When students create collaborations, do instructors automatically have access to monitor the document?
Scott, I was playing around with the Google Doc side of this and while as a Teacher I can *see* that students have created a Google Doc when I try to access the documents it says I don't have access and that I need to request access from the student. I was already logged into my Google account and had activated everything with collaborations. Is this not the expected behavior?
I also checked the student guide - How do I create a Google Docs collaboration? - and it indicated "...if you are the owner of the collaboration, you will have to turn on the Share settings to allow people who have the link to edit the document." Not sure if this should apply to the teacher or not, but it seemed to imply that the teacher didn't automatically have access.
Hello Maria Sommer,
Yes, teachers automatically have access to all collaborations that students create in a group. There isn't a notification generated by Canvas when a collaboration is created or updated, but if you are using a Google docs, you can set notifications to be sent to you when the doc is updated from within the Gdocs settings.
Oh, interesting, Kona. Did you test whether it makes a difference whether or not you join the collaboration in Canvas before you head over to the Google doc?
To make sure I'm understanding your question correctly, here's what I did.
In the course (where I am the only instructor) I linked (?) my google account to my Canvas account via Collaborations and was able to create my own google collaborations via Canvas. I then had a student link their Google account to Canvas and create a document via collaborations. The Document showed up almost immediately in Collaborations, but when I click on the link the following message pops up.
OK, so reading the documentation carefully and considering your experience it looks like, as a teacher, you can create collaborations, and you can add people to your collaborations, but if a student creates the collaboration initially, you must request access via Google before you can 'see' it.
Thanks for checking on this!
Kona's experience mimics mine and I use Google Docs a lot in class. I can see a list of all of the collaborations (and at the end of last semester, so could all of the students -- making it very difficult to find just theirs). I even have shown my students how, even though I'm an Canvas administrator, I can't get into their documents unless they share them with me. I do that to ease their concerns and proactively strip them of the ability to argue the teacher changed my document.
Some teachers routinely ask their students to include them so they can go in and see who is doing what in the document.
Now technically, I haven't tested exactly what Scott wrote: "teachers automatically have access to all collaborations that students create in a group". Kona and I are both looking at collaborations that were created in the course, not from within a group. Of course, it's possible that Scott used "group" in a common-English instead of Canvas-specific way.
In the interests of full disclosure; I didn't actually test any of this yesterday, just read the available documentation in the guides. I can definitely see where a course or group that used a lot of collaboration could get pretty shaggy by the end of a given term and having more options for sorting and organizing collaborations would be a useful feature.
It was a useful feature, something changed, maybe in April? Students used to see just their collaborations, although faculty could see, but never get into, all collaborations. Sometime around the period when the Google API was changing, Canvas changed the way things were working and students started seeing all collaborations for the entire course, not just the ones they were part of. Students started adding their initials or random characters to their collaboration names so they could identify which were theirs. It was definitely a non-awesome moment.
Whoah, I was not aware of that. I'll ping our integrations folks and see if they knew.
This would be a huge concern for us in Middle School. We are counting on Canvas helping us keep the kids organized. In Google we taught them to use shared folders – we are hoping Canvas can automate this for us.
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Scott, when this happened James had some of his students submit Help Tickets for us to escalate to Canvas support - Ticket #1505541, #1517074, #1517075. I just checked and the tickets got up to L2 support and are listed as "on hold" as of April 8, 2015.
Hope this helps!
Thank you James Jones and Kona Jones I will see what I can find out.
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