ANNOUNCING Collaborations in Canvas: A New Feature in Google Assignments LTI 1.3 and Google Meet LTI

The content in this blog is over six months old, and the comments are closed. For the most recent product updates and discussions, you're encouraged to explore newer posts from Instructure's Product Managers.

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure
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Canvas.png

Today, we’re excited to announce that Google Assignments LTI 1.3 now integrates with Collaborations in Canvas, the last feature needed to reach parity with the legacy Google Apps LTI integration. Collaborations in Canvas enables teachers and students to work together on the same document at the same time. With the launch of Collaborations support, Google Assignments LTI 1.3 now has all of the functionality that Google Apps LTI provides and more, including improved security, flexibility and integrations. The Google Apps LTI allows users to collaborate only on Docs, Sheets and Slides, whereas Google Assignments LTI 1.3 also supports Forms, Drawings, Sites and Jams. Additionally, Google Assignments LTI 1.3 is built on the latest security standards and is officially supported by Google. Google Assignments LTI 1.3 provides the choice to grade using Canvas Speedgrader or Google Assignments – whichever tool best fits their needs. 

 

Start transitioning from Google Apps LTI to Google Assignments LTI 1.3

Starting in August 2023, Canvas users will no longer be able to install Google Apps LTI, and no further development will be made on the Google Apps LTI tool. Current Google Apps LTI users will not lose access, but should start transitioning over to Google Assignments LTI 1.3 to improve collaboration and streamline coursework in their institution. When moving over to Google Assignments LTI 1.3, educators will need to re-create their collaborations and can leverage this step by step guide to help with the transition. Google Apps LTI will reach end-of-life on June 30, 2024, meaning users will no longer be able to access the Google Apps LTI tool. See Canvas Upcoming Changes for more details.

 

Secure, reliable meetings in Canvas, powered by Google Meet

Another new integration between Google and Canvas that we’re excited to announce today is Google Meet LTI. Meet LTI is an integrated application that will give students and educators an easy-to-use, reliable, and secure video conferencing tool, right within Canvas. Canvas users will be able to virtually connect school communities through classes, parent-teacher conferences, professional development, and more. Meet LTI will be available at no charge to all Canvas users by back to school 2024. 

 

Key Benefits of Collaborations

  • Seamless Workflow: Users can access and collaborate on Google Workspace files within the Canvas LMS, eliminating the need to switch between multiple platforms.
  • Real-Time Collaboration: Multiple users can work simultaneously on a document, allowing for real-time collaboration and fostering teamwork among students.
  • Version Control and History: Collaborations automatically tracks changes, ensuring transparency and accountability. Users can view revision history, restore previous versions, and see who made specific changes.
  • Simplified Grading: Instructors can easily access and evaluate collaborative assignments, providing feedback and assessing individual contributions within the familiar Canvas grading interface.

 

User Information

To make the most of the Collaborations feature in Google Assignments LTI 1.3, here are some key technical details and instructions:

  • Supported File Types: Collaborations supports Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other Google Workspace files. These files can be created directly within Canvas or uploaded from Google Drive.
  • Enabling Collaborations: Canvas administrators need to enable the Google Assignments LTI 1.3 integration and configure it with the necessary credentials. This process ensures a secure and seamless connection between Canvas and Google Workspace.
  • Creating a Collaboration: Create a new Collaboration by selecting the “Collaboration” option in the left-hand menu of a course in Canvas, and choosing who to collaborate with on a Google Drive file (ex. a Google Docs, Slide, Form, Drawing, Site, or Jam). Google Assignments LTI 1.3 will share the files with those users.
  • Student Access and Collaboration: Students can access the Collaboration within the Canvas Collaborations interface. They can edit the document, collaborate with peers, and submit their work directly through Google Assignments.
  • Grading Assignments: Instructors can grade assignments with either Canvas SpeedGrader or Google Assignments. Instructors can provide feedback using familiar Canvas grading tools, and provide personalized copies of files to each student.

 

How to Get Started

Ask your Canvas admin to install Google Assignments so that you can access it from your course! 

For more details, see Google’s FAQ 

View the Migration Guide in HELP CENTER for step-by-step instructions to move your legacy google folders and documents 

Watch an overview video from InstructureCon about Collaborations in Canvas and Google Meet LTI


Migration Plan

From August 1 and beyond, we will disable installations of the older Google Apps LTI from EduAppCenter (meaning no new sign ups) and offer this how-to MIGRATION GUIDE form Google for migrating your current folders and documents.



NOTE: Questions will be monitored on a weekly basis and answers shared within the week, 

The content in this blog is over six months old, and the comments are closed. For the most recent product updates and discussions, you're encouraged to explore newer posts from Instructure's Product Managers.

71 Comments
gpillsbury
Community Contributor

I don't understand this sentence: "Instructors can create collaborative assignments by selecting the "Collaboration" option when creating an assignment in Canvas." 

I have the LTI enabled, but I don't know where to look for the "Collaboration" option.  It's not on the regular Canvas assignment setup page or in the Google windows that open up.  What am I missing?

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@gpillsbury Great question, I'll update the post to clarify. To create a collaborative assignment you'll need to click the "Collaborations" button the lefthand menu within a course. It is not within the assignments tab. I hope that helps!

gpillsbury
Community Contributor

Thanks for the reply.

I can create the Collaboration, yes, and I am choosing the "Google Drive (LTI 1.3)" item.  However, it's not an assignment. It doesn't offer any way to configure points, due dates, etc.  And it doesn't show up in the Assignments area of the course.  It's not any different than the previous Google Drive LTI.  Do I need to first disable the previous Google Drive LTI?

petern
Community Contributor

Noticed a small problem that I expect may prevent K-12 schools from using it.

The "invite collaborators" section pulls all the observers.

I'm sure the intended behaviour was to only add students and teachers as collaborators.  

 

Hildi_Pardo
Community Champion

Our teachers are happy with both tools -- some teachers really like the original tool, and others need the "live" aspect of the 1.3 tool.  (I'm sad we can't keep both).

I have a few concerns about this announcement a and the LTI 1.3 tool:

  1. As @petern mentioned above, "invite collaborators" also pulls all Observers (haven't tried it myself, but I'm not surprised).
  2. When a Google Assignment LTI 1.3 is assigned to a specific section of students, ALL students still receive the document in their Drive.   This is confusing if students look in their Drive, but also, it lets students see differentiated assignments.
  3. My experience is that trying to get support from Google for this tool has been extremely challenging.  I can't get "Help" from them.   Previously, when I reported issues, I haven't received a response.  So this really concerns me if this is "the tool" we are migrating to, but Google support isn't very helpful.

EDITED to Add:   Also, our district does not allow teachers to share Google docs outside of our district.  So we can't use the LTI 1.3 integration to link to documents using the RCE.  It simply does not work for us because it requires a back-end setting to share with anyone outside your domain, and our district will not turn this On.

audra_agnelly
Community Champion

Can we get clarification on "end of life 2024". Does that mean January, back to school (August), or something else?

atcarver
Community Contributor

@AlexisNast - why isn't the deprecation timeline of the Google Apps LTI listed in the Upcoming Canvas Changes list? We really needed more blanket communications/warning on this.
https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Releases/Upcoming-Canvas-Changes/ta-p/254349

wesley_dunnavan
Community Participant

I second 's question. The exact date will impact the recommendations I make to our tech leads and curriculum specialists for SY 2023-2024.

audra_agnelly
Community Champion

I was able to do some testing this afternoon and I am seeing the same issue @petern reported: observers show up in the "Invite Collaborators" list and can be added as document editors. I am also seeing that Observers are listed under the older Google Drive integration which I don't recall seeing before. Granted, I don't use Collaborations often, but did something change? Observers shouldn't have any ability participate in course materials.

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@atcarver Thanks for bringing this up! Because the deprecation is over a year out and we haven't determined the exact date, we haven't posted it to the Upcoming Canvas Changes page yet. That announcement will be forthcoming as the details are finalized, and we will give as much notice as possible. I hope this helps, and sorry for any stress/confusion this caused.

atcarver
Community Contributor

@AlexisNast - thank you for the quick reply. Can you confirm my reading of the below from the second paragraph above?
"Starting in August 2023, Canvas users will no longer be able to install Google Apps LTI, and no further development will be made on the Google Apps LTI tool. Current Google Apps LTI users will not lose access"

Does this mean that any new course added to an account/sub-account where the Google Apps LTI is already installed in that account will continue to be able to add the Google Apps LTI to their course nav menus and use the old Google Apps LTI even past the August 2023 change?

Thank you!

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@atcarver It will absolutely continue to work if it's already installed! The goal is just to have new signups go with the new tool rather than the old, but we absolutely want to support existing users through this school year. You already have enough on your plate with back to school! And this will give you time to test out the new solution and make a plan to switch.

rhargis
Community Explorer

Will this recording be captioned?  Automatic captioning from the browser isn't cutting it.

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@audra_agnelly @Hildi_Pardo @petern The capacity to add Observers to Google Collaborations is in line with Canvas' documentation about the role of observers here: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Basics-Guide/What-is-the-Observer-role/ta-p/4 under "Observer Access in Canvas" which is why Google allowed for this capability.

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@Hildi_Pardo I broke your comment into 4 main points to make sure I could address each:

  1. The capacity to add Observers to Google Collaborations is in line with Canvas' documentation about the role of observers here: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Basics-Guide/What-is-the-Observer-role/ta-p/4 under "Observer Access in Canvas" which is why Google allowed for this capability.
  2. Google is aware of the limitation where all students are receiving the document in Drive even when it's assigned to only a specific section. They are hoping to push a fix for this out in the next few weeks. Checking their documentation and updates will be the best way to find out more about this.
  3. Google is also aware of the issue where the embedding documents from Drive does not work when sharing outside the domain is disabled. They have noted this as a feature request. Checking their documentation and updates will be the best way to find out more about this.
  4. We shared your feedback about the support experience with Google and they advised that the best way to get support for issues is here: https://support.google.com/edu/assignments/?hl=en#topic=9069280
AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@audra_agnelly and @wesley_dunnavan We have not determined the exact date in 2024 for deprecation. It will not be any earlier than July. When the date is determined it will be posted in the Upcoming Canvas Changes here: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Releases/Upcoming-Canvas-Changes/ta-p/254349

wesley_dunnavan
Community Participant

@AlexisNast Thank you! Knowing that it will be available for the entirety of the 2023-2024 school year is helpful. 

gncrum
Community Contributor

Is there an actual Migration Guide? The link in this blurb below just goes to a guide that describes Google Assignments, which is great but I can't seem to find anything that mentions "migration" or a detailed plan

"From August 1 and beyond, we will disable installations of the older Google Apps LTI from EduAppCenter (meaning no new sign ups) and offer this how-to MIGRATION GUIDE from Google for migrating your current folders and documents."

Thanks,

 

Greg

vanzandt
Community Champion

Hi @AlexisNast

I see that Google has a Known Issues page for Google Assignments in Canvas, https://support.google.com/edu/assignments/answer/9069151?hl=en, but there is no updated date provided. 

Can you confirm that these are all still open issues with the integration, and if so, can you provide insight into what Instructure is doing to encourage remediation?

Or, do these issues not apply to the LTI 1.3 integration?

petern
Community Contributor

@AlexisNast thanks for the clarification about observers in Collaborations.

For anyone just reading this, choosing "invite collaborators"  pulls all the students, teachers and observers.

I checked the canvas information under the Canvas page defining the Observer role.  Under what observers can do, it says:

  • Join collaborations, if invited.

With this, I can understand why observers were automatically added.  However, you could still manually add observers if the "invite collaborators" button pulled in only students and teachers.  In a K-12 school where most observers are parents, I would not want parents added to collaborations. 

I think the vast majority of teachers would agree that they won't want observers (parents) added to collaborations.  A solution that might work would be to rewrite the "invite collaborators" so that there were more options like "invite students" and "invite observers".

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@rhargis Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. We've updated the video, hopefully the new captions will help!

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@gpillsbury Great question, and I'm sorry for the confusing wording. The article has been updated to be clearer that Collaborations and Assignments are two different features of the app. Collaborations cannot be graded or have due dates assigned. I'm sorry for the confusion!

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@vanzandt Thanks for the feedback. We shared this with Google and they gave us the following information: These are known issues with the Google Assignments LTI 1.3 integration. Google is actively working on each issue listed, but can’t always guarantee a solution timeline. Google has provided a workaround for each issue in the meantime, which you can find under each known issue on that page.

Hildi_Pardo
Community Champion

@AlexisNast -- thanks for the update.   With all these known issues and a bunch of workarounds (and no real support from Google (ugh) --  I really hope Instructure keeps both tools for a longer time, specifically until all these known issues are resolved.

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@gncrum This can be found in the FAQ section of that Help Center article under: "How can I copy an assignment from Google Apps LTI to Assignments LTI 1.3?"

Direct link to FAQ question: Migration Guide

Hildi_Pardo
Community Champion

@AlexisNast -- this is a comment on your update from 08/09:  

  1. "The capacity to add Observers to Google Collaborations is in line with Canvas' documentation about the role of observers here: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Basics-Guide/What-is-the-Observer-role/ta-p/4 under "Observer Access in Canvas" which is why Google allowed for this capability."

A google Collaboration is the collaborative work from multiple students.  Observers should only be able to view their OWN child/student's work, not the work  of other students.' So this is not in line with the role of Observers.   Adding Observers to Google Collaborations would allow them to see the work of other students.

It used to be that Observers could not view Discussions -- can Observers see the discussions posts of other students??   If this changed, I don't recall being informed of this, and this becomes a huge privacy issue.

 

lsommerer
Community Explorer

Is there a report we can run, or one that we can ask support to run, that will give a list of assignments that use the old integration?

michelle_coots
Community Participant

I am not seeing information on what will happen to the following:

1. all the embedded content in our course builds that was inserted using the Google Drive LTI

2. all the assignments that were created with Google Drive LTI as an external tool

Will all these break??? Like another user mentioned, I am not seeing an actual "migration" guide... There is going to be action needed and to suddenly have Google Drive LTI stop working is going to be a challenge.

Can we get access to the "Learn more" link to see what will be shared with users? Or will this just be the basic Google Help Center page?

The article also mentions Google Meet LTI. Where/when can we get additional insight about this?

sarahknight
Community Participant

In Assignments, I can still see Google Doc Cloud Assignment as an external tool option, but I do not see it configured in our LTIs. Is it called by a different name with the LTI listing? How do I remove that as an external tool option? What is there are current assignments that have used Google Doc Cloud Assignment? Can that data be retained if the LTI is removed?

rmurchshafer
Community Champion

It's disappointing to see that Google Apps LTI is being retired since the newer integration requires an institutional Google Workspaces account to function, meaning teachers and students can't use personal Google accounts with it.  With recent licensing changes that Google has been implementing there are many HigherEd schools shutting down their institutional Google Workspace instances.  It would be really nice to keep a google integration that worked with personal google accounts, especially given how ubiquitous they are, and how well google workspace in general works.

Rick   

petern
Community Contributor

Hi @AlexisNast  

I'd like to revisit the topic of observers serving as collaborators. After discussing this with numerous parents at my school, it seems that they find the clear "read-only" status of the observer role valuable. I'm finding it difficult to identify a practical scenario where observers should act as collaborators. Perhaps further exploration is needed, but I firmly recommend that if the definition of the observer role remains unchanged, observers should not be automatically included in collaborations. Instead, they should be added explicitly, requiring an additional step for invitation.

wesley_dunnavan
Community Participant

@michelle_coots I'm not sure if this has changed, but during the last announced Google Apps LTI deprecation period (I believe Sept. 2021 was the target date), I was told that Google Apps LTI assignments objects would break. The page would still load with directions, but the actual embed just would not load.

Jamal_CLEE
Community Member

This is unfortunate that Canvas/Google are doing away with Google Apps. We are a non-profit that provide professional development and training to adult learners using Google Workspace for Non-Profits. We do not have access to Google Workspace for Education, therefore, it seems we are not able to access/turn on Google Assignments LTI 1.3. Therefore, we are out of luck. Are there other non-profits or other organizations with the same/similar dilemma? What are our options and support from Canvas moving forward since we are not able to access and use Google Assignments LTI 1.3? I have tried emailing our support team at Instructure, however, the problem is placed on Google. 

lettgo583
Community Participant

Does anyone know where to locate the instructor instructions for creating a Google Assignments LTI 1.3 assignment?  Thanks!

milesl
Community Contributor

I removed the Google Apps LTI, but I still see two options for starting a collaboration:

Screenshot 2023-10-26 at 9.50.02 AM.png

Can you tell me where the "Google Docs" option is coming from, and whether it's possible to hide it?

I checked the list of apps and "Google Assignments (LTI 1.3)" is the only one with a collaboration placement.

morgan_j
Community Participant

Do we have to remove the "old" Google Apps LTI before installing the new Google Apps LTI 1.3?  Or, can we run these two side-by-side?

Thanks!

wesley_dunnavan
Community Participant

@morgan_j You can have both at the same time. We currently have both in our instance. Just make sure your staff know the difference. It will also result in there being two "Google Drive" submission types for file uploads. 

gncrum
Community Contributor

@milesl 

Hi Miles,

Don't know if you ever got a response on this, but  I believe this field is generated by the Google Web Services  integration configured in the Admin Settings

 

https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Admin-Guide/How-do-I-enable-web-services-for-an-account/ta-p/250

 

If you unclick this box, the pulldown option should be removed.

 

-Greg

 

CarrieReed
Community Novice

Will Speed Grader be able to be used with the new Google LTI?  That is a feature that I appreciate.

ambercollins
Community Member

How will this affect the importing of assignments originally created with Google apps for the following year? If I have created several assignments with Google apps and import them into a new course next year, will they automatically change to the new Google assignment?

sfrizelle
Community Contributor

@michelle_coots thank you for outlining your concerns - as they are ours as well. The documentation on the finer details of the Google 1.3 LTI is lacking at best.

In addition to Michelle's List asking for information on:

  1. all the embedded content in our course builds that was inserted using the Google Drive LTI
  2. all the assignments that were created with Google Drive LTI as an external tool

@AlexisNast I would like to ask what happens to STUDENT SUBMISSIONS from Google Cloud Assignments with the Google LTI. We need to retain copies after the school year ends. Do we need to convert ALL Assignments to Google Assignments (LTI 1.3) in order to retain Student work?

 

tennymaria
Community Explorer

@michelle_coots the embedded files are a major concern for us as well. We went into our test account and turned off the old Google LTI and all of the embedded files broke.

@AlexisNast is there any way we can tell where the old Google LTI is being used in our instance of Canvas? We have many embedded files, some with the old tool and some with the new LTI 1.3. We do not know how to distinguish between them, without digging through the code, to not have to replace everything before July 2024. Also, as others have stated, there is nothing in the migration details about this, and it seems many people are going to be caught off guard.

Any guidance to help us in this transition would be appreciated.

Charles_Barbour
Community Participant

It's disappointing there are so many great questions but so few answers.

MARISSASCHRADER
Community Participant

Embedded files are a huge issue for us as well. To imbed Google slides and docs in the course will be a much bigger headache now that instructors, coaches, etc. will no longer be able to click on the "cloud" icon in the RCE to directly embed a Google doc or slide deck. So many more steps and clicks to publish a doc/slide deck to the web, capture the embed code, go back to the course, insert embed code, etc., not to mention, what happens to all the already embedded files, assignments, and submissions in previous courses? Will embedded files break like @michelle_coots asked and @tennymaria confirmed in test? Will we lose assignments, which @michelle_coots asked previously? And what about student submissions, as @sfrizelle brought up? We really do need some answers. 

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@lsommerer Unfortunately there isn’t a report available to view all assignments with a specific integration.

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@sarahknight I took a look in your instance and it appears that “Google Apps” is still enabled under Apps, which I believe is where this is coming from. My recommendation would be to test turning it off in your beta environment and see if that removes the option. If this doesn’t work, please contact our support team for more personalized troubleshooting.

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@rmurchshafer @Jamal_CLEE I am sharing this concern with Google to see if there's anything they can do to support you with this transition.

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@petern I will share this concern with Google and recommend they remove this ability.

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure

@milesl This option is hardcoded in and we will be removing it on the deprecation date.

AlexisNast
Instructure
Instructure