Thursday, January 29, 2015

Force Copy a Google Drive Template

Hello Eminence!

Here's a tip that was shown to me by Alice Keeler and Kasey Bell.

Have you ever made a template in Google Drive (a Doc, Spreadsheet, Presentation, etc) and really wish that your students each had their own copy of it -- that way they could each complete their own and turn it back in to you?

Rather than sharing the template with your students and then having them click "File" --> "Make a Copy", here's a pro tip that will automatically create their own copy of a doc just by clicking on its link.

First, lets pretend I made a template I wanted my students to each have their own copy of.  Its URL (or web address) is this:

This link won't work because you haven't been given access to it.  Now, look at the back end of that link.  See the bit which says "/edit" (I changed it to red)?  This tells Google Drive that this is an "edit"-able version of the Doc.  To force students to make a copy of this template, however, all you have to do is change the /edit to /copy.  Like this:

Important!  You now must turn on link-sharing by clicking the "Get Shareable Link" button after clicking the blue "Share" button.

Next, put this new link  (with /copy) onto your Haiku page, class website, etc.  When clicked, this new window comes up:

When students click that "Make a Copy" button, whatever template you want them to have their own copy of will automatically be placed in their Google Drive.

Click the link below to see it in action (Note how I changed /edit to /copy):

Let's take this one step further.  Think: you can now make a Google Presentation template you'd like students to use ahead of time to make sure that every student has the same starting point.  Like this: 

Have fun! 

Donnie Piercey

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