Microsoft Office 365 is an online, browser-based tool that is available to Ohio State students and faculty for free (with the exception of Medical Center (@osumc.edu) employees). The traditional Microsoft Office suite is brought to a web browser and allows users to create and collaborate easily within Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
While Office 365 can stand alone as a useful tool for students and faculty, its recent integration with Carmen will allow for a greater and more practical use for Ohio State students and faculty. The integration creates another avenue for collaboration, creativity and sharing within Carmen.
Ohio State students and faculty can take advantage of Office 365’s features in four different areas within a Carmen course:
Office 365 has now taken over the Collaborations feature in Carmen, which can be enabled/disabled in the course navigation by an instructor. Within Collaborations, instructors have the ability to set up a Word, Excel or PowerPoint collaboration for select students or pre-defined groups within the course. Collaboration settings can be edited at any point.
View this help article for a clearer step-by-step of this process and more information.
If a student is in a group in a Carmen course, they will have the same access to Collaborations feature as instructors. Within that group, students have the ability to create Word, PowerPoint or Excel collaborations. As a student, keep in mind that instructors will be able to see any collaboration created within their course, even if they are not directly added.
Perhaps the most exciting feature of the integration is the ability for an instructor to create a “cloud assignment.” For example, an instructor may create a worksheet using Word in Office 365. They could then assign that worksheet to their students, and students could fill out the worksheet by editing the Word document themselves in Office 365. This could also be done using Excel or PowerPoint.
For a step-by-step of using this feature, view this help article. The article also highlights a few current limitations of the feature.
Things aren’t too different from the norm on the student end of a cloud assignment. Staying with the worksheet example, students would see the ability to open and edit the worksheet in Office 365. Their work will be saved automatically, so they simply need to click “Submit” back in Carmen whenever they are finished.
To learn more about the student side of this feature, view this help article.
Along with the cloud assignment capabilities, on any assignment with “Website URL” as a submission type, students now have the ability to log into Office 365 directly from Carmen and select a compatible file to upload.
Office 365 tab
If instructors enable the Office 365 tab in the course navigation, students can now view their OneDrive files directly in Carmen. Clicking on a file will allow student to edit it in a new tab.
Essentially, this feature is just an easy access point to Office 365 from a Carmen course. To learn more about this feature, view this help article.
Rich Content Editor
Lastly, students and instructors can link to OneDrive files within any rich content editor. By selecting the “More External Tools” icon in the tool bar (pictured above) and choosing Office365, any file located in a user’s OneDrive can be linked to. View this help article for a step-by-step of this process.
Using Office 365 is a great way to bring collaboration and innovation into your course(s). We encourage you to play around with these features on your own and come up with some ideas on how the integration may benefit you in one of your courses.
Over the coming months, be sure to revisit this blog for updates on our multimedia efforts. I will be sharing monthly updates, presenting easy-to-use tools that can improve your course(s) and sharing up-to-date research and developments from the eLearning world.