How to use the enhanced Google Collaborations

While the current Google Doc collaboration option will be around until the end of 2023, you can check out the latest Google option which allows students and instructors to collaborate together on a Google Document, Presentation, Sheet, Form, Drawing, Site, or Jamboard. This article describes how to switch into this newer Collaboration option from the old default.

Create a collaboration

  1. Select Collaborations from the left hand course navigation menu.
  2. Click Start a new collaboration. 
  3. For Collaborate Using, select Google Assignments (LTI 1.3) (Despite its name, this option also allows you to create Google Documents).
    • If you’re not signed in, sign in to Google with your university account (* Guests signing in with a non-Stanford Gmail or those who have a sponsored base SUNet without a working email cannot create a collaboration, but may join collaborations they are invited to.
  4. Give your collaboration a title and description.
    Screenshot 2023-08-25 at 2.14.32 PM.png
  5. Choose a Google file type: Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, Drawings, Sites, Jamboard.
  6. Invite collaborators by selecting their names. Instructors cannot access student-created collaborations without an invitation unless the collaboration is created within a group site
  7. Click Create.
  8. To add or delete collaborators, or to delete the collaboration, see Create, edit, open & delete collaborations.

Join a collaboration

  1. Click Collaborations in the left navigation of your Canvas course.
  2. Click the title of the collaboration you have been invited to. 
    • If you’re not signed in, sign in to Google with your university account ( or personal Google account. The email of the account you choose will be visible to your collaborators and you’ll need to be logged into the same account on subsequent visits. For these reasons, we recommend you choose, if you have one
    • If it’s the first time you’re opening the collaboration, click Join

Why can't some students access course Collaborations?

Confirm the user was invited as a collaborator: If a user can’t see the name of a collaboration listed in Collaborations, the creator should click the Edit pencil icon of their collaboration to check if that person was invited. If not, they can select that person now and click Save

Collaborators should be logged into the account they initially joined the collaboration with. If you are logged into a different account, you may encounter an error or be prompted to request access. Don’t request access from this account, as that will take time and annoy the creator; instead log out of your Google account and log in to the account you initially joined with.

For additional help, contact