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Carmen redesign to feature a more mobile-friendly layout

Courtesy of OSU

Carmen will be more mobile friendly this summer, when a new redesign of the site officially debuts.
The new Carmen is a product of collaboration between faculty and staff from Ohio State’s Office of the Chief Information Officer and a new student organization called the OCIO Student Advisory Committee.
“The student leaders and myself, we just kind of work together to work with OCIO to see what new products they’re working on and what new types of services they’d like student feedback on,” said Steve Lieb, adviser for the OCIO Student Advisory Committee.
At the beginning of the semester, the OCIO Student Advisory Committee met with the Carmen team from OCIO about six months ago and was able to get a sneak peek at the upcoming version and offer feedback.
“It’s kind of designed with laptops and tablets and smartphones in mind,” Lieb said. “The Carmen we have now doesn’t really work super well on mobile devices.”
Lieb calls the new Carmen a “huge redesign,” with “lots of new notifications and layout.”
He also said OCIO factored student feedback into some of the updates.
“One of the feedback (options) I know they’ve already implemented was the way when you log into Carmen, the way your courses are displayed by past quarters and semesters – they’ve changed that based on some of the feedback the student organization gave,” he said.
Sam Okin, a third-year in computer science and president of the OCIO Student Advisory Committee, said he enjoys giving feedback on technological changes at OSU.
“I just like meeting all these kids that are interested in this new technology that we are talking about,” Okin said. “And I like having my say because we all have our own little gripes about things.”
Okin said members of the OCIO Student Advisory Committee bring their friends and other students to voice their opinion and give their own feedback as well.
“It’s not all computer science majors – it’s people from all walks of life across campus coming to improve what we do here,” he said.
There are 55 members of the OCIO Student Advisory Committee, and there is no fee to be a member.
The OCIO Student Advisory Committee has been a part of discussion and collaboration on other OSU technology.
Lieb said the organization has seen presentations from the OCIO on a schedule planner through BuckeyeLink, as an alternative to the third-party “Schedulizer,” updates to the OSU mobile application and increases to wireless capacity across campus.
“We’re talking about the Digital First transition a lot, so that’s an important thing,” Okin said.
The Digital First Initiative is focused on “redesigning the campus experience at Ohio State by optimizing wireless and classroom technology … and enhancing the student experience,” according to its website.
Matthew Stoltzfus, chemistry lecturer and Digital First faculty fellow, said his top priority is to “determine the best way possible to enhance student experience using technology.”
To do that, Stoltzfus and the rest of the Digital First team relies on student feedback.
“The thing we don’t want to do is make a bunch of changes and then make the changes we think are convenient but are not convenient for the student experience,” Stoltzfus said.
Stoltzfus said Digital First, the OCIO and the OCIO Student Advisory Committee are working diligently to keep up with rapidly developing technology.
“I had a gut feeling this would happen,” Stoltzfus said in reference to a digital transition in education. “I just had no idea it would happen this soon.”

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