Teaching & Learning Resource Center

Master Courses

 A master course is a CarmenCanvas course shell that corresponds to a specific academic course you currently teach or will teach in future semesters. It is not connected to the Registrar's system.

It is a dedicated, consistent space for building instructional materials that you can then copy into the academic course each semester.

Why is it called a "master course"?

In the Canvas Community, you will find many references to master courses as a site to build and house course content that will be used elsewhere. When you create a master course in Carmen, the prefix "master course" will be added to the course title. All master courses are grouped into a special term (e.g., Master term) in an effort to make the courses more visible and easier to find using the filter options. 

Who can use these courses?

The ability to create a master course is available to instructors. In order to see the Request Master Course option on the Carmen landing page, you must have a course in the My Courses List in which you are an instructor.

Instructors in a master course can then add other users / other instructors using the landing page functionality.

Why should you use them? 

  1. These non-academic course shells give you time to build your course the way you want, when you want, and update it as needed. Once you have your master course built, you can copy it each semester into your academic course shell.
  2. You can make changes for a specific class or section (e.g., timeline changes, an additional discussion topic, etc.) only in the academic course for which they apply. If you decide any modifications will be useful for subsequent classes or sections, you can add them to your master course. The master course remains the clean, up-to-date version of your course.
  3. Everyone who is involved in developing a course or updating course content from semester to semester can work in the same master course, without having to be added to each academic course or worry about whether FERPA data is being protected.

Once you have developed your content in the master course, you need to manually copy your course material into your academic course. Updates to material in a master course do not automatically transfer to academic courses.

Create A Master Course

Only instructors will see the Request Master Course option. If you do not see this, use the online form to request a Master Course.

  1. Log in to carmen.osu.edu.
  2. Click Request Master Course. A pop-up displays.
    Request a master course dialogue box in Carmen
  3. Type the name of your course. The name of your course must be more than five characters long.
    UX Tip

    We recommend titling the Master Course with the same name as the academic course. All Master Courses will be listed in the term "Master" and will be easily identifiable as such.

  4. Click Request
  5. Wait as your Master Course processes. Once processed, your Master Course will display in the My Courses list.
    UX Tip

    Depending on the number of courses you have loaded in your My Courses List, you may need to search for the Master Course using the Filter options. 

    Requesting processing graphic in Carmen