Teaching and Learning Resource Center

Getting Started with Carmen for Instructors

CarmenCanvas is Ohio State's learning management system, used by instructors, staff, and teaching assistants to create and share curricular materials with students. It's named for the song "Carmen Ohio"—Ohio State's alma mater. 

This instructional guide will walk you through how to get started creating and managing courses within Carmen as an instructor. This guide walks you through the complete process at a high-level and links to additional guides for more detailed instructions. 

Before getting started

Familiarize yourself with the components that make up CarmenCanvas

Carmen landing page

The Carmen landing page provides functionality customized for Ohio State where you can find, enter, and manage your courses including:

  • Adding participants to a course
  • Transferring final grades
  • Creating a forum course

This is how most students access their courses. Learn more about navigating the Carmen landing page


Once you click on your course from the Carmen landing page, you are taken to your actual courses in Canvas. Canvas is the learning management system that is used to create and deliver course content and assessments. CarmenCanvas is the Ohio State-branded version of Canvas. CarmenCanvas is often shortened to simply Carmen. 

Canvas mobile apps

The vendor for Canvas provides mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. Mobile apps are not intended to provide the full Canvas experience. See Canvas App vs Browser Tips for recommendations on which activities to use in the app versus the browser.

Review technical requirements

Review this list of the browser and computer requirements for Carmen.

We recommend using the most up-to-date version of your preferred web browser. If you experience issues using Carmen, try completing the same task in a different browser before seeking additional support.

1. Log in to the Carmen landing page.

To get started, log in to the Carmen landing page at carmen.osu.edu. Through the landing page, you can:

Learn more about navigating the Carmen landing page and your course homepage

Don't Forget! Carmen requires multifactor authentication, so be sure to set up BuckeyePass

2. Customize CarmenCanvas.

You can personalize your Carmen experience by updating your user settings, selecting notification preferences, and customizing your course list. 

Update your user settings and add a profile picture

Carmen profile and user settings let you control your personal information in CarmenCanvas including: 

Select your notification preferences

You can decide how you receive notifications for each type of course activity. You can choose email, push notifications as well as the frequency of these notifications.

Update your favorite courses

Update your favorite courses in Carmen so only your current courses appear in your course list on the Canvas dashboard and mobile apps. You can also create nicknames to shorten the course title, which will then appear throughout Canvas.

3. Create your Carmen course.

Carmen course shells are created for all academic courses listed in the Registrar’s system. To use Carmen, you will need to Create a Course to begin building content or copy course content from a forum course into your current Carmen course. 

UX Tip

Instructors and staff may request a Carmen course for practice or other university purposes by using the forum course request form.

Add participants

The People list in CarmenCanvas is updated nightly with enrollment information from the Registrar's system. This update includes instructors and other instructional staff listed in the system, as well as all students currently enrolled in the course. Anyone that needs access to the course who is not in the Registrar's system can be manually enrolled by the instructor using the Carmen landing page.

4. Build course content.

CarmenCanvas allows you to customize your course by organizing PagesFiles, and external content and putting them in Modules to help students navigate their course materials. Below are recommendations for building courses using forum courses and following best practices for organizing your content in Carmen. 

Use forum courses

Once you have experimented in your practice course, we recommend that you create a forum course for course content development. A forum course is a Carmen course shell that corresponds to a specific academic course you currently teach or will be teaching in future semesters.

Forum courses are not connected to the Registrar's system. A forum course is a dedicated, consistent space for building instructional materials that you can then copy into the academic course each semester. See Forum Courses for more information.

Carmen Key Four

It is important for instructors to create consistency for their students. Using a few key features in Carmen will remove unnecessary barriers to learning and can reduce stress for both students and instructors.

For more information on building course content see Setting Up Course Content and Carmen Common Sense: Best Practices

5. Publish your course.

Once you are ready for your students to view and interact in your course, you must first publish your course. Your course must also be published if you would like to message the class using the Canvas Inbox.

Help with Carmen

Contact the Carmen team for additional support with Carmen questions or issues. 

For general technical assistance, including email or password issues please contact the IT Service Desk.

You can contact the IT Service Desk 24/7 via phone, email and online Self Service.