Canvas: No Dropbox in Canvas

File sharing solutions and alternatives to Dropbox.

When Rice moved to Canvas we gained a lot of useful features, but we lost a nice tool – Drop Box. Don’t sweat it! We have some solutions. Here is the list of solutions in the order of our recommendation:

  1. Use Canvas assignments tool
  2. Use Canvas group feature
  3. Use
  4. Use Google Drive

1. Canvas Assignments Tool

Submission Type: Online

In your course menu, you find Assignments. You can create assignments with the “Add Assignments” button at the top.

  • Look closely as you create your assignments.

  • There is an area labeled “Submission Type”.

  • Choose “Online”. This will enable you to have your students upload files.

Students can upload multiple files from their desktop or from their Google Drive. Then all the files will be collected under the assignment. Some additional features of the Assignments tool are the ability to view and mark up the students’ submission online without needing to download the file. Comments can be sent back and forth with the student for each submission as well.

submission type menu with online entry options

To the top

2. Canvas Group Feature

You can create groups for your course. Each group gets a site. In each site, there is the Files tool where they can upload.

Here's how:

  • Go to People and create a Group Set. Within the group set, create a group. Place students in the group. Students will receive notification that they have been added to a group.

  • At this point, you should see a gear/wheel icon next to your group. When you click on that, you will see, "Visit Group Homepage." Click on that to access the files area. You should find all students upload there.

  • For your STUDENTS: Ask them to go to People, then click Groups tab, then visit the group homepage. Or you can post the group URL somewhere in your course. The group URL should look like number)

Gear icon with 'Visit Group Hompage' menu option

To the top

3. Use Box

Important note: This is the SAFE way to share secure documents

Create a folder in Box, label it as YourCourse 101, then share it with your students in the class. We recommend selecting students' role as Uploader when setting up sharing. Uploader can ONLY upload. They can not do anything else. 

Matrix of user roled and permissions

Alternatively, you can create sub folders with each student's name if they will need to upload and download

shared individual folder

To the top

4. Use Google Drive

Login to Google Drive ( with your credentials.

Important note: not your personal Google Drive.

Approach I:

Create a folder with your course name, share it with everyone in your course. Google can only share the folder as editors. It is possible that students could delete other students' files.

Approach II:

Create a folder with your course name. Create sub-folders with students names. Then share each sub folder with the specific student.

Google Drive share settings

To the top

Keywords:Dropbox, file sharing   Doc ID:72958
Owner:Amanda B.Group:Rice University
Created:2017-04-27 13:12 CDTUpdated:2019-04-01 15:47 CDT
Sites:Rice University
Feedback:  0   0