It is possible that your students were editing the document while offline and therefore any changes they made were not saved.
You may ask, "How did they even open the document if they were not online?"
If your student is on a mobile device, it's possible they opened the document while they were still connected to the internet. The document remains open on their device and they are able to see and even edit the document while offline.
These changes will not be saved until they are connected to the internet - and yes this can be done! Here are a few scenarios in which this may be the case:
- From a web browser: If a Google doc was opened in a web browser, the students would need to select the "Edit" button to begin typing. If they clicked on this edit button before leaving an internet connection, they are all set up to begin editing their document. Therefore, when they open the browser from an area without an internet connection, they are still able to edit their document. However, these changes will not be saved until they are connected to the internet, open the document, and select synchronize. This will update and save any changes made to the document while offline.
- From the Google Docs app: If a Google doc was opened in the app and was left open before losing internet connection, the student will be able to see the doc and edit it while offline. These changes will not be saved until the students opens the document while connected to the internet.
If your student falls into either category above and you are still unable to see and edits, it is likely that the student refreshed the page before reaching an internet connection. This will delete any changes made before it had a chance to save.