Use Google Docs for Student Collaboration

How can students collaborate in Google docs?

When students work in groups for an activity, you’ll often want them to document their work. You can facilitate this by creating shared Google Docs for students to use.

There are two ways to identify each collaborator in a Google doc. One is to have students write in suggesting mode, which creates colored text and names each author in the margin. Edits are shown with strike-through text. This option is selected in the small menu with a pencil icon located in the upper right corner of the open Google Doc screen.

Another method is to have students use comments to annotate the main text. Comments are made by highlighting a portion of text. This creates an icon in the right margin, which becomes a text-entry field when you click it. Comments are identified by author, and others can reply. Comments that include @StudentUsername will also send an email of the comment to the person named, which is helpful for asynchronous collaboration.

Screenshot of Google Doc with numbered steps

Steps to set up docs and sharing permission

  1. Create and name a Google doc for each student group.
  2. For each doc, click the blue Share button in the top right corner.
  3. In the Get link area of the share pop-up, click View and change it to Edit.
  4. From the sharing menu, select Portland State...anyone in this group with this link can edit.
  5. Copy each document link and save them in your class prep notes, labeled with the group name/number.

You can now post the doc links for students in D2L, or share them in the chat of a Zoom meeting. Clarify for students whether you want them to identify each collaborator's work, and whether they should use suggesting mode or comments for this. You can also share this tutorial with them. As owner of the docs, you can always change the sharing settings later to prevent further work in them.

Google Docs auto-saves regularly, and past versions can be viewed and restored. Nevertheless it’s good to remind students to save a local copy of any text they don’t want accidentally changed or deleted. For more information, check out Google’s Docs training materials here:

This article was last updated on Mar 30, 2021 @ 5:47 pm.

Using the Google Class Time Calendar

You can now view the dates, times, and room locations of classes you're currently teaching through Google Calendar:
A tutorial for instructors and students is in the OIT Knowledge Base, which you can access here: PSU Class Time in Google Calendar.

For additional support for this tool, please contact the OIT Help Desk rather than OAI Support.

Best Practices for Hosting and Archiving Media

Depending on whether you need a hosting site for your media or a storage site to archive and/or backup your file, you might use Media Space and or Google Drive.

Host with Media Space

We recommend uploading your videos to a media hosting platform. Media Space ( is the media hosting platform PSU contracts with. See step-by-step instructions for uploading media to Media Space.

  • A media hosting platform stores your video on a server, which provides a url where the video can be accessed, that you can share with your audience. Learn more about sharing your media.
  • The hosting platform transcodes your full size video into many ‘flavors’ of different resolutions and sizes. When a user accesses your video, the hosting platform will automatically provide them with the best ‘flavor’ for optimal quality, based on the device they are using and their internet connection. For example, a user on a smartphone does not need to see the full resolution for an optimal experience on that device, so the hosting platform will serve them a smaller resolution size, which will load more quickly, ensuring playback is not interrupted.
  • You can control sharing settings. In media space these are called publication settings. Learn more about publication settings.

 Archive & Backup with Google Drive

If you think you will want to use your video in the future in a different way or you would like to create a backup of your file, you should also consider creating a backup of your video file. We recommend uploading your video to your PSU Google Drive, which provides unlimited file storage on the cloud.

  1. Access Google drive at
  2. Create a folder specifically for your course or project.
    1. For example, if you developed your media during the Winter 2020 term make a folder in Google Drive following this pattern: DEP ### Term Year.  For example: (PSY 311 Winter 2020).
    2. If you have other documents you are backing up in this location, you might decide to make a sub folder called ‘Multimedia.
  3. Upload media files from your computer or device to the Google Drive folder.
    1. The best practice is to use clear naming conventions for your video file name that will help you identify what it is without having to watch it. For example: PSY-311-W2020-Module1-CourseAssignments (DEP-###-TYYYY-OrgUnit-DescriptiveName).

This article was last updated on Feb 8, 2021 @ 12:34 pm.

Getting Started With Google Forms

You can use Google Forms to create forms, surveys, or even quizzes.

  1. Login to your PSU Google account.
  2. Navigate to
  3. Click the icon to start a new blank form.
    Start a new blank form, + button.
  4. Add a title, optional description, and questions to your form.
  5. To add collaborators to help you develop your form, click the More menu (three vertical dots) in the upper right corner, and select Add Collaborators.
  6. When you are ready to collect responses, click the Send button for distribution options.
  7. For additional documentation, see Google Forms Support.

This article was last updated on Nov 12, 2020 @ 4:03 pm.

Host a Virtual Meeting with Google Hangouts Meet

Google Hangouts Meet is the newest version of Google Hangouts. Hangouts Meet can be used at PSU for video conferencing. There are many additional online resources available for Google Hangouts Meet if you need more help.

NOTE: As of December 2019, Hangouts Meet only works in recent versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari. View current Meet requirements.

Schedule a Meeting

NOTE: You can have up to 100 participants in a Google Hangouts Meet.

  1. Make sure you are logged out of any personal Gmail accounts to avoid confusion.
  2. Login to your PDX Gmail account with your ODIN account information.
  3. From the upper right corner, click on the Apps menu.
  4. Select Calendar from the available options.
    NOTE: You can also access Calendar via
  5. Click the red plus button in the lower right corner of the page to add a new event.
  6. Enter event details and guests.
  7. Click Save and confirm your invitation preferences.
  8. You and attendees can join the Hangout Meet via the link the calendar at the time of the meeting.
    NOTE: Calendar events with invited guests will automatically contain Hangouts Meet links. You can add a Hangout Meet to an event without invited guests by selecting Add conferencing in the event details.

Create a Durable Meeting Link for Office Hours

NOTE: You can have up to 100 participants in a Google Hangouts Meet.

  1. Make sure you are logged out of any personal Gmail accounts to avoid confusion.
  2. Login to your PDX Gmail account with your ODIN account information.
  3. From the upper right corner, click on the Apps menu.

  4. Select Meet from the available options.
    NOTE: You can also access Meet via
  5. Click + Start a new meeting.
  6. Click Start Meeting.
  7. Select the option to Copy joining info. This URL and dial-in access can be used for future meetings.
    • To use this meeting room at a later date, save the joining info. Copy the Meet URL to your syllabus, D2L page, or email; or share with those you wish to join the video conference.
    • If you need access to the meeting details after you have closed the initial dialogue box, you can find them by clicking the Meeting details tab in the lower left corner of the page.
  8. To end your call, close your browser tab, or click the red telephone icon in the lower center of your screen.
  9. When you are ready to meet with someone, navigate to your saved Meet URL and click Join Meeting.

This article was last updated on Nov 12, 2020 @ 4:06 pm.


Create and Edit Auto-Generated Captions on Your YouTube Videos

After you have uploaded a video to YouTube, you can add automatic captions using speech recognition technology. The accuracy of the captions generated varies greatly based on the sound quality of the video (i.e. voice clarity, background noise, language, and complexity of vocabulary). These captions are never 100% accurate, and it is always necessary to fix YouTube's automatic captions.

YouTube provides documentation for editing auto-generated captions.

This article was last updated on Nov 12, 2020 @ 4:08 pm.

Communicate Collaboratively with Google Hangouts Chat

Hangouts Chat is a group communication tool from Google. With it, you can create virtual rooms to chat with groups of people. Hangouts Chat facilitates quick back and forth conversation, similar to text messaging, but also preserves a searchable record of that conversation for later reference. Instructors might use Hangouts Chat to facilitate Q & A, discussions, or group communications. Hangouts Chat seamlessly integrates with Google Docs, and instructors who assign group writing projects or conduct writing coaching may find Hangouts Chat a particularly useful way to facilitate communications. Access Hangouts Chat at

You can organize two types of conversation in Hangouts Chat: Rooms and Direct Messages.

  1. Rooms are conversational spaces, to which you can add students or other PSU users to at any time. Participants can chat and share files with everyone in the Room. You might set a room for your entire course to communicate, as well as additional Rooms for students working on group projects.
  2. Direct Messages are better suited for private conversations with individuals or groups. Unlike in groups, once you have started a Direct Message conversation, you cannot add new participants.

View Google's Hangouts Chat Help.

This article as updated on May 12, 2020 @ 4:04 pm

YouTube Privacy Settings

YouTube videos are available publicly by default. You can change the settings for videos you own in your YouTube account. If you create a video that you only want specific students to be able to see, you're far better off using Kaltura Media Space to host your video.

NOTE: The option to create a private channel in YouTube is no longer available.

This article was last updated on Feb 8, 2021 @ 12:22 pm.

Create a Co-Managed YouTube Channel

A channel is used to organize and share YouTube videos. Each YouTube member has a channel of their own by default. This is a personal channel, that cannot be managed with other users. If you want to co-manage a YouTube channel, called a brand account, you will need to set up a new channel. If you want to restrict access to your media collection, we strongly recommend creating a Kaltura Media Space Channel.

Create a New YouTube Channel
Add Channel Managers

Create a New YouTube Channel

  1. Sign into your Google account.
  2. Navigate to
  3. Select Create a New Channel
  4. Give the channel a name, and click the Create button.
  5. Verify your account, if prompted, following the on-screen directions.
  6. From here, you should be taken to your new channel page.

Add Channel Managers

Brand account channels can be co-managed. This means that multiple Google users can edit and administer the channel without sharing passwords. Only the channel owner can add managers.

  1. Browse to and select the page you want to manage. Click OK.
  2. Go to and click Add or remove managers from the Overview tab.
  3. In the Managers section, on the Overview tab, click the Add or remove managers link.
  4. Click the MANAGE PERMISSIONS button.
  5. On the manage permissions pop up, click the + icon in the upper right.
  6. Begin typing the names or email addresses of managers in the form, and select from the list.
  7. Choose a role from the list. For more information about roles, see this Google Support article.
  8. Once invitations are set, invitees will need to accept before they can begin managing.

This article was last updated on Feb 8, 2021 @ 12:21 pm.

Share YouTube Videos on D2L

You can share YouTube videos that you have created and uploaded yourself, or videos that other YouTube users have created directly to D2L. For copyright purposes, YouTube generally recommends linking to videos that you do not own.

Add Link to YouTube Video in D2L
Embed a YouTube Video in D2L
Find Link or Embed Code for a YouTube Video

Add Link to YouTube Video in D2L

  1. Click Course Content from the navigation bar of your course.
  2. Use the Table of Contents menu on the left to open the module you want to add a link to.
  3. Click on the New button below the module name.
  4. Click on Create a Link from the drop down menu.
  5. Type a descriptive name for the link in the Title field.
    • Use a descriptive title (e.g. "Haraway's Cyborg Manifesto"). Do not use titles like "click here" or "link".
  6. Copy and paste the full web link to the URL field.
    • Be sure to include http:// or https:// in the address.
  7. Check the box for Open as External Resource.
  8. Click Create.

Embed a YouTube Video in D2L

NOTE: These instructions can be used for any existing text document created in D2L. In this example, you will create a file from scratch.

  1. Go to YouTube and locate the video you want to embed in D2L.
  2. Click the Share link under the video title.
  3. Click the Embed tab.
  4. Copy the full text of the embed code from the text box under the Embed tab.
  5. In D2L, click on Course Content. Click on a module from the Table of Contents on the left.
  6. Click the New button below the module name.
  7. Click on Create a File from the drop down menu.
  8. In the text editor, click the Insert Stuff icon from the editing bar.
  9. Choose Enter Embed Code from the list of option.
  10. Paste the copied embed code and click Next.
  11. Verify the preview and click Insert.
  12. Click Update or Publish.

Find Link or Embed Code for a YouTube Video

  1. Go to YouTube and find the video you want to link or embed.
  2. Below the title of the video, click Share.
  3. Select the Share or Embed tab.
  4. Copy the URL or embed code.

For more information on sharing, see the Google Support Article on Sharing Videos.

This article was last updated on Nov 12, 2020 @ 4:31 pm.