New! Meet Google Assignments LTI (Beta)

Instructure
Instructure
17 15 10.3K

Over the last several months, the Instructure product team has been working with Google to transition the existing Google Apps LTI to the new Google Assignments tool. This transition allows Google to maintain their own integration with Canvas, which will result in greater attention and updates than Instructure has historically been able to provide. Google Assignments is currently in beta—we’re excited to introduce this tool and make it available to any interested institutions.

 

Assignments brings together the capabilities of Google Docs, Drive, and Search into a new tool for collecting and grading student work, right within Canvas. It helps save time with streamlined assignment workflows, ensures the authenticity of student work with originality reports, and provides methods for  constructive feedback through comment banks. 

 

Canvas admins can sign up to try Assignments today. The following FAQs include information for admins to learn more about Assignments. 

 

How is Assignments different than Google Apps LTI? 

Assignments includes all the current functionality of Google Apps LTI (excluding Collaborations, coming in 2020), plus a ton of other great features.

 

What does Assignments do? 

Assignments streamlines the creation and management of coursework, and tackles some of your biggest frustrations:

  • Allow students to submit Drive files to Canvas assignments that you can then grade in SpeedGrader
  • Check for missed citations and possible plagiarism with the originality reports feature
  • Embed Drive files with the Canvas rich text editor
  • Add Drive files to Canvas Modules

 

If you choose to grade with Assignments, you can also:

  • Stop typing the same feedback over and over by using a comment bank
  • Use Google's new originality reports to detect possible plagiarism
  • Automatically lock work once it’s turned in with permissions management 

Google Assignments LTI in action

Instructors and students can use virtually any file type with Assignments: Docs or Word files for papers, spreadsheets for data analysis, slides for presentations, sites for digital portfolios or final projects, Colab notebooks for programming exercises, and much more. 

 

How do originality reports work? 

With originality reports in Assignments, you can check student work for missed citations and possible plagiarism without interrupting your grading workflow. When students turn in a document, Assignments will check students’ text against hundreds of billions of web pages and tens of millions of books. 

 

If you enable originality reports on an assignment, students can also check their work for authenticity (a limited number of times) to correct issues, turn in their best work, and save instructors time grading. Since both you and your students can see originality reports, they’re designed to help you teach your students about authenticity and academic integrity. 

 

Using Google to look for plagiarism in assignments

 

How do I get started with Assignments?

Starting today, admins can sign up to get access to Assignments. Assignments is already available for free as part of G Suite for Education. Admins can install Assignments LTI within Canvas.

 

NOTE: Assignments is an improved and expanded version of Course Kit, so if you’re already in the Course Kit beta, you automatically have access to Assignments. 

 

What if my school already has Google Apps LTI installed? Do I need to uninstall it?

Uninstalling Google Apps LTI is not necessary to get started with Assignments LTI and having both installed will not affect or break the other.  

 

However, when both are installed at the same time, there will be some feature redundancy. For example: Students will see two "Google Drive" options to upload files when submitting work—both will work. Learn more about using the Google Apps LTI with Assignments at the same time—and how Admins can hide visibility of Google Apps LTI features.

 

When will Assignments be out of beta?

We’re excited to share that Assignments will be generally available by Summer 2020. 

 

Will I be required to eventually transition to Assignments from the existing Google Apps LTI?

Google Apps LTI will eventually be deprecated a calendar year after the general launch of Assignments and Assignments will replace it. We are encouraging all Canvas users to install Assignments and try it out! Instructure will announce the deprecation date for the Google Apps LTI after we are able to anticipate a more definite timeline.

 

What if I have more questions about Assignments?

You can view the entire list of feature benefits and additional FAQs in the Google Assignments FAQ page.

15 Comments
Surveyor

Hi karl@instructure.com  We have been testing this in our district a bit, and we like most of what we see.  We are having trouble with testing what is commonly known as the 'Google Cloud Assignment' feature.  When we test this with the new Google Assignments LTI we seem to only have the Google Grading tools available to us.  What we saw at InstructureCon 19 and ISTE 19 seemed to indicate that we would be able to use the Google Grading tools OR SpeedGrader.  We are following the steps here to test this so we certainly may be missing a step.  Could you please clarify how the new Google Assignments LTI will include the 'Google Cloud Assignment' feature and what grading tools will be available to teachers for this feature?  Thank you for providing this update.  

Instructure
Instructure

Thanks for the feedback! I've been in contact with the Google Education team and grading "Cloud Assignments" in SpeedGrader vs the Google Grading tools is not currently supported, but they have heard from many users and are working on implementing support.

Thoughts or feedback are encouraged and can be provided directly to the Google Education team through the "Report issue or request feature button" within the Assignments app. Items submitted here are reviewed on a daily basis and go directly to the teams developing the backlog and roadmap.

Learner II

karl@instructure.com‌, any info about the plan for those not on G-Suite for Education? According to Google (here and here), teachers must have G-Suite for Education accounts (not Business, Non-Profits, Basic, or Enterprise) in order to use Assignments. Thanks!

Instructure
Instructure

I'm not aware of any plans by Google to extend the assignments functionality outside of the G-Suite for Education at this time.

Learner II

Fingers crossed they extend to other G-Suites before deprecating the existing Google Cloud Assignments LTI! 

Community Member

How will this work with Learning outcomes? My school is using the Learning mastery gradebook and this would actually be a big step backward if we're not able to attach learning outcomes.

Learner II

Hi jlubkinchavez@ml4t.org

I've read: "Instructors can enable originality reports for free for up to three assignments in each course they teach using Google’s tools. If they want to use it more frequently, they will need to upgrade to a G Suite Enterprise for Education account, which currently starts at $4 per month per instructor" (source)

Surveyor

I tried this out for the first time this week with my students. It worked seamlessly, except when I go into Speedgrader to grade their PDF's they submitted, there is nothing there. I have to go the "Open in Assignments" (the Google platform) and grade from there. How are we able to grade these submissions in Speedgrader? I greatly love the CrocaDoc or whatever it is called that speedgrader has and love being able to annotate on my students submissions before I return them. Would love some guidance on this.

jason.paddock@spartanburg2.k12.sc.us‌ #google assignments

Adventurer

Thanks for sharing your issues with this, Jennifer --- has anyone found an answer for you yet? -- I don't know that I would want to adopt this tool if people can't grade submissions within Speedgrader and have to go out to Google platform!

Adventurer

I would love to be wrong, but after playing around with Assignments LTI, we will not be using it for the following reasons:

  1. It's an LMS within an LMS, which requires teachers to learn how to grade in both places which is super redundant. Even if the UI for Google Assignments LTI is nice and simple, I don't need a rubric in Canvas AND within a Google Assignment.
  2. It sends notifications to students about the grade they got from Google Notifications, so if you grade something in the Assignments LTI but not in Canvas, there's an extra notification coming from both places -- students don't need that redundancy either.
  3. I can't get the file uploader to work for a simple assignment upload. The old Google Apps LTI worked great for this, and students can upload their work from Google Drive right into a Canvas assignment, and it can be graded and annotated right within the Speedgrader.

I am very very sad that the old LTI will be deprecated because this feels like Google is trying to take over as its own LMS with this LTI integration.

Would someone please tell me more about why you like this and what it helps you to do that Canvas doesn't already do? Why would an instructor want to use this External Tool for assignment submissions?

Surveyor II

Has anyone trying this with Blueprinting courses. We are looking into trying Blueprinting but the people designing want to be able to use Google Assignments but I can't find any documentation on if this is an LTI that will work with blueprinting or not yet. I plan to test in beta/test instance but it would be helpful to hear if anyone else has tried it. 

Surveyor II

Hi Emily,

Thank you for sharing your early feedback. I was very excited about the new Assignments LTI until I read your post. 

Are you still playing with Assignments LTI and have you seen improvements with some of the issues you addressed?

Students must be able to upload files from Google Drive to Canvas assignments and that instructors can view, annotate and grade submissions in the SpeedGrader. That's mission critical.

We have been been using G Suite for EDU at our community college for close to 10 years and are currently migrating to Canvas. I thought we might switch to the new Assignments LTI after general release this summer but I'm concerned about the issues you pointed out. It seems that Assignments LTI might compete with Canvas features or cause confusion with students and instructors as you described.

We are using Unicheck as our plagiarism tool in Canvas. I can also see Assignments LTI competing with Unicheck.

Our college is working on using Canvas Outcomes & Rubrics for assessing course, program and cert/degree outcomes. We would need to steer instructors away from Rubrics in Assignments LTI.

Canvas already sends tons of notifications to students. We don't want student receiving notifications from Google.

I'm surprised there are very few comments on this Canvas Community article. I thought there would be huge interest in the release of Assignments LTI from beta.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Learner

Dear Sage Freeman,

You are right. There is a plagiarism checking tool available within Google Assignments. As far as it is the product of Google, the search algorithms may be quite good. Still, I am not sure whether it has all the necessary functionality for the effective teaching process and detection of different types of plagiarism (text modifications, contract cheating, references and citations detection, etc.).

In case you decide to integrate Assignments LTI, I am sure you can still use Unicheck within Canvas. In case any questions arise, please let us know. We will be glad to help you and answer them.

Surveyor

Right now, I'm trying to teach both methods for uploading (Cloud Assignments and the Assignments LTI), but until the rubber hits the road it is hard to tell which is going to work better. 

Speedgrader integration, and importing the grade to the SIS are both important features.  

Community Team
Community Team

Please see the followup to this post: New! Meet Google Assignments LTI

Thanks,

Erin