Sharing a Google Doc Template for Students in Classrooms

Process of creating a Google Doc that students can use as a template for class activities

Instructional Challenge

In many of active learning activities identified for use in physically-distanced learning spaces, there is a need to create a template of a document that students can access as they collaborate with other students on in-class activities. Once done with the document, the instructor can access and view the results and provide feedback, if necessary. This document walks you through the process of creating and sharing a document in Google Docs.


Creating Content

  1. Access UW-Madison Google Apps by going to and selecting Log In to Your UW-Madison Google Apps Account.
  2. Enter your NetID and password, then select log-in.
  3. You should be automatically redirected to Google Drive. If not, you can find it in the apps menu in the upper right corner.
  4. Once you are in Google Drive, you can create content by selecting the Create button. There are six options under this menu. Select the desired application type (example: Document, Spreadsheet, Presentation, etc.)
  5. Google Apps automatically saves as you go along. When you are finished, you can return to your Google Drive by clicking the button in the upper left corner. (The color of this button will vary depending on what type of content you are creating.)
  6. Create your document. 
  7. At the top of the document, add a line that reads "Make sure to share this document with the instructor. My email address is ""

Sharing Content

  1. To share a document in Google Drive, first right-click the item you want to share, and select Share from the dropdown menu.
  2. In the Get Link box, select UW-Madison G Suite to specify that users will need to use their UW-Madison Google Apps account to view the document. You make need to select the Change link below the words "Anyone at/on .....can view". Note: This setting will require students to use their UW-Madison account to access this document. This will make sure you will able to identify students by their official name, instead of their personal Google account, which may not be identifiable. 
  3. Select Editor to specify that they have the right to edit the document. Select Done
  4. Paste that link at the top of your document
  5. Delete all text after the /edit in the URL and replace it with /copy.
    Example: to
  6. Share this link with students by creating a link in Canvas modules.

Accessing Content By Students

  1. If students are working in groups, direct one student to select the link to create a version of the document for the group. When students select on the link they will be prompted to Make a Copy of the document. It will be saved in their own Google Drive folder.
  2. Students will need to share access with edit rights with the other group members.
  3. Once students are done working on the document, they should grant you access/edit rights using the email address at the top of the document.

Sharing a Google Doc for Students

How to Share Files

  1. Log in to UW-Madison G Suite with your NetID and password using the following URL:

  2. If you have multiple UW-Madison G Suite accounts, select your desired account from the list provided.

    Select account

    If you only have one UW-Madison G Suite account, you will be logged into your account automatically.

  3. Right-click on the file you would like to share, then select Share. Then from the Share menu, select Share again.

    Share menu

  4. On the Sharing settings menu, you will see a list of everyone who currently has access to your file. At the top of this list is your visibility level. If you haven't yet changed your share settings for this particular file, the only individual listed here will be you and your visibility level will be set to Private. Click the Change... link next to your visibility level to view all potential options.

    Sharing settings

  5. Select your desired visibility level from the list. If you want more information about the available options, click the link provided.

    Select visibility

  6. Next, set the access level for this group by choosing Can view, Can comment, or Can edit from the drop down menu. Then hit the Save button.

    Select access level

  7. You also have the ability to decide whether people with Can edit access will be able to change the share settings for this file. By default, editors will be able to change the visibility of your file and add/remove access for other people. Click the Change link to edit this setting.

    Editor permissions

  8. Select your desired setting for editors, then click Save

    Editor sharing permissions

  9. Next, you can add permissions for individuals. Below the list of people who currently have access to your file, you will see a text box labeled Invite People.

    Add people

  10. As you begin typing the name or email address of the contact you would like to share with, the list below will auto populate with any UW-Madison G Suite account matching your criteria.

    Autocomplete addresses

    **If a user has privacy flagged any of their user information under FERPA, their personal information will be omitted from UW-Madison G Suite contact list.

    Note: You can share files with people who are unaffiliated with the university, however, there are a few issues to consider. First, only UW-Madison G Suite accounts will be returned in the search results, so you must know the full email address of the person you want to share with. Additionally, the share link will still require that the recipient log into Google Apps, so that person will still need to have a Google account in order for the file to be accessible.
  11. After you select the person you want to share with, you will need to choose the level of access to give them. From the drop down menu, select Can edit, Can comment, or Can view.

    Select permission level

  12. Select your desired settings for email notifications. Depending on the type of file you are sharing, the option to Paste the item itself into the email may not be available

    Email notification settings

  13. Hit the Send button to share your file and send out any notifications you have selected

    Send notifications

  14. Once you have added all the people you want to share with, hit Done.


    You can come back to this menu to change the share settings for a file at any time.

See Also:

Keywords:sharing, template, google, document   Doc ID:104202
Owner:Timmo D.Group:Remote Instruction
Created:2020-07-21 14:02 CDTUpdated:2021-07-12 08:55 CDT
Sites:Remote Instruction
Feedback:  0   0