can you write a simple paper within Canvas or does it need to be written in a separate program?
Scott, yes, you can use the Collaborations (Google Doc) feature in Canvas to write your paper as long as it’s enabled in your class.
Here are two guides that can help with this:
How do I create a Google Docs collaboration as a student?
How do I upload a file from Google Drive as an assignment submission in Canvas?
Hope this helps!
Kona, I think you're off here.
Google Docs is not built into Canvas.
While not clear, the question appears to be more of whether the student needs to use Word or Google Docs or something else or they can type the paper directly into Canvas -- say in a text box using the Rich Content Editor.
This is a question best directed to the instructor of the course, but if there is not a text box using the Rich Content Editor, then the instructor expects that the paper is written in a separate program and submitted through the file upload.
The collaborations bit is confusing. You can use Google Docs whether or not collaborations are enabled in the course. You just need to perform the integration with Google and then you can turn in a Google document as long as the teacher allows a file upload. The teacher cannot stop you from you turning in a Google Doc, although they can make it harder by listing file types that are not supported by Google Docs. Clicking on the collaborations button when you're writing the paper alone is overkill, you can just go to Google Docs directly. I will admit that there are some organizational benefits to using collaborations, even for single-author documents, but it's going to show up on the instructor's collaborations page as well, which may not be the desired outcome.
Even if there is a text box available, students can often benefit by writing it in a separate program designed for writing and then copy/pasting it into the box. That's also useful if you have unreliable internet connections where typing it in the text field can be frustrating if your connection is down when you hit submit.
Scott Smith, the instructor is the person who could answer this for you (they may have already in their instructions) and you might have thought that you were asking your instructor, but you posted this in a global community of Canvas users. We don't have access to your course or specific assignment and its instructions.
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