Sakai Tips for Professors

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The top ten ways students wish professors used Sakai:

1. Upload the course syllabus using the Syllabus tool

Students find it helpful to have access to this important document from any computer.
Tips: Posting a detailed syllabus, and keeping it updated, establishes a “learning contract” between the instructor and student. Through hyperlinks to other documents, such as department-specific procedures, campus policy on plagiarism, assignments, and grading rubrics, a posted syllabus can also serve as a central organization document.

2. Provide grades to students with the Gradebook

Providing timely, frequent feedback helps students know where they stand in a given course.
Tips: A grade book kept current during the semester encourages student engagement and mastery of course content. Sakai CL also supports integrating the grade book with the Assignments tool.

3. Use the Resources tool to upload course materials

Post handouts, lecture notes, review materials, and other course materials in the Resources tool.
Tips: Distribution of course material can take up valuable class time, so posting via the Resources tool allows students to find (and organize) this information on their own.

4. Use Announcements to highlight important news or cancel a class

Get the attention of students using announcements and email notifications.
Tips: Some tools (e.g., Announcements, Resources, and Syllabus) allow you to send email notifications to site participants. A low-priority email notification will be subject to each participant’s notification preferences; a high-priority notification overrides individual preferences and sends all site participants a notification via their regular email. The Announcements tool using email notification can help you immediately relay a review session time and location, a class cancellation, or a special reminder. Also, in the Resources tool, you could upload a new document and by including email notification ensure that students have immediate knowledge of its availability.

5. Use the Sakai Calendar as a course guide for students, putting links to lecture notes, readings, assignments, and the dates of quizzes and exams

Post readings to the calendar as attachments for each day. Tips: Posting announcements, assignments, due dates, and resources to the Calendar gives students a holistic view of the course along-side their other courses so they can better manage their time.

6. Allow and encourage students to submit papers electronically using Assignments or Drop Box tools

This will help save both paper and ink.
Tips: The Assignments tool allows for an organized method of submitting student work that integrates with other Sakai tools (Gradebook) for prompt feedback/grading. Assignment instructions that include grading criteria or a grading rubric facilitate more targeted instruction.

7. Have the Sakai Chat room open during office hours

Open an additional line of communication with students by using the Chat tool.
Tips: The Chat Room tool allows for more informal instructor/student interaction, but can also facilitate more peer-to-peer interaction. You can also paste a web link into a Chat Room session.

8. Link your instructor website to the Sakai site using the Resources tool or using the Web Content tool

Making a link from Sakai to your external site makes it easier for students to find.
Tips: The Web Content tool allows for easy integration of your own or external web sites.

9. Enhance group projects by using the Sakai Group function to encourage group communication

Resources, Calendar, Forums, Announcements, Assignments, and Messages can all be configured to be used with Groups.
Tips: Groups allow for more targeted instruction and more effective communication within student groups. Asynchronous, group-specific, or out of class communication can also be facilitated through Sakai Groups functionality

10. Conduct in-semester course evaluation or informal surveys using the Tests and Quizzes tool in order to gauge student thoughts on a course

In addition to formal evaluations, the Test & Quizes tool can be used to gather timely feedback on course structure, learning activities, favorite or most difficult topics, and recent quizzes and exams.

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1. Upload the course syllabus using the Syllabus tool

 

Students find it helpful to have access to this important document from any computer.

Tips: Posting a detailed syllabus, and keeping it updated, establishes a “learning contract” between the instructor and student. Through hyperlinks to other documents, such as department-specific procedures, campus policy on plagiarism, assignments, and grading rubrics, a posted syllabus can also serve as a central organization document.

 

2. Provide grades to students with the Gradebook

 

Providing timely, frequent feedback helps students know where they stand in a given course.

Tips: A grade book kept current during the semester encourages student engagement and mastery of course content. Sakai CL also supports integrating the grade book with the Assignments tool.

 

3. Use the Resources tool to upload course materials

 

Post handouts, lecture notes, review materials, and other course materials in the Resources tool.

Tips: Distribution of course material can take up valuable class time, so posting via the Resources tool allows students to find (and organize) this information on their own.

 

4. Use Announcements to highlight important news and cancel a class

 

Get the attention of students using announcements and email notifications.

Tips: Some tools (e.g., Announcements, Resources, and Syllabus) allow you to send email notifications to site participants. A low-priority email notification will be subject to each participant’s notification preferences; a high-priority notification overrides individual preferences and sends all site participants a notification via their regular email. The Announcements tool using email notification can help you immediately relay a review session time and location, a class cancellation, or a special reminder. Also, in the Resources tool, you could upload a new document and by including email notification ensure that students have immediate knowledge of its availability.

 

5. Use the Sakai Calendar as a course guide for students, putting links to lecture notes, readings, assignments, and the dates of quizzes and exams

 

Post readings to the calendar as attachments for each day. Tips: Posting announcements, assignments, due dates, and resources to the Calendar gives students a holistic view of the course.

 

6. Allow and encourage students to submit papers electronically using Assignments or Drop Box tools

 

This will help save both paper and ink.

Tips: The Assignments tool allows for an organized method of submitting student work that integrates with other Sakai tools (Gradebook) for prompt feedback/grading. Assignment instructions that include grading criteria or a grading rubric facilitate more targeted instruction.

 

7. Have the Sakai Chat room open during office hours

 

Open an additional line of communication with students by using the Chat tool.

Tips: The Chat Room tool allows for more informal instructor/student interaction, but can also facilitate more peer-to-peer interaction. You can also paste a web link into a Chat Room session.

 

8. Link your instructor website to the Sakai site using the Resources tool or using the Web Content tool

 

Making a link from Sakai to your external site makes it easier for students to find.

Tips: The Web Content tool allows for easy integration of your own or external web sites.

 

9. Enhance group projects by using the Sakai Group function to encourage group communication

 

Resources, Calendar, Forums, Announcements, Assignments, and Messages can all be configured to be used with Groups.

Tips: Groups allow for more targeted instruction and more effective communication within student groups. Asynchronous, group-specific, or out of class communication can also be facilitated through Sakai Groups functionality

 

10. Conduct in-semester course evaluation or informal surveys using the Original Test and Survey tool in order to gauge student thoughts on a course

 

In addition to formal evaluations, the Test & Quizes tool can be used to gather timely feedback on course structure, learning activities, favorite or most difficult topics, and recent quizzes and exams.

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