LabArchives Tips (3): Database Tools and Freezer Boxes

LabArchives provides a series of five articles to get you started with their lab notebook tool.  This is the fourth in the series.  All information is taken directly from the tutorials they send by email to new users.

Widgets – Powerful Tools

Extend the tools and features available to you within your ELN using LabArchives Widgets. They are customizable, interactive HTML forms or applications displayed directly within your page/entry. Learn more

Need even more power within your notebook, learn how to create your own custom widgets.

Databases and Freezer Boxes

Create your own database or freezer box widgets with the ability to store multiple entries all using a single form. With the freezer box displaying in a grid style rather that the database table style. Learn more about database or freezer box widgets.


LabArchives Tips (3): Data Management Planning

LabArchives provides a series of five articles to get you started with their lab notebook tool.  This is the third in the series.  All information is taken directly from the tutorials they send by email to new users.

Your Notebook Data – Secured!

When it comes to your research data, it is secured with bank level security. Learn more about your data security and availability.


Don’t ever lose any of your research data as EVERY version is available to view and restore through the revision history. (No data can ever be erased or deleted and all data changes are tracked).
Learn more


Internal and external notebook linking of data and experiment protocols can lead to greater reproducibility of laboratory experiments. Learn more

Create an Offline Version

Need a copy of your notebook for posterity? Learn how to create
or PDF versions of your notebook.

LabArchives Tips (2): Uploading and Managing Data

LabArchives provides a series of five articles to get you started with their lab notebook tool.  This is the second in the series.  All information is taken directly from the tutorials they send by email to new users.


Need to doodle a drawing of your experiment set-up or the results, try LabArchives Sketching tool.
Learn more


Enhance and edit your lab notebook images to highlight or present particular findings that are significant.
Learn more

Using the LA Docs Editor

Create and edit MS-Office compatible documents from within your Notebook. This includes: MS-Office Word, MS-Office Excel and MS-Office PowerPoint.

Learn more

MS Office Plug-In Software

Users can use this FREE plug-in softare feature to open files from a LabArchives Notebook in their local Microsoft Office and once done editing a file, save the file back to their notebook without even being logged into the web browser.

Learn more – PC Users
Learn more – MAC Users

Using your Inbox

Results direct in your notebook inbox. Feature enables rules by which files of a specific type(s) are moved automatically into a designated Folder upon arrival in your inbox. Within that Folder, they are automatically organized into a Subfolder by the Year, and then into individual Pages by date within that Year.

Learn more

Also available is a FREE desktop utility, FolderMonitor, for Windows and Mac, that automatically transfers files from your PC into LabArchives notebook.

LabArchives Tips (1): Setting Up Your Notebook

LabArchives provides a series of five articles to get you started with their lab notebook tool.  This is the first in the series.  All information is taken directly from the tutorials they send by email to new users.

It’s All About The Set-up

When it comes to transitioning to LabArchives from paper notebooks or even other digital tools, we provide you with several options. Is your lab working on one or more projects? Is it a small lab, or do you have a large number of members? Do you have a regular change in lab members (e.g. graduate students)? Learn more about your set-up options.

We Like Hierarchies

LabArchives uses a standard file system of Folders to organize your laboratory information. Each folder may contain any number of “sub-folders.” There is no limit to the number or levels of sub-folders. Learn more…

LabArchives Blog

LabArchives Video Tutorials

Announcements vs. Email in Carmen

You probably know that you can communicate with your students in Carmen either by sending them an email using the CarmenCanvas “Inbox” or by posting an announcement.  But which one is better?  Best practices in online communication with students say that general class information should be shared using the Announcements tool where all have access to it at any time, and the instructor should make clear from the beginning of the term that the onus is on the student to check the course announcements regularly (perhaps daily).  Emails can get caught in a spam filter, be misdirected, or simply ignored. Of course, information of a more private nature which is intended for an individual student should be sent by email to that student, and ODEE’s recommendation is that we use the student’s email address. They also recommend not sending FERPA data (such as grade information) via email but to instead keep it in Carmen and tell students where they can look for grade data and feedback.

Flash Friday recap: Remote Access and Network Drives in the CON

In the College of Nursing’s latest Flash Friday, Erik Yarberry from the CON IT department explained in easy-to-understand language how he keeps us securely connected with each other and with our data.  He answered the following questions:
~ How do VPN and the Remote Desktop really work?
~ What are the differences between our CON network drives? Which ones can I access and when?
~ Why can’t I keep things on my own desktop on Remote Desktop? Why shouldn’t I keep a bunch of files and folders on my own computer desktop?
~ How does Duo work?

If you missed his half-hour webinar, you can view the recording online.

He displayed a pair of great side-by-side diagrams illustrating the difference between our Remote Desktop and VPN.  Here they are!

Remote Desktop Server Overview

VPN Overview

Overview of Canvas Peer Review for Group Work Evaluation

We have discussed peer review in Carmen/Canvas before both on this blog and in previous Flash Friday presentations.  If you would like to catch up on the most recent Flash Friday on Peer Review, click here.  This post will go over some details and instructions for using the Canvas Peer Review tool to allow your students to evaluate one another’s performance in group work.

Peer Review in Canvas was designed to allow students to review work submitted by peers, such as research papers and websites.  If you are interested in using Canvas for this type of peer review, check out this post on creating peer reviews and this post on viewing peer review comments.  Also note that there are other ways of getting peer review feedback, including Qualtrics surveys and having students use email.  Whatever method you decide on, the College of Nursing IT team can help you design and implement a peer review assignment.

Peer Reviews for Group Work

For a step-by-step guide to creating your own group work peer evaluation assignment, download this presentation: Using Canvas Peer Review for Group Peer Evaluations-1qlkjnb.

Hints and Tips

  • Peer reviews do not receive a grade—if you want to give a grade for how well a student peer reviewed another student, you have to create a separate (no submission) assignment in Canvas to allot grades.
    • Alternatively, the instructor can give a grade on the assignment being reviewed and call that the peer review grade—this does get confusing and will not work if you have two rubrics involved.
    • Grading completion of peer review vs. grading students’ work vs. grading students’ feedback can be confusing.  Feel free to consult IT about this!
  • Who can see the comments in a peer review?  Instructors and the student being reviewed can see all comments on their submission or performance. Peer reviewers can only see their own comments–the comments they made and the comments addressed directly to them.  Students cannot see comments made by students to other students. The “test student” in Canvas cannot complete peer reviews.
  • Saved by the Bell – Clicking the “bell” symbol next to a student’s name who has not yet completed a peer review sends an email to the student to complete the review along with a link to the review they need to complete. This is handy when students state they cannot find their peer review assignment. Peer reviews go directly to the person getting the review—instructors cannot read over or approve them beforehand
  • When “Saved by the Bell” doesn’t work—instructors can delete the assigned peer review and re-assign it. This will erase all record of the first peer review attempt.
  • When assigning peer reviews for evaluation of group members, there is no shortcut to have the group members evaluate each other— the instructor must manually add each student (this can be tedious).
  • Dates get wonky in peer reviews for performance rather than a submission (“due date” is really “start date”)— you will need to explain this to students so they understand that this will look like an overdue assignment. Also, changing the due dates or available dates after publishing the assignment may result in student difficulty in viewing and completing peer reviews.
  • There is no “self-review” option.  If you want your students reviewing their own work, you’ll have to do this separately or on a different platform.
    • Workaround: you could have students leave a comment on their own peer review submission page.
  • Students may be able to go back in and change rubric scores after the review period, but they cannot edit or delete comments.

If you would like help setting up a peer-to-peer evaluation of group work, please contact us!

Get your Carmen Gradebook Ready for AU17 Final Grades

You’ll be submitting final grades for AU17 in just a few weeks. Are you ready? Now is the time to double-check your Carmen gradebook setup and prepare it so grade submission goes smoothly. The CON instructional design team presented a Flash Friday webinar on 11/17 on how the gradebook and assignment tools in Carmen are connected and how to organize one to rearrange the other. Find out how weighting grades, dropping grades, muting grades, and bonus assignments/points work in the gradebook in the recording of this webinar at

Additional resources

Resources for Carmen Courses

Are you working on your Carmen course content for the upcoming semester? The Office of Distance Education and eLearning has some useful templates and information you might be interested in.  Check these out!

Review an online course

This is an online form you can use for a self-evaluation of your online course or ask a peer to use to provide feedback for you.  It is more concise than the Quality Matters rubric and covers teaching practices of individual instructors. It can also be used as a general guideline for knowing what makes an online course and an online instructor “good.”

Log in to Carmen first in order to access the Canvas Commons resources below.

Student Resources at Ohio State

Provide information to your students about services related to academic success, tech help, community resources, and health.  This resource imports as a Content Page in your Carmen course and can be placed in Modules.

Student Online Readiness Module

Help your students understand what the expectations are in online learning.  Keep the parts of the module you like and delete the rest.

Template for a fully online course

This template is a good place to begin in Carmen with any online course development, and it also serves as a good model for revision or reorganization of existing fully online courses.  You’ll be asked to log in with your university credentials to view this template. If you want to see it in action in your own view of Carmen, create a master course, and import the template into it.

Looking for more Carmen templates?

Try going to Canvas Commons, uncheck the “Show Public Resources” button, and enter the terms OSU Carmen in the search field.  You’ll find templates from a basic homepage to a resource-heavy course.  Browse the available course models and see if one seems right for you.  Create as many master courses as you need to import the templates you are interested in.

Creating a Self-Grading Quiz on H5P

In a previous entry, you learned how to create a set of flashcards on H5P. Flashcards are an excellent study tool, but some students may simply memorize the cards themselves rather than actually learning the underlying concepts. For that reason, an excellent tool to reinforce the material on the flashcards is the self-grading quiz. Below is an example quiz based on this flashcard set:

To create an interactive quiz of your own, go to the H5P content creation screen and select “single choice set” from the drop down menu.

The first dialogue box will set the title for the entire quiz.

In these dialogue boxes, you will fill out the question and up to four possible answers. The form will default to two possible answers. You must click the grey “add answer” button to create new blank answer dialogue boxes. It is important to note that the first dialogue box is for the answer that you want the quiz to grade as correct. It is also important to note that the quiz will randomize the order of all four possible answers. This will be important later.

Question 5 is an important example because I chose to include an “all of the above” style answer. However, it is important to note that even though this answer is the last one on the form, it will not necessarily appear as the last question within that answer set (eg: it could appear answer 1, 2, 3, all of the above OR 1, all of the above, 3, 4 etc.). For this reason, you should choose a wording similar to “all answers are acceptable” and avoid answers that make reference to other answers in terms of their location within the answer set.

This image shows the grade ranges you can choose. This section starts relatively blank. To create the grade ranges for this quiz, I clicked the blue “add range button” until there was one grade range per question, then clicked the white “distribute evenly button.” However, If you choose to, you can manually adjust the grade ranges. The text boxes next to each grade range are the messages that will appear if a student receives a given score.

In these final steps you can further customize the behavior of the quiz and the messages and prompts that appear on the quiz. For this tutorial, these settings have been left as default, however I encourage you to play with these settings and contact CON IT for any additional assistance you may need. As with other content on H5P, you can edit the download, embed, and copyright buttons that will appear. Once you are happy with your quiz, click the pink save button. If you followed these directions, you should end up with a quiz identical to the one at the beginning of this blog post. Once you have completed your quiz, it can be embedded into Carmen or into your u.osu blog for use as a study tool. For help configuring your quiz, or assistance in implementing an H5P quiz in your classes or study groups, please contact CON IT for additional assistance.