Calendar is an easy tool for communicating course-related due dates and events to your students and other participants.
- Advantages: Students can see upcoming assignment dates at a glance.
- Disadvantages:There is not enough room to convey much information about assignments in the calendar. Students will need to look elsewhere for details.
- Active Learning Strategy: Encourage students to use the course calendar to mark their own deadlines for personal and/or group projects.
Read about using Calendar in Ohio State's course management system.
Create a course outline and link it to your course materials, such as syllabus, class handouts, study guides, or even library eReserves. (See Organizing Content for an example.)
- Advantages: Students are able to access course materials from anywhere there is a computer. A well-structured outline with links to materials can help students study effectively
- Disadvantages: Students must make it a habit to regularly check the content for any new information or updates. Consider announcing any changes or additions in a News item.
- Active Learning Strategy: Post summary notes, PowerPoint slides, or outlines of class lectures. Students can review material as often as they need to.
Read about using Content in Ohio State's course management system.
Set up Dropbox folders to collect and manage electronic files from students.
- Advantages: Students can easily upload assignments through Carmen, and instructors can easily grade and return them – with or without downloading.
- Disadvantages: Any time you have students turn in assignments electronically, there is the possibility of technical problems. Clearly communicate your policy for dealing with these problems, or provide an alternate means for students to submit their work.
- Active Learning Strategy: Since you don't have to physically collect, grade and return papers, turn-around time is often diminished through the use of Dropbox. Consider using this 'extra time' to have students revise papers, improve writing, etc.
Read about using Dropbox in Ohio State's course management system.
Design a Gradebook to reflect your existing grading system. Students can view their grades online, and you can export final grades to the Registrar's system.
- Advantages: Students can see their grades and progress at a glance.
- Disadvantages: Students may fixate on the grade data rather than on learning the course material. With incomplete grade data, students may misinterpret the grade data they see.
- Active Learning Strategy: Setting up your Gradebook early in the course allows students to get a visual representation of upcoming assignments and how the different activities will influence their grade.
Read about using Gradebook in Ohio State's course management system.
Use News to post short announcements directly on your course home page. You can also post images and link to other resources.
- Advantages: Since News Announcements are on the Course Home Page, this is the first thing most students see.
- Disadvantages: As with many Carmen items and tools, students need to remember to look at News announcements frequently to note any changes.
- Active Learning Strategy: Associate images or links to your news items to make them more meaningful or to give further information to students.
Read about using News in Ohio State's course management system.
Online chat gives you the ability to send and receive
real-time messages. Chats can be private or group-oriented. In some
programs, you can create drawings, upload and share files, view Web
pages, and create equations and allow audience members to edit them.
- Advantages: Online chat can be used for synchronous, real-time communication.
- Disadvantages: There is somewhat of a learning curve to setting up and using some online chat programs.
- Active Learning Strategy: Consider holding online office hours. You can provide immediate feedback to one or more students at a time.
Read about using online chat in Ohio State's course management system.
With online discussions, you can set up forums for questions about a concept, thoughts on today's lecture, or peer help/review. Using Discussions creates social interaction for students, and allows all students to have a 'voice'.
- Advantages: Students no longer have to overcome shyness to have their voice heard.
- Disadvantages: Discussions may stray off topic or become a forum to air personal grievances. Maintain presence in discussions to help guide students. (See Tips for Effective Online Discussions.)
- Active Learning Strategy: Use discussions as a graded activity to encourage students to participate. Students can also use discussions as a study aid.
Read about using online discussions in Ohio State's course management system.
Create online Quizzes and, if you choose, provide students immediate feedback on their comprehension. Quizzes can be autograded and linked to the Carmen Gradebook. Surveys can be used for course evaluation questions at any time.
- Advantages: Depending on the settings you choose, quizzes can be taken from anywhere.
- Disadvantages: It is hard to completely mimic the in-class security of pencil-and-paper quizzes. Reserving a proctored lab or using tools like Respondus Lock Down Browser can help.
- Active Learning Strategy: Decide if you will use quizzes as a study tool or as a measure of student mastery of knowledge. Create your Question Library and Quizzes around this decision.
Read about using online quizzes in Ohio State's course management system.