cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Highlighted
Surveyor

Google Drive and Sharing/Permissions

Jump to solution

I know how to embed Google docs and videos into Canvas pages, but currently it looks like the only way to do so is to make the Google docs publicly available (or at least, to anyone who has the link). I also know that Canvas allows any user to link their Canvas account with a Google account.

My question is: If all students in a particular class had a Google account linked to their Canvas account, would it be possible to set the privacy settings of the embedded Google Drive content (docs, sheets, videos) such that it would only be visible to students enrolled in the class?  That is, if I'm a student and I'm logged in to my Canvas and linked Google account, I can view the docs in the course as I'd like to, and when I edit a doc those changes are marked with my name... but if I try to email the link to those embedded documents (link to a doc itself, not to the Canvas page in which it's embedded) to a friend of mine who is not in the class, the friend would not be able to view them.

Does anyone know if this is possible? Any chance this might be possible using the Google Classroom API (which I otherwise know nothing about...)

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
Highlighted
Navigator

60980756​,

I think the short answer (outside of Google Classroom) is "no", at least not in the combination you're listed, but someone may come up with something I'm not aware of.

Google has a document that explains what can be done with sharing: Change your sharing settings - Drive Help

It contains this chart:

77437_pastedImage_1.png

It's that 3rd row that you have to watch out for. Anyone who can view the document can make a copy and then share the copy with whomever they like.

So whether you publish it to the web or give people permission to view it individually or by a shared URL, you are giving anyone that they want to give it to access to it as well.

I don't have any experience with Google Classroom, either, so I won't / can't speak to it's functionality.

But generally speaking, if it's out there on the Internet, people can usually share it, even it's just making screenshots of the information and pasting it into a Word document that they then mail to all their friends. Even the stuff inside Canvas natively could be shared outside the classroom if someone wanted to and had access to it.

View solution in original post

4 Replies
Highlighted
Navigator

60980756​,

I think the short answer (outside of Google Classroom) is "no", at least not in the combination you're listed, but someone may come up with something I'm not aware of.

Google has a document that explains what can be done with sharing: Change your sharing settings - Drive Help

It contains this chart:

77437_pastedImage_1.png

It's that 3rd row that you have to watch out for. Anyone who can view the document can make a copy and then share the copy with whomever they like.

So whether you publish it to the web or give people permission to view it individually or by a shared URL, you are giving anyone that they want to give it to access to it as well.

I don't have any experience with Google Classroom, either, so I won't / can't speak to it's functionality.

But generally speaking, if it's out there on the Internet, people can usually share it, even it's just making screenshots of the information and pasting it into a Word document that they then mail to all their friends. Even the stuff inside Canvas natively could be shared outside the classroom if someone wanted to and had access to it.

View solution in original post

Highlighted

Thank you very much, James! Good observation about the ease of copying and re-sharing. Do you know if YouTube (which is also Google-owned and has permission-sharing via Google accounts) is any more secure?

I am a little less concerned about trying to prevent active duplication (downloading or copying and republishing) -- no video is truly secure and if we wanted to prevent that, we would just never publish videos. I am more interested preventing a link to our original embedded video that can be extracted and forwarded along. Right now, someone could view our video, then look at the source code for the page, identify the video link, and forward that out to all their friends without needing to download or re-upload.

I imagine that an instructor could give each individual student's Google account permission to see the video, and then link to it as a URL in Canvas. I was just wondering if there was some way that that permissions-sharing could flow from the Canvas API into Google. Maybe I'll wait and see if Google Classroom does any of this kind of handshaking.

Highlighted

60980756​​

You can download a YouTube video, even if the originator doesn't enable it. So, no, YouTube videos aren't not copy protected either. There are plugins for browsers that will add a "Download Video" link right to the YouTube page. Even if there weren't those, someone could set up a screen capture program to record a portion of the screen and then play back a video. And if there was that, someone could set their smartphone up and record a video of the computer screen while playing back a video.

As a creator of intellectual property - it's very frustrating. But generally speaking, very little, if any, that you create is going to remain completely under your control once it's published.

Now let's talk about the sharing of the link.

Read Google's description of the unlisted vs private vs public on Change the privacy settings for your video - YouTube Help​​. Expand the bottom portions on private and unlisted.

Private requires that everyone who wants to see it be part of Google+

Unlisted allows anyone with a link to view it.

The unlisted also contains this comment:

To share an unlisted video, just share the link with the people who you’d like to have access to it, and they’ll be able to see it. Unlike private videos, the people you share the video with do not need a Google account to see the video. Anyone with the link can also re-share it in a number of ways, such as simply forwarding the link. If you don't want to allow others to re-share your video, make it Private.

That said, people can still use the methods explained above to make their own copies of the videos and share, but they would need to be part of Google+ and specifically enabled by you to see the version of the video that you have made available.

I try not to use Google+, so I don't have any experience with that. I'm supposing that you could probably take a list of student email addresses and paste it into the authorization box. You could probably write a program that talks to the Canvas API and gets a list of students and then adds them to the video page through the Google YouTube API. But each person would need a Google Account to do that.

Highlighted

Thanks again, James! Our school has an enterprise-level Google Apps account, so every student is eligible for a Google+ account that is specific to their work with the school. So if needed, we could require that every student create a Google account without them needing to link the account to other personal social media.

Hmm... now I realize the videos could be hosted in Google+, and made visible to anyone in the instructors' "Circles", and then the students could be added to those Circles. Google has a lot of ways of hosting video!