Using Google Sheets to update 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. Copy the 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 the spreadsheet
Name your copy ( perhaps with the course title included ) and click OK.
4. Check the timezone settings
In the document settings check the timezone to make sure it is set appropriately.
1) Select "Spreadsheet setting..." from the File menu drop down.
2) Select the appropriate time zone.
3) Save the 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 you named in the above steps, then authorize the sheet for your account.
1. Click Configure API Settings from the Canvas drop down menu.
2. Click the Continue button to authorize.
3. Select your Google account.
4. Click the Allow button.
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.
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.