Step 3 – How Will Collaborators Use My Doc?

As mentioned in my previous post, setting up editing permissions can be a tricky step for our younger students. I introduce this concept to my students by simulating the same scenario with a paper copy. I ask a student to go get a paper from our supplies, write their name and title on it and talk about how they might want their group to use that paper. We talk about the possible decisions offered. Will they allow friends to EDIT-write on the paper, VIEW it or just make a COMMENT? Then I transfer this same process to our new digital workflow.

Assuming that a student has already initiated a doc and understand that they are the “Owner”, students will need to decide how they want the “Collaborators” to interact with their Doc.

There are three choices or levels of interaction offered that the Owner can grant to Collaborators: (See Image above)

  1. Editing Rights – The default setting allowing Collaborators to make changes to their Doc.
  2. Commenting Only Rights – Collaborators may make comments.
  3. View Only Rights – The Collaborators cannot make changes. They may only see the Doc.

It may become necessary to change from one permission setting to another. If this happens, the owner may return to the “Share” button on the Doc to change permissions along the way.

Bonus Tip: “Force A Copy”– There is a fourth option but it is not offered in the drop-down box from the “Share” option when selecting editing rights. I guess you could consider this fourth option somewhat of a “Hack”. Have you ever wanted to share a doc with someone but you want them to have their own copy of it? You can simply change the word – “edit” that is near the end of the shareable URL of that Doc to the word “copy” and send that link with “copy” in it instead of “edit“. The link will need to be accessed through whatever Learning Management System you use, like Edmodo or Google Classroom since students younger than 13 cannot access that link through email. Here is a video explaining how to do it. Force Someone To Make a Copy- Video.

You can also use this awesome infographic designed by Tony Vincent from

When the collaborator gets the link, it will ask them if they would like to make a copy.

My next post, will be the final post in this Google Basics “Sharing” Series- Step 4 – “Where Will the Link Be Available for Others?” I will also post a link to all of the images from this 4 part series so you may have them all in one set of Slides to teach your students! ~ ENJOY!


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