Learning Technology Index

Google Docs*

group workcontent deliverysynchronous

What is it?

Google Docs is a free word processing application used to prepare and edit documents. 

What is its purpose?

The purpose of Google Docs is to create, edit and manage collaborative documents. Google Docs allows users to access their documents across multiple devices, including Windows and macOS computers, tablets, and iOS and Android devices. Users can share their Google Docs files with others and allow them to edit or only view.


How do I use it?

  1. You need a Google account to sign in.
  2. This tool is available on the Google Docs website and it works on any web browser.
  3. Goggle Docs can also be downloaded for Android and iOS.

Why would I use it?

  1. The platform offers a wide range of tools and features to create, edit and manage documents.
  2. Google Docs provides access to a number of font styles, add links, images, and drawings free of charge.
  3. Google Docs allow itrs users to collaborate creating and editing documents.
  4. All the changes made in the Google Docs are automatically saved.
  5. Google Docs allows its users to see old versions of documents, sorted by date and by the author of the changes.
  6. Microsoft word or other formats can be easily converted into the Google Docs format.
  7. A variety of add-ons could be used with Google Docs.
Quick Facts
Productivity and Organizational Technologies
Rating Level 
Web Search
Google Docs*
Last Modified
10 November 2021
20 October 2021
License Available 
More Info

Security Concerns
Technical Support 
Web browser, iOS, and Android.

Ratings Information

CITL Rating

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

Functionality: ★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
Ease of Use:★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
Tech Support/Help Availability (for Instructors):★★☆
Minor Concerns. Minor Concerns; No campus-wide technical support is available.
Tech Support/Help Availability (for Students):★★☆
Minor Concerns. Minor Concerns; No campus-wide technical support is available.
Hypermediality :★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
Accessibility: ★★★
Accessibility Standards:★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
User-focused participation:★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
Required Equipment:★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
Technical: ★★★
Integration/Embedding within a Learning Management System (LMS) :★☆☆
Serious Concerns. Serious Concerns. Google Sheets is not able to be embedded within any LMS systems.
Operating Systems:★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
Web Browser:★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
Additional Technical Requirements:★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
Mobile Design: ★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
Minor Concerns. Minor Concerns. The core functionality is the same on the mobile app. However, there is a functionality difference between the browser and mobile app.
Offline Access:★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
Usage and Account Set Up: ★★★
Sign Up/Sign In:★★☆
Minor Concerns. Minor concerns. The instructor needs to create an additional Google account to access Google Docs. Also, personal information is collected to create the account.
Cost of Use:★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
Archiving, Saving, and Exporting Data :★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
Data Privacy and Ownership:★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
Social Presence: ★★★
Collaboration :★★★
Works Well. Works Well.
User Accountability:★★☆
Minor Concerns. Minor Concerns. Google Docs does not offer a way to maintain learner anonymity while using this tool.
Works Well. Works Well.
Teaching Presence: ★★☆
Minor Concerns. Works Well.
Works Well. Works Well.
Learning Analytics:★★☆
Minor Concerns. Minor Concerns. Google Docs tracks users' activity within the file allowing instructors to monitor a learners' interaction with this tool.
Cognitive Presence: ★★☆
Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s):★★☆
Minor Concerns. Minor Concerns. Google Docs 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. Minor Concerns. The instructor would need to design the Google Docs file specifically to engage learners in higher-order thinking skills.
Feedback on Learning:★★☆
Minor Concerns. Minor Concerns. There is a limited opportunity to get the feedback in Google Docs through the review or track changes options.

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

  1. A user guide is available on the Google Docs website.
  2. User tutorials are also available on YouTube.