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Spring 2023 Google Assignments Pilot

Allow students to attach Google Drive files to File Upload assignments and more

The Stanford LTS Canvas team is looking for departments or instructors to pilot Google Assignments during Spring Quarter 2023. Google Assignments allows students to attach Google Drive files to File Upload assignments in Canvas. Instructors can optionally take advantage of the full capabilities of Google Assignments by setting it up as an external tool. To participate in the Google Assignments pilot, please fill out this intake form by Monday April 3, 2023 and we will contact you with more information once it is activated in your course.

Google Assignments was first piloted by thirteen instructors in Winter 2023. This allowed their students to attach files from their Google Drive to any Canvas File Upload assignment without any change on their end, as Google documents are converted to and appear in SpeedGrader as docx, xlsx or pptx files.

When we surveyed these classes, 23 students responded that they had tried attaching a file from their Google Drive, and 91% of those students were successful without assistance, most finding the process very easy. The remaining two students who gave up their attempt and uploaded from their hard drive may have been logged in to a different Google account than the one they initially authorized; we created File Upload documentation for students to address this and other points of confusion. All who tried attaching a file from their Google Drive, including the two who gave up, were interested in using this feature in more courses, with 91% being very interested. 

Three of four students who didn’t attempt to attach files from their Google Drive (mostly because they didn’t know the functionality was available) were also interested in attaching files from their Google Drive in future courses. 

Three instructors who participated in the Winter 2023 pilot wanted to use Google Assignments for the advanced features which required the assignment to be set up as an External Tool in Canvas Assignments. However, we are learning there are a lot of nuances to how Google Assignments can be configured and used, depending on an instructor’s goals and situation. Thus, the intake form for the Spring 2023 pilot asks questions about your intentions so that we can provide tailored recommendations and instructions. 

Depending on the results of the pilot, Google Assignments could be supported more widely in Canvas in the future

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