Canvas Collaborations

Canvas uses Google Docs to allow multiple users (up to 50!) to work together on the same document, at the same time. Collaborative documents are saved in real-time, so any changes made by its users will be immediately visible to everyone. Collaborations using Google Docs require all participants to create and link a Google account to their Canvas account.

Linking a Google Account

1. Log in to Canvas.
2. Click Account.
3. Click Settings.
4. Click Google Drive from the Other Services list.

5. Click Authorize Google Drive Access.
6. Sign in with your Google account.
7. Click Allow.
8. A confirmation message appears.
9. Google Drive appears in your Web Services list.

Setting up a Collaboration

1. Log in to Canvas, and then click a course.
2. Click Collaborations from the left-hand navigation menu.
3. Type a Document name, Description.
4. Choose the people or groups to Collaborate With, and then click Start Collaborating.
5. The new document appears. If you want to create a document for a specific group, create it within the group.

Collaborating Ideas

Here are a few ideas for incorporating Canvas Collaborations into your course.

  • Share lists or agendas for upcoming class meetings.
  • Create a text-based whiteboard discussion that everyone can add to at their own pace.
  • Assign student groups a collaborative assignment. Ask them to submit the URL to the document for a grade.

Contact LDT with questions about Canvas.

Canvas: Big Changes to Groups

Canvas has a new production release (updates to the system) coming on Saturday, July 12th. There are some big changes coming to groups.


1. Instructors can now create/view groups within the “People” tool. In the past, Instructors had to go to “People,” then “View User Groups” to create/view groups. This definatley will streamline the process for creating and viewing groups !’

The old view from “People”

Old Groups Page

The new view from “People”

New Canvas Groups Page

2. Instructors can now easily move between Group sections

Chnage Group Sets

For the full details of what is coming with this production release, please visit the following link:

Canvas Production Release (7/12/2014)

Canvas: Long Running V. Time Limit Conferences

One thing I’ve been looking at lately is the difference between “Long Running” and “Time Restricted” conferences in Canvas.

First, A review of the “Conferences” tool:

Part of setting up a Conference is choosing either “Time Limit” or “No Time Limit” (see below).

Conferences Conferences 2New Conference Time Limit v Long Running

If you read the Canvas documentation they say that a “Long Running Conference” is a conference that you use more than once. One example would be “office hours.” The idea is that you can set up one “Conference Room,” and then just reuse it over and over again without having to re-set the “conference” up.

However, it doesn’t appear to work this way. After some testing, these different “Conference” types seem to work the exact same way. SO, if you want to use “Conferences” you will need to set a new one up for each session.

I will be sure to do another post if I determine that this has been fixed OR if I’m wrong in my initial assessment.