Google Apps FAQ

Q: How do I activate my Goshen College Google Apps Account?

A:  No activation is needed! All Goshen students, faculty and staff automatically have Google Apps accounts. To sign into your account, visit and log in with your Goshen College email address and password. If you have problems signing in, contact the ITS Help Desk at 574-535-7700, or

Q: What is the advantage to using a Goshen College Google Apps account over a personal Google account?

A:  A GC Google Apps account helps you connect with people at Goshen because you use your Goshen email addresses to share documents within the Goshen community. Having a GC Google Apps account can also allows you to keep your Goshen and personal information separate. A searchable user directory and autocomplete features makes sharing easier. Autocomplete allows you to begin typing into an address field within any App and have a list of matching contact names automatically appear. The list narrows as you type more letters. You can then select any address from this list, and the full address automatically fills the field.

Q: How much space is allotted to me in my GC Google account?
A: Google has given unlimited space per user for storing email, calendar data, and files in Google Drive.

Q: What apps are available in Goshen Google Apps?
A: Google offers a very robust suite of applications, with the major ones being Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Sites.  For a complete list of Google products, click here.

Q: Does Goshen have access to the information stored in my Goshen Google Apps account?
A:  Google Apps accounts are powered by Google but administered by Goshen College. Therefore, Goshen (not Google) owns all data stored within Goshen Google Apps accounts. Visit this page for Google’s Security and Privacy Frequently Asked Questions.

Q: Does the data I put into Google Apps show up in Google searches?
A: By default, data stored in Google Apps is private to you. You may choose to share this data with others or publish it on the web. Once you choose to publish something to the web, Google and other search engines may index it and present it in their results.

Q: Should information that is considered Identity Theft Information according to Goshen policy be stored in Google Apps?
A: No. While ITS feels very good about Google’s security measures, until Goshen has more experience with these tools, social security numbers, credit card numbers and bank account information of our constituents, and any other content that is considered confidential or sensitive to GC business, should not be stored in Google Apps.

Q: What happens to my Goshen Google Apps account once I graduate or leave employment with Goshen College?
A: Your GC Google Apps account is treated the same as all other GC computing accounts.

Q: Do you recommend a particular web browser when using Google Apps, Docs, etc.?
A: While most Google Apps are supported in all major web browsers, ITS has found that Google Chrome provides the most consistent experience and can provide increased usability. If you plan to use Google Apps heavily, ITS recommends using Google Chrome.

Q: If I want to learn more about Google Apps, where can I find more information?
A: There are a number of ways to learn more about Google Apps.

Q: I’m experiencing difficulty connecting to Google services. How do I check to see if a particular service is down? 
A: Follow this Link to look up the current status of Google servers by application:

Q: When should I use Google Docs as opposed to Microsoft Office?
A: Google Docs is by no means a replacement for Office (at least for heavy users) and Office is by no means a replacement for Google Docs. Their “sweet spots” are very different. Many people can (and do) benefit from using both tools. Office provides fine grain control over formatting and has many features, but does not allow for easy collaboration with others. Google Docs makes it easy to collaborate, but has far fewer features and provides less formatting control than Office. Both Office and Google Docs will be available at Goshen. The grid below provides guidance on which tool to use for what. Collaboration in this grid refers to document collaboration e.g., documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

Tool Good For Not Good For
Google Docs
  • Collaborating with people inside and outside of Goshen in real-time or asynchronously
  • Quickly collecting data via an online form
  • Accessing documents from any computer using just a web browser
  • Easily sharing documents with others
  • Creating complicated documents, such as those with large images or complex formatting
  • People who regularly work without an Internet connection
  • Collaborating on documents that contain sensitive business information (identity theft information)
Microsoft Office
  • Creating complicated documents, such as those with large images or complex formatting
  • People who regularly work without an Internet connection
  • Working on documents that contain sensitive business information (identity theft information)
  • Collaborating with others in real-time
  • Quickly collecting data via an online form
  • Accessing documents from any computer with just a web browser
  • Easily sharing documents with others
GCFile (M: drive)
  • Storing documents that contain sensitive business information (identity theft information)
  • Storing other files in addition to documents, spreadsheets and presentations
  • Collaborating with others in real-time
  • Collaborating with people outside of Goshen College
  • Easily sharing documents with others

If you are collaborating on a complicated document, consider using Google Docs to collaborate on the content and then take that content out of Google Docs and bring it into Office or some other software to finalize the formatting.

Q: What are some practical examples of using Google Apps for educational proposes?

  1. Use Google Forms to quickly collect data for student peer evaluations, beginning of the year “get to know you” surveys, event sign-ups, and more. Consider using forms to collect real-time feedback in class.
  2. Use Google Docs to collaborate with one other person or group of people on presentations, papers, business plans, course plans, etc. We can’t even begin to list all of the uses!
  3. Use the commenting system inside Google Docs to help make the feedback cycle shorter and keep track of the discussion that takes place while creating the document.
  4. Use a Google Spreadsheet to help make a search committee’s work easier. During a search, if you use a scoring rubric, each member can score each candidate on a number of variables in the spreadsheet. Everyone can then see how the candidates are stacking up.

Q: Is Google+ available as part of Goshen’s Google Apps?
A: Yes. Google+ is available as part of Goshen Google Apps. Keep in mind that if you already have a Google+ profile under a personal Google account, your Goshen Google+ profile will be IN ADDITION to your personal profile – meaning you will have two Google+ profiles. The Google+ team is aware of this and is looking into ways to merge accounts when students graduate. Just be aware that the two accounts are separate.

Q: Is it possible to merge my Goshen Google Apps account with another Google Account?
A: It is not possible to combine two Google accounts or merge data. To learn more visit Google’s Account Merge and Data Move Options page.

If you have additional questions about Google Apps, or need assistance, contact the Help Desk at (574) 535-7700, or send an email to