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Updates to Carmen allow users to subscribe to posts

The days of refreshing Carmen just to see if something new has been posted are nearly over. With a new update to the system, students will be able to receive alerts for instructor posts on Carmen, if they choose to subscribe.

Carmen is Ohio State’s learning management system, a website that many classes use to store class information, post grades and share news about the class.

Carmen will be shut down for annual maintenance on Saturday for updates to the system. Valerie Rake, representative from the Office of the Chief Information Officer, said that among these updates will be a new feature that will enable students to sign up to receive notifications from Carmen when an instructor posts to the course homepage.

Starting Winter Quarter, Rake said students will be able to subscribe to news items, which means when an instructor posts a grade or reminder about a dropbox due date in the news feed, students who have subscribed will automatically receive an email or a text message informing them of the new content.

“Notifications are something that we have asked for. Students don’t want to check their Carmen course repeatedly to see if there is something new,” Rake said. “When instructors add new content, those announcements can go out seamlessly to those students who want them.”

Many OSU instructors use Carmen to keep their classes organized. Carmen was used in more than 4,900 courses during the Autumn Quarter, mostly undergraduate classes, Rake said. Use of the site is more common among large-enrollment courses, she said.

Rake said the costs for the new notification system are undetermined because it is part of an annual update and is therefore included in the overall cost associated with Carmen. She did not respond to a request for the total cost to upkeep Carmen.

Some students believe that getting alerts when items are posted would make it easier to stay on top of assignments.

“I think that most students would find these notifications to be beneficial because we would only have to go to the website when we know for certain that something has been updated,” said Celeste Catri, a second-year in psychology.

Catri said that she would subscribe to the program.

“I also think that these notifications would help students that do not check Carmen frequently,” Catri said. “It would be less likely that they would miss something that a professor had posted.”

Andrew Ameter, a third-year in marketing, said he would be interested in the text message alert.

“My phone doesn’t support the Carmen mobile site, so it would be a lot more convenient to get text alerts,” Ameter said.

Rake said students will not automatically be enrolled in the notification system. Those who want to subscribe must do so on their own on the Carmen website.

The notification system will not alert students when grades are posted to the site, Rake said. Instead, subscribers will be alerted if an instructor chooses to post in the course newsfeed that the grades for a specific assignment have been posted.


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