Hyperlink or Embed Files from My Drive into Canvas (Instructors)

Students can become confused, frustrated, or disengaged if they find it challenging to simply navigate your course. When students use a lot of their cognitive resources just figuring out how to access course materials, they spend less time on the content itself. Try to make your course organization as clear and intuitive as possible, ensuring students have more time and cognitive resources to engage with course content and activities (Darby, 2019). 

Our suggestion is to create a content library using Google Workspace. The cardinal principle for organizing course materials is to keep all materials for each course separate from each other so they are easy to locate. the four primary categories of criteria that instructors said they use when reviewing instructional materials include:

  1. accuracy and visual appeal, 
  2. alignment to course objectives and depth of knowledge, 
  3. ease of use and support, and 
  4. engagement and ability to meet student needs (Bugler et al., 2017). 

Your content library on My Drive accompanied by activities and assessments in Canvas serve as the building blocks of your Canvas course. Consider organizing your course materials in folders on Google Drive named for each course with sub-folders for learning modules. These sub-folders can be organized by time (“What we will be doing this week.”) or by content (e.g., topic, chapter in a text, unit of study). At the end of the semester create an archived folder to store archived materials that will be copied and updated or are no longer used in your Canvas course. In this way you are able to create and maintain a content library in Google Workspace (and not your Canvas courses) making Canvas much easier for you to manage and students to navigate.

Once your content library is available on your My Drive, there are several benefits and integration opportunities in Canvas. Some of these include:

  • A Sandbox course can be designated as a course template or master course and continuously updated at the conclusion of the current semester. Storing all base materials (Docs, Sheets, Slides, PDF, Surveys, Images) on your My Drive allows them to be easily hyperlinked or embedded in Canvas. Only the instructor of record has privileges for the content in Drive. Your Sandbox course can be used to embed dozens of Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, and other course materials in Canvas Pages, Assignments, Discussions, Announcements, and Modules.
  • Use Google Forms to generate a survey or take a quiz. There are times when the results of a survey or quiz need to be collected across multiple Canvas courses or multiple sections of a course. Forms collects all of the survey and quiz results in a single Sheet. This is beneficial for additional analysis and research.
  • Use Collaborations in Canvas that allow multiple students to work together on the same Doc, Slide, or Sheet. Collaborative documents are saved in real-time, meaning a change made by any student will be immediately visible to everyone. Use Collaborations to copy and paste notes, glossaries, research topics, or templates that students can access and edit, share checklists or agendas for upcoming course activities or meetings, or assign student groups a collaborative assignment to be graded.

The remainder of this article will describe the individual use cases the instructor will need to be able to successfully complete to create a content library using Google Workspace and hyperlink or embed files from your My Drive into Canvas, create Collaborations in Canvas, and use Forms to create surveys and quizzes:

Create a Content Library as a Collaborative Drive Platform

Create a Content Library on My Drive

Consider organizing your course materials in folders on My Drive named for each course with sub-folders for learning modules. At the end of the semester create an archived folder, notes can be easily filed away for future reference to store archived materials that will be updated or are no longer used in your Canvas course. In this way you are able to create and maintain a content library in Google Workspace and not your Canvas courses making Canvas much easier for you to manage and students to navigate.

Step-by-Step How To

You can store any file on My Drive: documents, spreadsheets, forms, and more. You only need to store a file in Drive on one device, and it will automatically be available on all your other devices. Follow these steps to create a content library on My Drive:

  1. Sign into your TWU Google Account
  2. Click on the App Launcher
  3. Click Drive
  4. Follow the steps to Upload and store files in Drive (store files in My Drive, create folders before uploading files)
  5. Follow the steps to Access your files in Drive 
  6. Follow the steps to View and update files in Drive 
  7. Follow the steps to Organize and search in Drive 
  8. Follow the steps to Share and collaborate in My Drive (these steps are only required to share your content library with another instructor, do NOT share your content library from My Drive with students)

Manage Course Materials in Your Content Library

Store Your Course Materials on My Drive

Store all of your content in My Drive so students always access the most up-to-date versions. Only you have privileges to create and edit the content on Drive.

Step-by-Step How To

Follow these steps to create, edit, and add course materials on My Drive:

  1. Sign into your TWU Google Account
  2. Click on the App Launcher
  3. Click Drive
  4. Documents - Google Docs, you can create and edit text documents right in your web browser
  5. Spreadsheets - Google Sheets lets you handle task lists, create project plans, analyze data with charts and filters
  6. Presentations - Google Slides lets you create a slide show presentation

Note: For videos you create or lectures that you record to be accessed by students in your Canvas course use Panopto (lecture capture) or Zoom.

Create Multiple-Course Surveys and Quizzes Using Forms

 

Use Google Forms to generate a survey or take a quiz. There are times when the results of a survey or quiz need to be collected across multiple Canvas courses or multiple sections of a course. Forms collects all of the survey and quiz results in a single Sheet. This is beneficial for additional analysis and research.

Follow the steps Multiple-Course Surveys and Quizzes Using Forms (Instructors)

Create, Manage, and Display Content from Drive into Canvas

Hyperlink or Embed Files from My Drive into Canvas

Your Sandbox course can be used to embed dozens of course materials on My Drive in Canvas Pages, Assignments, Discussions, Announcements, and Modules. Once course materials are uploaded to your content library on My Drive, link or embed that file anywhere you can use the Rich Content Editor in Canvas. Several features in Canvas support the Rich Content Editor, including Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, Pages, Quizzes, and Syllabus. Canvas manages all of the share permissions required for students to view the embedded content.

Step-by-Step How To

Follow these steps to hyperlink or embed files from My Drive into Canvas:

  1. Sign into your TWU Google Account
  2. Log into Canvas
  3. Open your Canvas course
  4. How do I create a hyperlink or embed a file from Google Drive into the Rich Content Editor as an instructor?

Use Canvas Collaborations to Improve Communication and Feedback

Canvas Collaborations

Canvas allows instructors to create a Google Doc, Google Sheet, or Google Slides and share it with students using a feature called "Collaborations." Students may be assigned to a Collaboration by themselves (meaning only the student and the instructor can view it) or in a group (meaning all group members and the instructor can view it).

Collaborations allow all members of a group to work at the same time and immediately see changes made by anyone in the group. You can also leave comments for other group members (or your instructor) to see.

Step-by-Step How To

Follow these steps to create a Canvas Collaboration:

  1. Sign into your TWU Google Account
  2. Log into Canvas
  3. Open your Canvas course
  4. Learn more about Collaborations Overview (Instructors) in this 2 minute video.
  5. How do I use the Collaborations Index Page?
  6. How do I create a Google Docs collaboration as an instructor?
  7. How do I create a Google Drive collaboration as an instructor?
  8. How do I delete a collaboration as an instructor?

References

  • Bugler, D., Marple, S., Burr, E., Chen-Gaddini, M., & Finkelstein, N. (2017). How teachers judge the quality of instructional materials. San Francisco, CA: WestEd. 
  • Darby, F. (2019, April 17). How to be a better online teacher: Advice guide. The Chronicle of Higher Education. https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/advice-online-teaching

Support Options

  1. Reference the Google Workspace Learning Center for step-by-step instructions to use Google Workspace products.
  2. Contact an Instructional Design Partner to learn more about using My Drive to manage course materials and create a content library.
  3. To request technical support, submit a Technology Service Desk email to start a ticket.

Details

Article ID: 133689
Created
Fri 6/25/21 6:04 PM
Modified
Tue 6/29/21 11:40 PM