Tip Sheet: Writing in Class in a Virtual Learning Environment

How can you make in-class writing a part of your course?

Option 1: Google Docs

Students can

  • share their writing with the instructor in a Google doc
  • write collaboratively with each other in a Google doc

If using a doc during class:

  • It may be helpful to pre-fill the doc before class with specific questions or prompts and then share it with the class. Canvas has a Collaborations features which automates this sharing.

Consider whether to use a doc for the entire class, for group activities, or for individual writing activities.

  • Using a doc for group activities:
    • The instructor can ask students to 
  • make a copy of the pre-filled doc for their group
  • share their doc at the outset of the activity or when the activity is finished.

In a shared doc, ask students to include their name before or after their entry.

The instructor can monitor the groups’ docs in real time or review them after class.

Option 2:

As an alternative to Google Docs and Collaborations, students can use Microsoft 365 Word. This offers Word to them in a way that is collaborative, meaning it can also be visible to you and peers if needed.