Getting Started with Google Assignments as an instructor

The latest integration between Google and Canvas has a variety of uses:

However, this article is about how instructors can add and use Google Assignments as an External Tool within Assignments.

  1. Go to Assignments and create a new assignment.
  2. Name the assignment and set the point value; other parameters are optional*
  3. For Submission Type, select External Tool.
  4. Click the Find button to see a list of tools.External tool option selected with arrow pointing to find the third-party tool
  5. Select Google Assignments (LTI 1.3).
    Google Assignments LTI 1.3 option
  6. You will be prompted to select your Google account. Instructors must choose the one ending with and click Continue.
    Login to Google
  7. A “Create a Google assignment” window will pop-up with the following options:
    • Check plagiarism: NOTE: Before turning this option on, instructors need to post clear advance notice in the assignment itself or in the course syllabus (e.g. “Certain assignments using Google Assignments may feature a Run originality report option so you can check for similarities to others work before submitting it; when this option is on, note that I can also run an originality report”).

      This option will only compare student work to web pages and books on the public internet, so should be thought of as a citation checker. It will not compare student work with private journal databases or other papers submitted at the university. When this option is on, students will have the opportunity to run three originality checks before submitting.
    • Attach template files: You may attach a Google Document as a template. Each student will receive an editable copy of the template file. The Google Document cannot be removed or edited once it is attached.  
  8.  Before you save, select where you want to grade this assignment. How instructors and students share files shows both the Google Assignments grading workflow and the SpeedGrader grading workflow. We recommend that instructors grade in Speedgrader, until they explore the details of Google Assignments option*.
    • *Google Assignments: Grading will occur in Google, and instructors can mark up student submitted Google Document, Presentation, etc in Google. When you return an assignment, ownership transfers back to the students, students are notified by email (rather than through Canvas) and instructors retain a copy of the graded Google Document. Scores are then sent to the Canvas Gradebook where they are subject to your grade posting policy (Stanford’s default is manual but you can set it to automatic).
    • SpeedGrader: Google Documents submitted by students will be converted into their equivalent docx file (or xlsx or pptx) and appear in SpeedGrader for grading. Students will view their grades and feedback in Canvas. However, there are some differences from a standard File Upload assignment:
      • A Google Assignments section in the Canvas assignment which includes a list of students’ live Google Documents and links to check plagiarism (if you opted for it).
        Google Assigments with a Google file
      • Submissions are also in your Google Drive in a folder called Assignments > Name of Your Course > Name of Your Assignment.
      • There is no Download All link for offline viewing but you can see student work offline if you have set up offline access in Google Drive for desktop (Google Documents graded in SpeedGrader are still owned by students so could change after submission, but you can review the history of the Google Document and refer to the submitted version in SpeedGrader later).
  9. To familiarize students with Google Assignments, please share this “Start, revise & submit assignments” article with students.
  10. *If you chose to grade in Google Assignments, view the Open and review assignments guide to get an overview and index of related help articles such as: 

Troubleshooting and known issues