Canvas@UD is pleased to announce the integration of the Google Drive LTI with Assignments, Collaborations, Modules, Course Navigation, and the Rich Content Editor.  This integration allows instructors and students to use, create, share, and collaborate using Google files within Canvas.

In most cases, a lot of what you can do with the Google Drive LTI can be done without it.  But its integration requires less toggling between Canvas and Google, copying of links and setting permissions.  Here are some of the tasks you can do with the Google Drive LTI:

  1. Embed or link your Google Drive files easily anywhere you use the Rich Content Editor.
  2. Use Google Drive files in Assignments:
    –      Students can submit Google files for Assignments.
    –      Teachers can use a Google file to give an Assignment, and each assigned student gets a copy.
    –      Teachers can grade submissions in Speedgrader by editing or annotating the Google file.
  3. Use Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides for a Canvas Collaboration.
  4. Link to a live Google file in your Canvas Modules.

The Google Drive LTI will not be enabled by default in your course navigation.  You must opt to enable it in your course Settings under Navigation.


You will need to authorize the tool the first time you use it in a course.

You can only authenticate into one Google Drive account at a time.  It is recommended that you always authenticate with your Google Apps at UD credentials.  


The Google Drive LTI is available to both teachers and students anywhere they can access the Rich Content Editor, such as Pages and Discussions under the More External Tools drop-down menu.   Clicking the option displays everything in the user’s Google Drive and allows users to display documents as inline links or to embed them directly.


Instructors can create an assignment by sharing a file from their Google Drive, and each student will receive a duplicate in their Google Drive upon accessing the assignment.  This is useful for template files. When a student submits the file to Canvas, it is automatically converted into a Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file, and instructors can provide feedback in SpeedGrader.  These assignments are created using the External Tool submission type.

You must create the template file in your Google Drive prior to creating the assignment.  Students can update their copy of the file and submit it without leaving the page.

The Google Drive LTI will also allow students to upload directly from their Google Drive for File Upload assignment submission types.  


  • When a student submits an external tool assignment, the submit button does not go away and may cause confusion for students if they are expecting a submission update from the Canvas interface.  Make sure they check for the submission update message in the Google file:
  • Rubrics can be added to external tool assignments, but the rubric must be added to the assignment before it is set to an external tool assignment.  Students can view the rubric in the assignment details page (accessed through the Grades tool), and instructors can view the rubric in SpeedGrader.
  • Google Drive LTI external tool assignments cannot be used for group assignments.
  • Peer review cannot be used with external tool assignments.

Canvas Guides:
How do I create a cloud assignment with a Google Drive file?

How do I submit a cloud assignment with Google Drive?  (for students)


With the Google Drive LTI, users can create collaborations with documents, spreadsheets, or presentations.  Collaborators can be added or removed at any time, but once a user is added to the collaboration, the user always has access to the collaboration in the user’s Google Drive.  If the Google Drive LTI is enabled, you will see a drop-down menu to choose the Google Drive LTI.

Then select from the document type drop-down menu.


The Google Drive LTI appears as an external tool in Modules so that instructors can add links to Google Drive files directly to a module.


Users should be aware of the following limitations with the Google Drive LTI:

  • The current Google Drive web service is not the same as the LTI.  So if students have the web service already set up in their account, they will get three tabs for a File Upload assignment – File Upload, Google Doc, and Google Drive – which might be confusing.   Students should delete the Google Drive registered web service in their Account Settings to avoid confusion.
  • Document permissions can prevent files from previewing in a course. Users should ensure that permissions are set correctly for a document before sharing it with others in Canvas.
  • The current Google Drive LTI integration has very limited integration in the Canvas mobile apps.  Instructors who incorporate cloud assignments into their coursework should let students know that cloud assignments are not currently supported in the Canvas app.
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