Use Assignments with Canvas

Google Assignments and Canvas expanded Google Docs Editors and Google Drive to be compatible with Canvas for file submissions. With Assignments, you can distribute and grade student work, analyze student submissions for plagiarism detection, and use Google Docs and Drive with Canvas. 

Tip: If your school uses Canvas Google Apps LTI tool (also referred to as Google Cloud Assignment), we recommend you install Google Assignments. Both tools should be used at the same time. 

Features and benefits of Assignments

With Assignments in Canvas:

  • Instructors can select Google Assignments as an external tool when they create a new assignment, which enables:
    • File attachment to an assignment so each student gets their own copy to edit and submit.
    • Missed citation checks and possible plagiarism with the originality reports feature.
  • Students can submit Drive files to Canvas assignments, then instructors can grade in SpeedGrader™.
  • Embed Drive files with the Canvas rich text editor.
  • Add Drive files to Canvas Modules.

Assignments also provides improvements from Google Apps LTI:

  • Officially supported by Google and covered by the Google Workspace for Education Terms of Service.
  • Provides an option for admins to require students to use their school-issued Google accounts.
  • Uses Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) 1.3 for stronger security.
Use Assignments as an external tool for assignments
  1. Create a new Canvas assignment.
  2. Next to Submission Type, select External Tool.
  3. Click Find and choose Google Assignments
Allow students to submit Drive files as file uploads

Students can submit Drive files that you can grade with SpeedGrader.

Tip: This feature only works if Drive sharing settings allow users to share files outside the domain. Learn how to set up Drive file sharing.

For teachers

Allow students to submit Drive files with Canvas assignments

  1. After you create a new Canvas assignment, next to "Submission Type", select Online.
  2. Under "Online Entry Options", select File Uploads.

Important: You must select File Uploads or the submission will fail.

For students

Turn in assignments

  1. Ensure you're signed into your school account. 
  2. Next to "File Upload", click Google Drive.
  3. To open a Google Drive window, click Select file.
  4. Select the Drive file.
  5. Click Add and then Attach and then Submit assignment. 
Embed Drive files with the rich text editor
In the Canvas rich text editor, you can embed a Google Drive file into announcements, assignments, or posts. You can share a Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, PDF, video, image, or any other file in your Drive. 
 
Assignments automatically handles all file permissions. Anyone in the class and their guardians can find the embedded class materials without a Google account sign in. Find step-by-step instructions in the Canvas Help Center. 
Tip: A known issue affects embedding files that are in shared or team drives. Learn more about known issues.
Add Drive files to Modules
You can use Google Drive as an external tool source for Module content. Students can open the files and work on their own copy. 

Add a Drive file to a Module
  1. Sign in to Canvas.
  2. Open the course.
  3. Click Modules and then Add Item "".
    Click Add Item
  4. Next to "Add", select External Tool.
    Select External Tool
  5. Under "External Tool", select Google Drive.
    Select Google Drive
  6. Sign in to your Google Account.
  7. Click Allow.
  8. Select the Google Drive file.
  9. Click Submit.

FAQ

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If my organization uses Google Apps LTI, should we also use Assignments?

Yes. You should install Assignments and the Google Apps LTI tool simultaneously. This ensures instructors and students will find duplicate options if both tools are available in the same course. 

Assignments benefits include:

  • As an "External Tool Submission" type, Assignments provides instructors with features like copies of a file for each student, plagiarism detection, and Google's interface to grade assignments.
  • Google Drive in the Rich Text Editor allows instructors to embed Drive files.The students and their guardians can find those files in Canvas without their Google sign in.
  • Google officially supports Assignments and can receive product support from Google.

Canvas' Google Apps LTI benefits include:

  • Integration with Canvas Collaborations.
  • Students can submit files from Google Docs Cloud Assignments with Speedgrader.

To hide the Google Apps LTI tool, contact Canvas support or refer to this community forum post.

Does my organization need Google Workspace for Education to use Assignments?
Yes. To use Assignments, your organization needs Google Workspace for Education, which includes an edition for educational institutions available at no charge. Learn how to sign up for Google Workspace for Education. 
Can I embed a form from Google Forms or Forms quiz?

No. Currently, you can’t embed a form or select one as a file type for quizzes. To use Forms for quizzes, create a form and share the link with your students. Learn how to create a Google Form.

Related topics


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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