Teaching Tools

This page will outline how to utilize Carmen, Zoom and classroom tools to complete a variety of teaching activities.

Whether you are teaching in-person or online (or a combination of the two), Carmen and Zoom will be your primary tools. They can help you reduce stress and build connection, create inclusive learning spaces and integrate resources and pathways for support.


CarmenCanvas should be your hub for your class, whether teaching in-person, online or in a hybrid mode. Utilize the various features within this tool to build out the various aspects of your course.


You can give updates to your class through the Announcements tool in CarmenCanvas, which also allows you to record an audio or video message. If you allow it, students can reply to your announcements in Carmen and reply to each other's messages. You can set your Carmen announcements to send email notifications to students (but know that students can adjust these settings for their courses).

Consider using announcements to answer frequently asked questions for all students or to share resources for students to review if there are common misunderstandings.

This tool should be used whether you are teaching in-person, hybrid or online in an effort to keep important communications in a single location for students to stay up to date on all their courses.

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Modules and Course Content

You can share materials with students easily through your CarmenCanvas course. Students report a preference for instructors to use Modules for course materials, as it allows for easy organization (say, by week or class session) and labeling of items. You might consider using the Announcements tool to notify students of new modules or materials. You can also create pages within your modules to group like content together or simply use text headers to further organize your content and reduce stress for students.

Library Resources 

Many of the resources from University Libraries are licensed for Ohio State users. Permalinks for e-books, articles and streaming videos can be embedded directly into Carmen modules. From there, students will log in to the library with their name.# to authenticate their access. Information about the types of available materials and instructions for creating links for off-campus access are available in the Linking to Library Licensed Resources guide. University Libraries can also help you find course materials with free access for faculty and students, while wallking you through the basics of affordable learning. The Affordability Lib Guide can help you get started.

Mediasite Desktop Recorder

You can also use Mediasite to share recordings in modules. With the Mediasite recording tool, which you install on your computer, you can record your screen (e.g., slides) along with your voice and/or webcam. After you record a presentation, the video is uploaded to a streaming server and you can share a link with students.

CarmenZoom Integration

Use the CarmenZoom integration within CarmenCanvas to set up recurring course meetings or share cloud recordings of lectures. If using this integration, be sure to enable the Zoom widget in so it is visible in your course navigation.

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You can use the Discussion tool in CarmenCanvas to encourage students to ask questions of you and each other about course topics and the logistics of learning in your chosen mode of instruction. If you want to have students discuss material they have prepared, create a graded discussion and have them attach photos, videos, or files to share.

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You can assign quizzes or exams to students through CarmenCanvas Quizzes, where you have a range of question types available. Additionally, you can limit access to certain days/times, set time limits, and adjust other security settings.

You can use the quiz tool to give students the opportunity to pause and reflect during long, recorded lectures. Use a quiz as a short, low-stakes knowledge check at the end of each lecture or embed a series of lecture videos within a quiz with questions after each segment. Consider using quizzes to gauge how students are feeling about the course itself, too.

Use can even use the quiz tool to create activities where each individual student engages in authentic decision making. You can share a scenario, video, article, or information and let students make choices or evaluate how to proceed. They can respond to limited multiple choice or multiple answer questions or to open ended questions with text or video responses to role play how they would react. Set up automatic feedback on the quiz questions for students to see the outcomes of their choices.

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In your CarmenCanvas course, you can create assignments, where students will be able to see your directions (through text, attached files, or even video), submit their work online, and receive feedback after you use the SpeedGrader tool to grade. Assignments you create and publish with due dates will appear in the gradebook and calendar.

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CarmenZoom is Ohio State's academic audio and web conferencing tool that can be used to hold virtual class sessions and stay connected with students and colleagues.

Get Started

All instructors and students have access to CarmenZoom, and it is compatible with a wide range of devices, making it easy to keep teaching and keep connected. Zoom will be the best way to meet face-to-face with your students in the event that in-person meetings are not possible. You can use Zoom to record lectures and share with students, communicate with students in real-time, hold small group meetings and discussions and much more. This video introduction of Zoom's capabilities will help you familiarize yourself with the tool.

You can also download Zoom backgrounds from the osu.edu site to show off your Buckeye pride.

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You can schedule one-time or recurring meetings in Zoom, where you're able to use your webcam and share your screen with students. With very small classes, you can have students participate with audio and video; with larger classes, students can participate with chat and poll functionality. You can also utilize breakout rooms to facilitate small group discussions within your larger class. CarmenZoom meetings can be scheduled through your CarmenCanvas course for easy inclusion of your whole class list.

Besides class meetings, you can use CarmenZoom to hold office hours, schedule review sessions or provide 1:1 feedback for your students.

To avoid unwanted attendees, avoid sharing the link to your meeting in any public space, and consider choosing the option "Only authenticated users can join" in your Zoom meeting settings. You should record all Zoom meetings and share in your Carmen course for students who aren't able to attend live sessions due to technology or scheduling concerns. You can also reach out to Student Life Disability Services for assistance with captioning and interpretation.

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Polling, Reactions and Chat Features

Use the polling feature in Zoom to ask questions of students and then show responses in real-time. Poll responses are anonymous by default, but you can have Zoom record and report out responses for each student so you can assess participation.

Students can use other Zoom functions to indicate their understanding or opinions about the lesson, such as clicking the raise hand, yes/no, go slower, go faster, or any of the other reaction buttons.

Break up your lesson by stopping for a quick pause or activity, such as responding to a question, offering examples, or asking a question in chat. Interact with the chat at regular intervals so students have time to process information being presented. You can also encourage students to informally chat with one another. Zoom chat is another tool you can use to assess class participation.

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You can utilize Zoom to record your presentation or lecture and save recordings in the Zoom cloud. These recordings can be linked and shared through your modules, and recordings will remain in the Zoom cloud for 120 days. Recording to the Zoom cloud also lets you take advantage of Zoom's auto-caption function. Keep in mind, it may take several hours for your recordings to be available and for captions to be included. If you want a recording available for a specific date and time, record it early. You can also reach out to Student Life Disability Services for assistance with captioning and interpretation.

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Classroom Tools

If you are planning for any amount of in-person instruction this semester, be sure to review the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes site to review the most up-to-date information about classroom safety. Carmen and Zoom will still be key components of your in-person or hybrid course, but there are other tools that can enhance your physical classroom experience.

Top Hat

Top Hat is a web-based student response system that allows instructors to create an interactive lecture experience for students. Use Top Hat to poll students, present discussion prompts, display lecture material, track attendance, and sync grades with Carmen. Students can respond to Top Hat questions and prompts using the devices they already own, such as smartphones, laptops or tablets.

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Mediasite Hardware Recorder

Mediasite is a video and lecture capture tool used to record class sessions or lectures, screen or slide share with audio or video from a desktop computer, and upload recordings to university servers. The Mediasite Hardware Recorder is integrated into the podium of select lecture halls on the Ohio State Columbus campus.

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Document Camera

Document cameras are image capture devices for displaying items in the classroom. These devices can be used to display paper documents, transparencies or 3D objects. This is commonly known as an ELMO, visual presenter or digital overhead. If your classroom is equipped with one, review this video overview to learn how to use the document camera through Zoom so students in the classroom and those learning at a distance can see what you are sharing during class.

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