Teaching and Learning Resource Center

CarmenCanvas Integrations

What is a CarmenCanvas integration? 

The Canvas learning management system provides many functions that are useful to a broad range of users. When there is a need for enhanced or specialized functions outside of the ones provided, third-party applications can be integrated into CarmenCanvas. 

The integration of third-party applications allows students to access resources related to their course through Carmen, even though they are housed in another online system. Depending on the integration, instructors may be able to transfer content, assignments, and grades from the integrated application into Carmen. 

UX Tip

Explore Available Tools

While integrations with CarmenCavas can provide desired features, there are many tools and resources already available to Ohio State users. Before looking at external tools, you should explore the available options to see if you can accomplish your instructional goals with already supported systems. There are many learning opportunities  available to help instructors explore OTDI supported tools. 

Additionally, the Affordable Learning Exchange offers grants to support instructors who wish to redesign courses to improve student outcomes at a lower cost by choosing resources that cost less and provide easier access.

How do they work? 

Most third-party applications are integrated with Canvas using the Learning Tools Interoperability standard, or LTI for short. LTI integrations are generally required when student data (account information and grades) passes back and forth between systems.  

Each integration connects to CarmenCanvas differently. The steps instructors and students must follow to move from CarmenCanvas to the other site vary depending on the third-party application. The functionality provided by the separate application and the data stored and sent between that application and Carmen differs based on the application's function. 

Some integrations may simply provide a single-sign-on (SSO) function, allowing students to jump from their Carmen course to the external tool without entering an additional password. Some allow students to complete assignments in the external tool, with the grades being passed back to Carmen.  Some focus on giving the instructor additional options for content creation or embedding features.  

What third-party applications are already integrated with CarmenCanvas? 

There are a number of third-party applications that have already been added to CarmenCanvas  Some of these are applications provided by the Office of Technology and Digital Innovation (OTDI) while others have been added at the request of colleges, departments or instructors, following the rigorous process outlined below. All third-party integrations are added to CarmenCanvas by OTDI.   

OTDI provides technical support to instructors and students for applications that are centrally funded. Support for other applications is provided by the vendor or by the unit that purchased the product.

The following list is currently under revision, if you have any specific questions about any of these tools, please email carmen@osu.edu.

Currently enabled integrations:

Why can’t I add them myself? 

The integration of many third-party applications involves the transfer of student data to non-Ohio State servers. This can include: 

  • Full names 
  • Email addresses 
  • Course enrollment 
  • Grades 
  • Departmental or Student Payment Information  

The university must also ensure that applications meet accessibility standards and are compatible with adaptive technology. Additionally, there may be terms and conditions of use involved in the contract that the university needs to review. 

Due to all of these considerations, only application administrators employed by OTDI can install integrations in CarmenCanvas. They help to monitor the review processes to ensure everything has been addressed before the tool is installed. This also allows for maintaining a list of vendors and account contacts in case there are technical problems that need to be resolved. 

How do I get an integration approved? 

Before you submit an integration for inclusion in CarmenCanvas, the tool must go through a Security Risk Assessment and Accessibility Review. These two processes can be completed at the same time.   

To start a Security Risk Assessment, contact your unit’s Security Coordinator. Make sure to include your primary vendor contact in your communications, as they will need to provide information to your security liaison as part of the review. Learn more about the Security Review Process.  

To start an Accessibility Review, contact your unit’s Accessibility Coordinator.  Learn more about the university’s Digital Accessibility Policy

If there is a cost associated with use of the application, student-paid or otherwise, you will be responsible for providing those details during a subsequent legal review.  

Instructors and their departments are responsible for initiating and completing all reviews. Your Security Coordinator will notify the OTDI application administrators as part of the review process, but if you have any immediate questions, please email carmen@osu.edu

Once the Security Risk Assessment and Accessibility Review are completed, the eLearning Support team will work with you and the vendor to collect any additional documentation and information needed. Depending on the tool, there may be additional legal and financial reviews to complete. Additionally, the tool will be tested to ensure its functionality with CarmenCanvas, and its ability to be supported at scale.  

How long does the approval process and installation take? 

There are a lot of variables involved in vetting and implementing a third-party tool in CarmenCanvas. Additionally, the more student data transferred between CarmenCanvas and the external application, the more scrutiny the integration will receive. Sometimes, the integration itself requires troubleshooting and testing before it works as expected. 

While the process can take less time if the integration is straightforward and the reviews are completed quickly, it is best to plan for 20 weeks from start to finish