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Google Assignments Pilot

Utilize Google Docs directly for assignments

According to our fall 2022 Canvas survey, more than twice as many students author their work in Google Docs than in Microsoft Word and half consider Google Drive, rather than their computer hard drive, to be their primary storage location. What if students didn’t have to download their Google Docs work as a Microsoft Word file just to upload it again to Canvas Assignments?

When instructors annotate student submissions with their comments in Canvas SpeedGrader, students must log into Canvas to see those inline comments and download the comments in a .pdf file. What if students could review instructor comments directly in Google Docs?

Google Assignments in Canvas can help with both situations. 

  • When instructors add the Google Assignments tool to their Canvas course and create regular Canvas Assignments, students can either attach Google Docs and other files from their Google Drive or files from their hard drives. Google Docs are then converted to the equivalent .doc, .xls or .ppt file type and viewed in Canvas SpeedGrader.
  • Instructors who create Google Assignments in Canvas can comment on students’ submitted Google Docs directly. Students’ editing privileges are temporarily suspended, then restored after the instructor leaves comments and returns work to students. Students can see instructor feedback in Canvas or in their Google Drive when their work is returned. Instructors can also attach a Google document as a template (e.g., a worksheet) that is distributed as individual copies for each student to fill in .

The Stanford LTS Canvas team is looking for up to 10 instructors to participate in a limited pilot of Google Assignments during Winter Quarter 2023. If you are interested, please contact us at Note: We would ask that both the instructors and students participating in the Google Assignments pilot complete a brief survey at the end of Winter Quarter 2023. .

Depending on the results of the pilot, Google Assignments could be supported more widely in Canvas. Learn more about Google Assignments, including rubrics, comments banks, and originality reporting (against the public internet, not other student work or proprietary databases), from the Google Assignment website.

See also

Introducing Google Assignments

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