CTL GuidesTeaching and Learning ToolsGoogle SuiteGoogle SuiteHow do I use a Google Doc as a Canvas assignment description/prompt?

How do I use a Google Doc as a Canvas assignment description/prompt?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use a Google Doc (document) as a read-only assignment description in Canvas.

The benefit here is that you can make changes to one Google Doc and the changes will be reflected anywhere that Document is embedded or linked. 

1. Create a new assignment

If you need additional help creating a Canvas assignment, click here.

2. Add a Google Drive Item to the Assignment Description

Above the assignment description text area, click on the blue, downward pointing arrow for More External Tools, and select Google Drive.

More External Tools dropdown with Google Drive selected

3. Find the desired document

Locate and select the document to be used as an assignment description/prompt and decide whether to embed it in the page or link to it externally.  

Google Drive content selector with document selected

In this case, it is recommended that you embed the document. 

If you chose embed, in the assignment editing window, you will see your document embedded in the assignment description area.

Google Doc embedded in Canvas assigment description

4. Review

Review/Finish your assignment options and Save or Save & Publish your assignment.

Save and Save & Publish buttons
Instructor view of assignment

Your view of the assignment should look something like the following:

Google Doc assignment prompt from instructor view
Student view of assignment

From the students' perspective, the assignment will look like the following, with the embedded document appearing as View only and a Submit Assignment button (if the submission type was Online).

Google Doc assignment prompt from student view
Students who have not authorized Google Docs in Canvas

IMPORTANT MESSAGE :  Before you begin, make sure you are not logged in to Google or your Chrome Browser with a personal account other than your HSU account. This can cause problems with the integration.

If you think you have a personal account linked, or are experiencing difficulties, please follow this guide to unlink a Google account.

If students receive the following message, they should just have to click Authorize on the bottom of the page.

Google Doc assignment prompt from student view when Google Drive not authorized