MOOCs in 2014

A MOOC is a Massively Open Online Course. These courses saw enormous expansion in 2013 and with the start of the new year many are wondering what changes are on the horizon. Coursera is a provider of MOOCs and a partner of Ohio State. Ohio State currently has nine MOOCs available through Coursera,

Daphene Koller, who is co-founder of Coursera, recently addressed the company’s outlook for the new year. In the new year, Koller highlights a few priorities for Coursera:

  • “Shift the conversation around” retention and demographics
  • “Redefine what it means to be successful”
  • “Lay a groundwork for products, offerings, and features that can help students navigate” courses “to meet their own goals”

2014 edSurge Outlooks

If you would like to read more in-depth about Koller’s insights into Coursera for the new year, please consider reading the EdSurge article on her outlook. If you are interested in more predictions for the upcoming year surrounding educational technology, EdSurge provides a great list of opinions in their EdSurge 2014 Outlooks page.

If you have any questions about MOOCs or in general, please contact the Fisher ITS Helpdesk.

Import Carmen Course Components and Activate Your Course

With the autumn 2013 semester coming to a close and planning beginning for the spring 2014 semester, preparation for Carmen integration is also taking place. Carmen makes it easy to move materials from one semester to the next through the Carmen Import Components function.

Carmen Import

By importing Carmen Components you can import an exact copy of an older Carmen course into your new Carmen course shell for the new semester or you can choose to copy only specific materials that are relevant to your new course. We have a guide available outlining the steps needed to complete the import.

Import Carmen Course Components

Once you have your Carmen course designed and ready for the new semester, remember that Carmen courses must be activated before they are available to students for viewing. Activating a Carmen course requires checking the “Enable student access” box, however this box can be hard to find. We have a guide available that walks through the steps.

Activate a Carmen Course

If you have any questions about importing Carmen components, activating a Carmen course or any questions in general, please contact the Fisher ITS Helpdesk.

Carmen Dropbox and TurnItIn

Carmen allows for the distribution of content and information to students, but also allows students to submit assignments. Carmen Content is used to distribute content to students and Carmen Dropbox is used to receive content from students.

Carmen Dropbox

Without any modification a basic Carmen Dropbox will allow students to submit assignments for review. This is a great way to eliminate paper in your course and to allow for organization of student assignments. A basic Carmen Dropbox is easy to setup and a brief guide is available on the process:

Create a Dropbox

A Carmen Dropbox with TurnItIn enabled will check student work for plagiarism. Enabling this feature in a Carmen Dropbox is as simple as checking the OriginalityCheck box. We have a guide available detailing the steps needed to create a TurnItIn Dropbox and a complete overview of the tool and best practices can be found on the OSU Resource Center.

Create a TurnItIn Dropbox

OSU Resource Center: TurnItIn

Carmen Dropbox also allows for submission of feedback on student assignments. This feedback will only be seen by the student to whom the feedback was submitted. Feedback can include text, an attached file (Perhaps the original submission file with edits), or an actual grade that links to the Carmen Gradebook. If a grade will be submitted, a Grade Item must first be created in the Carmen Gradebook and linked to the Carmen Dropbox during the Dropbox creation process. We have guides available outlining the steps needed to create a Carmen Grade Item and outlining the steps needed to add feedback and assign a grade to a Carmen Dropbox.

Create a Carmen Grade Item

Submit Feedback in a Carmen Dropbox

If you have any questions about Carmen Dropbox or any questions in general, please contact the Fisher ITS Helpdesk.

Reduce Email Through Carmen News

Communication is constant and often this means a full email inbox. What if you could post an announcement in one spot and every student in your course would receive the message? This is possible through Carmen News.

Carmen News

Carmen News is available on the homepage of every Carmen course. Through this tool an Instructor can post announcements that will be presented front and center every time a student logs into the Carmen course. Through frequent use of this tool students will begin to check Carmen for announcements and updates instead of expecting an email. Using Carmen News will lead to reduced email in your inbox.

A guide is available describing the process to create a Carmen News Item:

Create a Carmen News Item

If you have any questions about using Carmen News or any questions in general, please contact the Fisher ITS Helpdesk.

National Distance Learning Week

National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) takes place this year from November 11th- 15th. NDLW is sponsored by The United States Distance Learning Association. The goal of this week long event is to promote distance learning and analyze successful implementations. To learn more about NDLW and view recordings of past events please visit the NDLW Learners page.

National Distance Learning Week

Quality Matters, the national standard for online course design followed by Ohio State, is also offering numerous sessions to celebrate NDLW. These sessions include topics on teaching online students and creating accessible materials for distance learning. To view a list of the available sessions please view the QM Live! NDLW page.

If you have any questions about NDLW or any questions in general, please contact the Fisher ITS Helpdesk.

Statistics in Carmen

Carmen is a tremendous teaching tool. Through Carmen tools such as Content, Discussions, Dropbox, Quizzing, Surveys, and Grades, students and educators can interact with content and each other.  All of this interaction creates data and Carmen allows educators to catch a glimpse of how their students are using Carmen through Carmen Statistics.

Carmen Statistics

Carmen Statistics allows an educator to see how an entire class is interacting with Carmen Content and allows for an in-depth look at individual students. Through Carmen Statistics an educator can see what topics students are referring to the most in their studies and perhaps where more attention is needed in class for review of important concepts. Carmen Statistics can allow education to be tailored to a particular class or student.

A guide is available on how to find and export statistics from Carmen:

Carmen Statistics Guide

If you have any questions about using Carmen Statistics to help in your instruction or any questions in general, please contact the Fisher ITS Helpdesk.

Blended Learning in Education

Moving content and teaching into a digital format has become a driving force in education. This movement can take many forms, including blended learning. A blended approach is currently a growing trend through processes such as “flipping” the classroom. In a blended and flipped approach, a portion of the course content is delivered to students outside of the classroom in a digital format. This delivery then opens up class time for hands-on activities, discussion and application of the materials.

The groups, Digital Learning Now!, Getting Smart, and The Leaning Accelerator, have come together to create a comprehensive look at why there is movement towards blended learning and how to implement this type of instruction in a Blended Learning Implementation Guide. For visual reinforcement the groups have also created an infographic entitled How to Implement Blended Learning.

The group highlights 10 drivers of the movement to digitizing content and blended learning:

Blended Learning Drivers

These drivers have led many institutions to move towards digitizing content. It is important to have a plan in mind and a process developed when moving to a digital format. If no process is developed the content and student education can suffer. This process should start with the development of learning goals. These goals should address the desired student learning for the content and the process should determine the best way to deliver this content.

Blended Learning Process

If you would like to learn more about how digital content can be used in your course and if a blended approach is right for you, please contact the Fisher ITS Helpdesk.


Bailey et. al. (2013, Sept.). Blended Learning Implantation Guide. Retrieved from

Bailey et. al. (2013, Sept.). How to Implement Blended Learning Version 2.0. Retrieved from

Add Participants to a Carmen Course

Whether adding a Teaching Assistant or a second Instructor, adding participants to a Carmen course can be very beneficial. The process to add a participant can be found here:

Add Participants to a Carmen Course Guide

This process is perfect for adding many of the Carmen roles listed below, but will not work for student enrollment. Students are enrolled in a Carmen course through the Student Information System (SIS) and cannot be manually added to a course. If a participant is added to a Carmen course as a student and that participant is not enrolled in the course through SIS as a student, the manual enrollment to the Carmen course will not hold and the manually added participant will be automatically removed from the Carmen course within 24 hours.

Manually adding a participant to a Carmen course for all other roles besides student is a perfect route for TAs, second Instructors, or student assistants. One key concept to keep in mind when adding participants to a course in Carmen and choosing a role for them, is that if a Carmen course contains multiple sections, some Carmen roles must be added to individual sections (Assistant, Graders, etc.) while others such as Instructor will “cascade” to all sections in that particular Carmen course. Roles that are not able to “cascade” are denoted in the image below with a “2.”  A breakdown of the different roles in Carmen and what they can do can be seen below:

Carmen Roles

For an in-depth explanation of each role, please view the Central OSU Carmen Team’s page on Carmen Roles.

If you have any questions or concerns about the roles in Carmen or how to manually add a participant, please contact the Fisher ITS Helpdesk.

Instructional Design at Fisher

Instructional Design allows for seamless incorporation of technology in the classroom by looking at a course as a whole. By starting with the core learning objectives of the course, faculty and Instructional Designers can find the best uses and incorporations of technology throughout the curriculum. At Fisher, the ADDIE Model of course design (analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation) is commonly used to guide this process.

Purdue University recently developed a modified version of the ADDIE Model that they are calling “The ‘wheel of interactive course design’ model.”
The Wheel of Interactive Course Design Model

A recent EDUCAUSE article looks at Purdue’s experience in developing and using their new design model. The Key Takeaways citied are:

  • Most faculty members are not taught a systematic process to course design and, despite their subject expertise, might lack background in learning theory.
  • Faculty can best adopt educational technology while designing or redesigning their course rather than retrofitting an existing course to include technology.
  • A course design model can include practical application of theories, including best practices for instructional technology use.

Beyond these results, the model and the incorporation of the model have proven to be beneficial to student learning, “…we have evidence that redesigned courses that incorporate technology have positively influenced student learning.”

If you would like to redesign your course using Instructional Design or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Fisher ITS Helpdesk.


Reid, P. & Attardo, D. (2013, Sept. 4). Designing the Wheel: Built-in Instructional Technology. Retrieved


Communication through Email in Carmen

Communication is key to a successful course. One of the easiest ways to communicate with students is through email. Carmen makes it easy to communicate with students through email.

Carmen does not contain a standalone email system, yet instead an email sent from Carmen is sent to a student’s “” email address. This ensures that there is no separate email inbox to check and allows for ease of use for faculty as well as students.

Through Carmen, emails can be sent out to selected members of a course or to an entire Classlist. Step-by-step guides are available to help with each process.

Email Selected Members of the Classlist

Email the Entire Classlist

Carmen Email Flow

Often in Carmen multiple sections of the same course are combined in the same Carmen course shell. These sections are taught by the same instructor and are identical in their implementation.  This is very convenient so that materials uploaded into one Carmen course shell are seen by every section. In these situations, the Carmen Classlist allows Instructors to sort by section. This allows for easier location of students for tasks such as email and allows for section organization. A step-by-step is available to help with sorting the Carmen Classlist by section.

View Individual Course Sections in the Carmen Classlist

For any questions or concerns about the resources above or in general, please contact the Fisher ITS Help Desk.