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How do I use the Collaborations tool in Canvas?
Posted by Anna Wright on 14 November 2012 09:41 AM

Note: These instructions are for students and faculty. 

Canvas leverages technologies like Google Docs and EtherPad allow multiple users to work together on the same document at the same time. Collaborative documents are saved in real-time, meaning a change made by any of its users will be immediately visible to everyone.

Collaborations that leverage Google Docs require that all participating learners have created and linked their Google account to their Profile. Collaborations in EtherPad (hosted at titanpad.com) do not require students to set up any account.

An example of when Collaborations would be used is if your instructor asked students to collaborate on a group paper and submit it in Canvas. 

Click on one of the following links for more information:

Click here to learn how to use the Collaborations tool in your group.


How to Start a New Google Docs Collaboration

  1. In your course in Canvas, click on Collaborations in the Course Navigation.
    Click Collaborations 
  2. Click on the Start a New Collaboration button.
    Click Start New Collaboration button 
  3. Click on the Collaborate Using drop down menu and select Google Docs [1] for your new collaboration.
  4. To create a collaboration document using Google Docs, you will first need to name the document [1], create a description [2], and select who you will be collaborate with [3]. Click on the Start Collaborating button [4] to create the document.
    Setup Collaboration 
  5. The newly created document will appear in a new window.
    Google Docs Example

How to Join a Google Docs Collaboration

  1. When a Google Doc is created through Collaborations, it is automatically shared with all collaborators. You will know you have been added as a collaborator when you see the Collaboration Invitation appear in your Recent Activity Stream on your User Dashboard or the Course Homepage. 
  2. Click on the invitation [1] to open the collaboration effort.

How to Add or Remove People to a Google Collaboration

  1. In your course in Canvas, click on Collaborations in the Course Navigation.
  2. Click on the Pencil icon to edit the collaboration [1].
    Click Edit 
    • Note: Only instructors and the creator of the document can edit who is allowed to collaborate.
  3. Add Individuals:
    • You can add individuals to the collaboration by clicking on the People button [1] and then clicking the individual's name in the left column [2]. The individual's name will move to the right column [3] to show that you have added it to the collaboration.
    • To remove the individual from the collaboration, click the individual's name in the right column, and it will move to the left column to show that is has been removed. To remove all collaborators, click Remove All.
      Add or Remove People 
  4. Add Groups:
    • You can add or remove groups from the collaboration by clicking on the Groups button [1] and then clicking the group's name in the left column [2]. The group name will move to the right column [3] once you have added it to the collaboration.
    • To remove the group from the collaboration, click the group's name in the right column, and it will move to the left column to show that is has been removed. To remove all groups, click Remove All.
      Add Groups
  5. Click the Update Collaboration button.
    Click Update Collaboration

How to Delete a Google Doc Collaboration

  1. In your course in Canvas, click on Collaborations in the Course Navigation.
  2. Click on the Trash icon [1] to delete the Google Doc Collaboration.
    Click Delete icon
  3. Delete the Google Doc Collaboration by selecting the Just Delete from Canvas button [1]. You can also delete the collaboration from both Canvas and Google Docs by selecting the Also Delete From Google Docs button [2].
    Delete From Canvas and Google Docs

How to Start a New EtherPad Collaboration

  1. In your course in Canvas, click on Collaborations in the Course Navigation.
    Click Collaborations 
  2. Click on the Start a New Collaboration button.
    Click Start New Collaboration button 
  3. Click on the Collaborate Using drop-down menu and select EtherPad [1] for your new collaboration.
    Select EtherPad 
  4. Type the document name in the document name text box [1]. You can type a description of the EtherPad collaboration in the description text box [2].
    Type the document name in the document name text box [1].
  5. You can select individuals to collaborate with by clicking the People button [1]. You can select groups to collaborate with by clicking the Groups button [2]. The individual or group name will appear in the right column after it has been selected. Note: EtherPad allows you to add up to 50 users per collaboration; however, only 15 users can view and edit a document at the same time.
    Select Collaborators
  6. Click the Start Collaborating button to create the EtherPad document. The document will open in your browser in a new tab.
    Click Start Collaborating
  7. You can begin editing your EtherPad collaboration.
    Edit Collaboration
  8. Use the Toolbar:
    • Choose font style (bold, italic, underline, and strikethrough) [1]
    • Format text (ordered list, unordered list, indent, and outdent) [2]
    • Undo or Redo [3]
    • Clear authorship colors [4]
    • Choose options (import/export to different file formats, view revisions, and save revisions) [5]
    • View Settings and share or embed the document [6]
    • Show or Hide users on the document [7]
      Toolbar

How to Join a EtherPad Collaboration

  1. When an EtherPad is created through Collaborations, it is automatically shared with all collaborators. You will know you have been added as a collaborator when you see the Collaboration Invitation appear in your Recent Activity Stream on your User Dashboard or the Course Homepage. 
  2. Click on the invitation to open the collaboration effort.

How to Add or Remove People to a EtherPad Collaboration

  1. In your course in Canvas, click on Collaborations in the Course Navigation.
  2. Click on the Pencil icon to edit the collaboration [1].
    Click Edit 
    • Note: Only instructors and the creator of the document can edit who is allowed to collaborate.
  3. Add Individuals:
    • You can add individuals to the collaboration by clicking on the People button [1] and then clicking the individual's name in the left column [2]. The individual's name will move to the right column [3] to show that you have added it to the collaboration.
    • To remove the individual from the collaboration, click the individual's name in the right column, and it will move to the left column to show that is has been removed. To remove all collaborators, click Remove All.
      Add or Remove People 
  4. Add Groups:
    • You can add or remove groups from the collaboration by clicking on the Groups button [1] and then clicking the group's name in the left column [2]. The group name will move to the right column [3] once you have added it to the collaboration.
    • To remove the group from the collaboration, click the group's name in the right column, and it will move to the left column to show that is has been removed. To remove all groups, click Remove All.
      Add Groups
  5. Click the Update Collaboration button.
    Click Update Collaboration

How to Delete a EtherPad Collaboration

  1. In your course in Canvas, click on Collaborations in the Course Navigation.
  2. Click on the Trash icon [1] to delete the EtherPad Collaboration.
    Click Delete Icon
  3. Click OK to delete the EtherPad Collaboration.
    Confirm Deletion

More information and step-by-step instructions can be found in the Canvas Guides by Instructure.


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