University of Wisconsin–Madison

04.20.16 Google Apps in D2L with John Martin

John MartinJohn Martin from DoIT Academic Technology shared how to use Google Apps in D2L. We covered all the embedding techniques and discuss advantages and disadvantages. Ideas:

  • Collaborative Lesson Planning and Course File organization
  • Sign up sheet for presentations
  • Google Drive in D2LGoogle Hangouts for Office hours (and group office hours, and study sessions from home, etc.)
  • Formative and Summative feedback (beginning of course student info survey, pre-assessments, “muddiest point” feedback, etc.)
  • Peer review / assessment (for presentations, writing, etc.)
  • Student collaborations and peer feedback
  • Hangouts for short guest lecture
  • Google Sites for class projects
  • Blogger for more authentic (public-facing) assignment sharing/reporting
  • YouTube for student videos or lecture capture
  • Videos shared to Google Drive have robust sharing control
  • Maps to situate:
  • Slides for embeddable Choose-Your-Own Adventure style projects (here)

Activity Sheet  • Active Teaching Lab full schedule

John’s Google Apps Story


  • Google’s robust sharing system is its biggest asset for instructors. Drive files maintain edibility so instructors can make last minute changes/updates as needed, without having to download/re-upload them. Sharing can be set so students have Edit rights (e.g. signup sheets), View-only rights (e.g. readings) — or Comment rights (e.g. assignments) that trigger immediate notifications.
  • Have students forward the Google Forms “completion email” (or email completion screenshot) to instructor to give students credit for anonymous feedback. Or, have the completion note link to a “for credit” survey where they enter their name for credit.
  • Be open with students when trying a new tool/method; enlist them as co-conspirators/researchers in the quest to improve the course. This builds agency/ownership of the class, and enlists them in a philanthropic activity (for future generations of students).
  • D2L handles embedding differently in different areas — course content just needs a link to the Google doc to embed it, whereas News items require an iframe.
  • URL shorteners generally do not work for embedding.

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