While there are some improvements to accessibility and some on-going tweaks to improve color contrast issues, the upgrade to Sakai will not affect the overall appearance that much. For mobile users – the difference in course navigation will be much-improved.
Mobile view (Sakai 11/Post-Upgrade):
More detail will be distributed in the coming weeks and those following the upgrade.
In what appears to be a gradebook calculation anomaly, be sure items are categorized appropriately even if you course is only using categories for organization – otherwise final course grade calculations may be inaccurate – as the following video explains.
To address categorization of an item, check the Gradebook>Settings>Categories and Weighting to insure you’ve setup the gradebook correctly (specific to each course). Next insure all items which have bearing on the overall grade are INCLUDED in the course grade calculation – making sure they DO NOT have a calculator with a slash through it AND that they are not in an uncategorized category:
This year’s upgrade to Sakai will involve far more subtle changes to the interface and feature set. While Sakai will still benefit from a global community of developers contributing to and improving the code, you will also benefit from the support of the Department of Online Education and the related support resources and services you’ve come to expect.
While the feature set will remain largely the same look forward to a few enhancements, improvements in security and the addition of a few new features:
This upgrade will be from Sakai 11.3 to Sakai 12.1. Some things you’ll see include:
- Improved color specification and contrast in the overall look and feel
- Streamlined course navigation
- Addition of the Commons tool
- Provision of extended assessment time for specific individuals or groups of individuals
- Improved mobile integration
- Question Type: Hotspot selection improved on mobile devices
- Accessibility improvements
- Lessons subpage option
- Added widget availability in Lessons: Announcements, Forums and Calendar
- Gradebook performance enhancements
- and more!
More information will be made available in the coming weeks and months.
As an instructional designer a key component to my work is creating instructional videos. While many platforms, software and workflows exist here’s the workflow I use:
- Write the Script: This first step is critical though to some it may seem rather artificial. Writing the script helps guide and direct the rest of the video development process. If the video is part of a larger series, inclusion of some ‘standard’ text at the beginning and end of the video helps keep things consistent. For example, in the tutorial videos created for our Online Instructor Certification Course, each script begins and ends with “This is a Johnson University Online tutorial.” Creating a script also helps insure you include all the content you need to, rather than ad-libbing – only to realize later you left something out.As the script is written, particular attention has to be paid to consistency of wording and verification of the steps suggested to the viewer – so they’re easy to follow and replicate. Some of the script work also involves set up of the screens used – both as part of the development process and as part of making sure the script is accurate.
- Build the Visual Content: This next step could be wildly creative – but typically a standard format is chosen, especially if the video content will be included in a series or block of other videos. Often, use of a 16:9 aspect ratio is used for capturing content and can include both text and image content more easily. Build the content using a set of tools you’re familiar with. The video above was built using the the following set of tools:
- Microsoft Word (for writing the script)
- Microsoft PowerPoint (for creating a standard look, and inclusion of visual and textual content – it provides a sort of stage for the visual content)
- Google Chrome (for demonstrating specific steps – layered on top of Microsoft PowerPoint) – though any browser would work
- Screencast-O-Matic (Pro version for recording all visual and audio content)
- Good quality microphone such as this one
- Evernote’s Skitch (for grabbing and annotating screenshots), though use of native screenshot functions and using PowerPoint to annotate is also OK
- YouTube or Microsoft Stream (for creating auto-generated captions – if it’s difficult to keep to the original script)
- Notepad, TextEdit or Adobe’s free Brackets for correcting/editing/fixing auto-generated captions VTT, SRT or SBV
- Warpwire to post/stream/share/place and track video content online. Sakai is typically used as the CMS to embed the content and provide additional access controls and content organization
- Record the Audio: Screencast-O-Matic has a great workflow for creating video content and it even provides a way to create scripts and captions. I tend to record the audio first, which in some cases may require 2 to 4 takes. Recording the audio initially, provides a workflow to create appropriate audio pauses, use tangible inflection and enunciation of terms. For anyone who has created a ‘music video’ or set images to audio content this will seem pretty doable.
- Sync Audio and Visual Content: So this is where the use of multiple tools really shines. Once the audio is recorded, Screencast-O-Matic makes it easy to re-record retaining the audio portion and replacing just the visual portion of the project. Recording the visual content (PowerPoint and Chrome) is pretty much just listening to the audio and walking through the slides and steps using Chrome. Skitch or other screen capture software may have already been used to capture visual content I can bring attention to in the slides.
- Once the project is completed, Screencast-O-Matic provides a 1 click upload to YouTube or save as an MP4 file, which can then be uploaded to Warpwire or Microsoft Stream.
- Once YouTube or Microsoft Stream have a viable caption file, it can be downloaded and corrected (as needed) and then paired back with any of the streaming platforms.
- Post of the video within the CMS is as easy as using the LTI plugin (via Warpwire) or by using the embed code provided by any of the streaming platforms.
An earlier reported issue of the Sites button and related Favorites list has been resolved as of 1:25pm EST.
Remember – there are several ways to get to your course sites:
- Use of the Sites button (waffle icon) in the top right
- Use of the Favorites (starred) sites in the Sites Favorites tab
- Use Overview>Membership to see all course sites
- Use Overview>My Worksite Setup to navigate to course sites
If you continue to experience issues, be sure to log out and/or restart your device and then contact the HelpDesk if you continue to experience problems.
Some faculty and students have reported an issue with Sakai’s Sites button and Favorites list. The issue has been identified and is being worked on presently. Faculty and students can still access their courses by using Overview>Membership after logging in:
A status with new information will be posted as soon as it’s available.