Google Assignments in Canvas

Written by Eric Hills

Last published at: May 6th, 2024

What are Google Assignments in Canvas?

The Google Assignments feature in Canvas is a method for creating assignments in Canvas using Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Using it will automatically create a copy of whatever document you want students to have. They can edit the document in Google Drive and the teacher can view and comment on their work in-progress. Students can then use it to run "Originality Reports" and submit their Google files.

Why use it?

For teachers, Google Assignments make it easy to automatically generate Google Doc templates for students to edit and submit. Teachers can view/comment/edit the Doc for each student even before they submit. If teachers are worried about plagiarism or AI usage, they can view the Version History for Docs and see if work was copy/pasted. 

Additionally, once a Google Assignment has been created, teachers can switch the assignment from "External Tool" to "File Upload" submission type. Doing so allows teachers to enable Turnitin plagiarism/AI checker. Then students simply upload their Google Doc from your template. 

For students, it requires fewer steps to get started. All of their Google Assignments are automatically organized in their Drives by class and assignment. No need to adjust sharing permissions on files, create folders, etc. And lastly, students can use the Originality Report feature to review potential plagiarism issues prior to submitting to their teacher. 

How do I use it?

Teacher Setup

*If one of your documents does not work with Google Assignments, it is possible the file is in a Shared Drive. You can use Google Assignments with Shared Drives, but you may need to submit a help desk ticket to verify your Shared Drive has been configured properly.

Student Submission Process (iPad)

Student Submission Process (MacBook)


Google Assignments + Brisk Teaching AI Tool

Here is a tutorial that shows you how to use Google Assignments in conjunction with Brisk Teaching, an AI tool that allows you to generate "first-pass" feedback. 


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