Collaboarations in Canvas allows you to work on group projects by sharing and collaborating with documents and text files. You have the option of using either Etherpad or Google Docs to facilitate collaborations.
To access the tool, click on the Collaborations button from the navigation menu to the left.
On the collaborations page, you will see a list of current collaborations that you are currently in. If you do not have any collaborations, you will be prompted to begin a new collaboration.
To start a new collaboration, click on the Start New Collaboration button on the pane to the right.
You can select either Etherpad or Google Docs to facilitate collaborations.
Google Docs allows users to share and edit documents (text, presentation, spreadsheet, form, drawing, table) amongst themselves. Please note that to use Google Docs, all collaborators must have a Google account, even while using it through Canvas. Also, your Canvas account must be authorized with Google to use Google Docs. Authorizing your account will allow Instrucutre (Canvas) to access stored files on your Google account.
EtherPad is an open-source web service that allows for real-time document collaboration. The service is similar to Google Docs, but is only for text documents and does not require an account.
Please note that upon testing EtherPad, it has been quite buggy and has disconnected users from the document quite often. Before you rely on EtherPad to collaborate, make sure the system works for you and all members of your collaboration team.