case) as a template file that they would start with to make their own. Here's a little trick I use to make this as seamless as possible.

Teacher Setup

1) Prepare Template File-  Make your Google file (view only, anyone with link can view) and change the end of the URL. Remove edit and everything after it and replace it with copy.

For example:

-From: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tO8F3H7wp65DYpKP3k1N6bCfAfY5shygLX0M8KVkFgk/edit#gid=0

-To: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tO8F3H7wp65DYpKP3k1N6bCfAfY5shygLX0M8KVkFgk/copy

2) Post Link to Template File-  In your Assignment's description highlight the text that will be a hyperlink for your students, click on the link icon in the toolbar and paste the URL to your Google file (with copy at the end of it) in the text box and click the "Insert Link" button.

3) Select Online Submission Options- I recommend enabling only "Website URL" and NOT using the built-in Google Drive submission option that you would get by selecting "File Uploads". By doing this, it allows me to view the real Google Doc/Sheet/Presentation/Drawing in SpeedGrader and I can use the native Google commenting tools to provide feedback as well as all the Canvas tools like media comments, and rubrics. Please trust me on this, you've gotta try it! Once you do you won't go back. Using the built in Google Doc connect turns the Google Docs into docx files, presentations into pptx files and spreadsheets into .xlsx files. Sometimes students experience a blank screen while Canvas retrieves and converts the Google Docs and students don't know what to do when this happens. I've also noticed it doesn't work so well for spreadsheets. It usually takes a long time for them to load in SpeedGrader and often applies annoying pagination and butchers the formatting. Not to mention, all the collaborative "Googleness" is stripped from the file. 'Nough said :smileymischief:

The Student Experience

1) Read & Get- When students go to the assignment they read the instructions and click on the link to your Google file. When they do, they will be prompted to create a new copy of the file from yours.  This file will be theirs to edit and they will not be changing your master sheet/document when they work on their copies.

2) Submit it- The first time I have students do this, I walk them through it. After that they are usually pros at it. I made a slide guide to share with the Canvas Community and you all are welcome to put a link to it in your assignment instructions. See: How to Submit Your Google Drive Files in Canvas (for students)