U-M Google Updates

Map your site to a custom URL in the new Google Sites


We announced, back in January that new Google Sites did not support URL mapping for custom URLs. We heard that this is a very important feature for many of you and provided feedback to Google.

Thank you for your patience! Google listened to our feedback and recently announced that custom URL mapping has been added to the new Google Sites. Now you can have a friendlier, easier-to-remember, URL for your new Google sites.

New Service Sites and Learning Resources for U-M Box and U-M Google!


The Collaboration Services team has had a busy summer! We were hard at work redesigning our websites and developing new ways to help campus learn about Box and Google.

Take a look at the new U-M Box and U-M Google service sites!
We built new websites based upon device independence, consumable information, usability, findability, and accessibility all to provide a seamless user experience. We chose only the important stuff to put on the sites, leaving out what you just pass over. This reduces the time it takes you to find what you are looking for.

Check out the Learning Resources tool for U-M Box and U-M Google!
With the service sites, we launched a new resource for learning how to get the most out of Box and Google. We scoured campus to survey and interview faculty and staff on what they want to learn and how they want to learn. We developed the tool based on our findings and took it back out to campus for testing. This led to several updates and re-testing until we felt we got it right. The Learning Resources tool is a collection of documentation, videos, events, and recordings from Box, Google, and U-M. Content can be filtered by topic, format, and source. It can also be searched by keyword.

We are also developing a new instructor-led training program.
We continue to hear that campus needs in-person training. So, we used our findings from our campus survey and interviews to begin developing courses on Box and the G Suite (Google) apps. We will have introductory and more advanced courses scheduled throughout the year and held all around the Ann Arbor campus. We’ll announce when the program is ready to go. Join the U-M Collaboration Forum to receive all our announcements on U-M Box and U-M Google.

The Collaboration Services Team

Improved Third-Party Sharing in Google Drive


Many of us work with people who don’t have Google accounts, so it’s crucial that we are able to share information with them in a quick, easy, and secure way. That’s why, in response to feedback, Google has made it easier to share Google files with non-Google accounts by adding an option to the sharing dialogue to let anyone with the link view the file.

Selecting the option to Send the link turns on link sharing and anyone with the link will be able to view it. This allows access to important content with no deadline and no need to create a Google account.

Note that the option to Send an invitation will remain the default selection for other files.

U-M Google July Summary


The monthly U-M Google Summaries inform campus of Google releases for Core Apps as well as the Non-Core Apps (those that are not part of the G Suite for Education agreement). We communicate important information on Core Apps throughout the month. Core and Non-Core Apps are listed on the U-M Google List of Services page.

Core Apps

Non-Core Apps:

  • Object duplication, faster sharing, and more with the latest Jamboard release.
  • The new Google Vault API allows you to manage legal matters and holds programmatically.

Note: Keep in mind that even when non-core apps are found in a core app (like Google Drive), they are not covered by the G Suite for Education agreement.

Smarter Google Forms


Recently, Google added the following new features and machine learning to Forms.

  • Intelligent response validation
    When you know the specific type of answer you’re looking for, it’s often helpful to validate responses in Forms. For example, if you’re asking for a website, Forms can double-check that the answer provided is a URL. When possible, Forms will suggest response validation based on the question you ask. If you ask respondents for their age, for instance, Forms may recommend validating that the answer they provide is a whole number. This feature is rolling out gradually and may take several weeks to appear in the UMICH domain.
  • Cross-domain file uploads
    Oftentimes, when you use Forms, you’re not collecting data from your colleagues—you’re gathering information from third parties. To guarantee you get the information you need, Forms allows people outside the UMICH domain to upload files as responses to your questions—provided the other organization allows cross-domain sharing in Google Drive. Based on usage patterns, total uploads to new forms will be capped at 1GB and uploads to existing forms will be capped at 1TB.
  • Preferences
    If you use similar settings across all of your forms, you can now assign default settings to apply to any new forms you create. For instance, you can choose to always collect email addresses, make questions required every time, and assign default quiz point values.
  • “Checkbox grid” questions
    Sometimes a question is more complex than multiple choice or checkbox answers alone can satisfy—you need to be able to select multiple options from multiple categories. Now, you can use the “Checkbox grid” question type to get the answers you need, like dates and times that work for an upcoming meeting.
  • Section reordering
    Many Google Forms users have stated there needs to be an easy way to organize (and reorganize) questions in Forms. In response to that feedback, Forms now makes it possible to reorder whole sections.