Connect a Google Doc to Canvas

Often we find that we would like for students to access a Google Doc (or Sheet or Slides or…) from within our Canvas course. There are, essentially, four paradigms for this access:
Gotcha warning: Beware, the examples below all assume that you are following the current default settings in Google Drive. If you need to configure more nuanced access permissions to the document for your students (Person X can see it, Person Y can comment on it and Person Z can edit, etc.), please refer to Google’s directions.
The screencasts in this post demonstrate these techniques in the old Canvas UI (pre-2016), but the process remains the same (while looking slightly different).

Just link to the Google Doc

This is the most straight-forward option. Create a hyperlink that takes the student to the Google Doc.

Embed an editable Google Doc into Canvas

Sometimes it is advantageous to present the Google Doc as a “living document” that can receive edits on the fly, directly within a Canvas page. When embedding, it is useful to know how to create a “full size” embedded document in Canvas (rather than a squinched up little window through which to peer at your glorious, yet cramped, document).

Embed a non-editable Google Doc in Canvas

Sometimes it is more desirable to create a document that will be embedded (for example, when sharing a piece of information across multiple classes that you may want to later update in Google), but that is not actually editable. It is simply published. When embedding, it is useful to know how to create a “full size” embedded document in Canvas (rather than a squinched up little window through which to peer at your glorious, yet cramped, document).

Use a Canvas Collaboration

A Canvas Collaboration is a way to create a new Google Doc directly from within Canvas that is shared directly with your students.

Beware! For a collaboration to work as expected, all of your students must have already linked their Google account to their Canvas account before you create the collaboration.

Mr. Battis has written 102 articles

Educator. Electronics. Esthetics. Easterner (who thinks he's a Westerner).

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