What’s new in Carmen for Autumn 2020?

While you are building your courses for next semester, you may notice a few new features in CarmenCanvas. A new dashboard view that sorts published from unpublished courses and a one-step process for uploading multiple files to modules will be available to help speed up your course building process for autumn. During the semester, you can continue to test the new Rich Content Editor in all the places you can enter text in Carmen. You *won’t* see the Conferences tool (which uses BigBlueButton) this autumn, as CarmenZoom is available for all your web conferencing needs.

While some features are changing, many things remain the same:

  • You should activate your Carmen course—even if you are teaching in person for Autumn 2020, you should plan to use CarmenCanvas as your hub for content and communication with your students. Upload your syllabus, keep your gradebook up to date and use the Announcements feature to let students know the latest information. Organizing your weekly content in modules will also help you create a backup plan should another instructor need to step in during the semester.
  • Use Carmen to set course expectations—let students know what will be online and what will take place in person. Let them know how to contact you in case they become sick or can’t attend classes in person or at a scheduled time online. Be clear of your expectations and be supportive of their personal situations.
  • Enrollments will process overnight—if students are adding or dropping classes, the changes will not be reflected in your Carmen course right away. With the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, you can expect more students to add, drop or switch course sections.
    • Before the start of the semester, the Carmen Support Team will remove inactive students from your course, so those who drop before the start of the term won’t remain visible in your People list throughout the semester.

Be sure to visit the Keep Teaching site throughout the summer and during autumn term. This site houses strategies for fully-online courses, in-person courses and everything in between. The instructional design experts in ODEE offer best practices to promote flexibility so you can be prepared for whatever comes your way in Autumn 2020.

So what’s coming up in 2020 (and 2021)?

Upload Multiple Files in Module Builder

As you build out your course for autumn, you’ll notice that you can upload multiple files at once directly into your modules. When you have a brand new module, you’ll have the option to upload files using drag-and-drop functionality.

Delete Multiple Pages

Beginning in August, you'll notice a small yet exciting change on the Pages Index page. Check boxes will allow you to select multiple pages that can then be deleted at once, instead of removing outdated pages one at a time.

Direct Share

You are now able to share individual course items with your colleagues! When viewing course items like assignments, from the three-dot menu you can select the option Send To… to give a copy of that item to another instructor or Copy To… to push a copy of that item to another course you manage. These options let you share your course materials without the need to enroll a colleague in a master course or a course from a previous term. As always, you can share to the Commons if you want certain course items to be available to a wider audience.

Published vs. Unpublished View

This summer, you’ll notice that the Dashboard, Courses menu and All Courses page will sort your courses and label which are published and unpublished. This small change makes it easier for you to see which courses still need to be published—aka, which courses are not yet visible to your students.

Rich Content Editor

The NEW Rich Content Editor is still available for you to test this summer and into autumn semester. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can opt in and try building one of your courses with it to familiarize yourself before the old Rich Content Editor retires. The new Rich Content Editor will be the ONLY content editor later this year.

BigBlueButton Retirement

On August 11, ODEE will be retiring BigBlueButton, an integrated tool in Canvas that powers the Conferences feature. You should be using CarmenZoom for any web conferencing needs, as this tool is supported by the university and includes advanced features like transcripts for recordings.

Through all the uncertainty this year, our goal is to keep you informed of the latest changes to eLearning tools and help support your teaching efforts. CarmenCanvas should be your hub for sharing content with students and staying connected. You can use it to help reduce stress and build connection with your students, who are also dealing with a lot of uncertainty. The LMS can help you create an inclusive learning space online and supplement your physical classroom space if you plan to return to campus. It’s also easy to include resources and support options for students, right in your Carmen course, so the information is easy to find. Visit the Keep Teaching site to learn more ways Carmen can support your courses in Autumn 2020 and beyond.