Learning Technology Index

Google Sheets*

group work

What is it?

Google Sheets is a spreadsheet program offered as part of the Google Docs Editors suite within the Google Drive services. 

What is its purpose?

Google Sheets allows users to access their spreadsheets across multiple devices, including Windows and macOS computers, tablets, and iOS and Android devices. Users can share their Google Sheets files with others and allow them to edit or only view. Google Sheets allows users to work collaboratively on the same file in real-time. 

How do I use it?

Google Sheets is accessible through any internet browser and offers applications for download on iOS, Google, and Android devices. 

Memorial University of Newfoundland is integrated with Google through @mun.ca email accounts. To sign in to Google Sheets, Memorial University users can use their email credentials using the Google Sheets website.

Once signed in to Google Sheets, users can access all Google Sheets files that are linked to their account by selecting their desired document. 

Users can also create a new spreadsheet by selecting the multicolored plus sign (+) on the bottom right-hand corner of their screen. 

Once a document is opened, users can choose to share the spreadsheet with others by selecting the Share button at the top of their screen and either entering the email address of their collaborators or by copying a shareable link. Users can then choose the level of access (editing or only viewing) they wish their collaborators to have on the specific file.


Why would I use it?

Google Sheets is simple and easy to understand and comes equipped with a variety of tools. Google Sheets allows users to upload and download documents in multiple file formats. Version edits are kept within the file to be able to go back to see past versions as well as suggest edits. Google Sheets allows users to continue working even without an internet connection. Google Sheets also comes equipped with data processing tools similar to Microsoft Excel and allows users to pull data from external sources. 

Usage considerations

Depending on the size of the file, operating Google Sheets may use a significant amount of RAM. The larger the file size, the longer it takes to use the functions available through Google Sheets. Though the primary or basic operations are simple and easy to find and use, the more advanced options are much harder to find within the program. Though users can work on a file offline, users will have to make the file available to work offline before losing an internet connection. Synchronous work is not possible offline. Users who wish to collaborate on the document must have a Gmail account; otherwise, they will only be able to view the file. Though Google Sheets does allow for the creation of charts, it is hard to manipulate charts in different formats. It would require users to be familiar with the program to be able to locate all of the available tools.

Quick Facts
Productivity and Organizational Technologies
Rating Level 
Web Search
Google Sheets*
Last Modified
22 September 2021
30 August 2021
License Available 
More Info

Security Concerns
Technical Support 

Ratings Information

CITL Rating

Select any category below for details about the criteria for each rating.

Functionality: ★★☆
Works Well.
Ease of Use:★★★
Works Well.
Tech Support/Help Availability (for Instructors):★★☆
Minor Concerns. Minor Concern: No campus-wide technical support is available.
Tech Support/Help Availability (for Students):★★☆
Minor Concerns. Minor Concern: No campus-wide technical support is available.
Hypermediality :★★☆
Minor Concerns. Google Sheets provides a chat function for text communication with the document. It does not inherently allow for audio or visual communication, though Google offers other platforms, including Google Chat and Google Meets, as audio and visual communication methods.
Accessibility: ★★★
Accessibility Standards:★★★
Works Well.
User-focused participation:★★★
Works Well.
Required Equipment:★★★
Works Well.
Technical: ★★★
Integration/Embedding within a Learning Management System (LMS) :★☆☆
Serious Concerns. Google Sheets is not able to be embedded within any LMS systems apart from Google Classrooms. Brightspace does allow for the submission of files for assignments through Google Drive, which includes Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.
Operating Systems:★★★
Works Well.
Web Browser:★★★
Works Well.
Additional Technical Requirements:★★★
Works Well.
Mobile Design: ★★★
Works Well.
Works Well.
Offline Access:★★★
Works Well.
Usage and Account Set Up: ★★★
Sign Up/Sign In:★★★
Works Well.
Cost of Use:★★★
Works Well.
Archiving, Saving, and Exporting Data :★★★
Works Well.
Data Privacy and Ownership:★★★
Works Well.
Social Presence: ★★★
Collaboration :★★★
Works Well.
User Accountability:★★☆
Minor Concerns. Currently, Google Sheets does not offer a way to maintain learner anonymity while using this tool.
Works Well.
Teaching Presence: ★★★
Works Well.
Works Well.
Learning Analytics:★★☆
Minor Concerns. Google Sheets records users' activity within the file allowing instructors to monitor a learners' interaction with this tool. There is currently no other method for analyzing a learners' participation or activity using this tool.
Cognitive Presence: ★★☆
Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s):★★☆
Minor Concerns. Google Sheets does not inherently improve learners' engagement with cognitive tasks. It can allow for interaction between instructors and learners which may aid in engagement.
Higher Order Thinking:★★☆
Minor Concerns. The instructor would need to design the Google Sheets file specifically to engage learners in higher-order thinking skills.
Feedback on Learning:★★☆
Minor Concerns. The chat function and Request Edit tools in Google Sheets can be used to provide formative feedback to learners, but there are limited ways to track learners' progress or to test their knowledge.

Security and Privacy

While Google Apps are considered a secure service, using personal accounts for teaching and learning may put the users' data outside of University control and may go against the University Policy.

Support Information

Google Docs Editors provides a Help Centre with many available and searchable topics. There is also a free Getting Started with Google Sheets course available through Coursera. Google also offers a YouTube channel with tutorials to help guide users through the use of Google Sheets.