Academic Technology SupportInstructor Guides - Canvas Canvas Beyond BasicsHow do I use Google Sheets to update my course Assignments and Quizzes in bulk?

How do I use Google Sheets to update my course Assignments and Quizzes in bulk?

In this tutorial you will learn how to use Google Sheets to make updates to your Canvas assignments and quizzes.

From the pre-made spreadsheet, you can edit assignment names, due dates, available dates, publish items and more!

1. Open the pre-made Google sheet

Click on the link to open the sheet:   Course Due Dates

2. Make your own copy of this spreadsheet

This is a read-only spreadsheet and you will need to make your own copy to use in your Google Drive.

Go to File > Make a Copy

3. Name your spreadsheet

Name your copy ( perhaps with the course title included ) and click 'OK'.

4. Check the timezone settings in your new Google sheet

Go to File > Spreadsheet Settings and select the appropriate timezone, then click 'Save Settings'.

5. Generate an Access Token

From within Canvas, navigate to your Account Settings.

Scroll down to the bottom of the 'Approved Integrations' list and click on '+ New Access Token'

"Name" your Access Token in the Purpose textbox ( You may want to include the course name here as well )

Leave the expiration date blank and click 'Generate Token'.

Highlight and copy the generated access token.

    - For Windows users: right-click the link and select copy or use keyboard shortcut <ctrl>+c

    - For Mac users: right-click (<ctrl>-click) the link and select copy or use keyboard shortcut <cmd>+c

6. Configure API Settings

Return to the Google Sheet your named in step Within the new Canvas menu, click on 'Configure API Settings'.

A pop-up will ask for authorization. Click 'Continue'.

Choose the appropriate Google account, and on the next screen click 'Allow'.

7. Fill in hostname and access token

For Humboldt State University users,

  Canvas Hostname:   canvas.humboldt.edu

  Access Token: <Paste your access token here>

        - For Windows users: 

            right-click in the text area and select paste or use keyboard shortcut <ctrl>+v

        - For Mac users: 

           right-click (<ctrl>-click) the text area and select paste or use keyboard shortcut <cmd>+v

Then click 'Submit'

8. Specify your Canvas course

From the Canvas menu, choose 'Specify Course'.

From your Canvas course home page, copy the contents of the address bar.

It should look like this: https://canvas.humboldt.edu/courses/12345

Make sure you are on the course home page, and there is nothing following "/courses/#####"

In Google Sheets, paste this web address into the textbox to specify the course ID.

Click on 'Yes' in the pop-up asking if you would like to proceed.

9. Load the current assignment data from Canvas

From the Canvas menu, choose 'Load Due Dates' to populate the spreadsheet with the current information from Canvas.

Make sure you always "Load Due Dates" before making changes to the sheet to ensure the most current dates have been imported from Canvas.

10. (OPTIONAL) Reformat dates

From the Canvas menu, choose 'Reformat Dates' to fix the display / auto-adjust column widths / re-sort the items.

11. Modify the assignment data

You are now able to modify the contents of the spreadsheet accordingly.

Date format: mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm:ss

Publish format: 1 = published , 0 = unpublished

Use the function bar (labeled fx) for modifying dates.  You can enter dates in the cells in mm/dd/yy format, then use the Reformat Dates (step 10 above) to format the dates before reloading the data to Canvas in Step 12.  The default time will be 12 AM.

Show/Hide Answers columns are for quizzes only. They expect a date to be input and the changes will only be saved if the quiz is already set to show correct answers.

12. Upload your changes to Canvas

When you are satisfied with your changes, choose 'Save Due Dates' from the Canvas menu to upload them to Canvas.

13. Check Canvas for your changes

It is always a good idea to double check that your changes have been reflected in your Canvas course.