F2F Course Site Content Import

If you’re tasked with teaching an upcoming course that you’ve taught in the past with the University – there’s no need to rebuild everything from scratch – unless you want to.

Faculty teaching face to face (F2F) courses can benefit from the course content import process in Site Info. This process allows you to pull in all your assignments, syllabus, gradebook, handouts and other files associated with the course – as used in a previous offering of the course.

To do this, you need to be an instructor in both course sites (the former and the upcoming). Go to the upcoming course site, and select Site Info>Import from Site:

importfromsite

Next, select the kind of import you wish to perform. I typically suggest using the replacement option “I would like to replace my data”. On the next screen select which course you’d like to pull content in FROM.  Be careful here making sure you select the SOURCE of the content you’ll import. Next click Continue.

On the next screen select the tools/areas of content you wish to import. Keep in mind it’s always a good idea to import the Resources, because files referred to in Assignments, Quizzes, Lessons or Announcements could refer to those files, and in order for those links to work properly the corresponding resources must be likewise imported.

Finally complete the import process and watch for the email to be sent to you – notifying you of the import process being completed. You can find out more information about the process here.

Want to watch the whole process in real time? Take a gander here:

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Will Sakai look different following the upgrade?

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.

Desktop/Laptop view:

Sakai 11
Sakai - Pre Upgrade Desktop View

Following Upgrade:
Sakai - Post Upgrade Desktop View

Mobile view (Sakai 11/Post-Upgrade):
Sakai - Pre Upgrade Mobile View  Sakai - Post Upgrade Mobile View

More detail will be distributed in the coming weeks and those following the upgrade.

Gradebook Calculation Anomoly

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:

edititemdetailsgradebookuncategorized

Sakai Upgrade Features

As someone who uses Sakai (student or faculty) you may be wondering about how the upgrade will affect you and what you do in course sites.  By and large this upgrade is not expected to be as monumental as the last upgrade to Sakai (from version 10 to 11 in December 2016).  It does however bring a few new features and a bit more polish to some areas.  You may or may not notice these enhancements or features depending on your familiarity and experience with Sakai:

  • New Commons – social networking style tool allowing posts with url to thumbnail expansion, and unthreaded replies.
    commons posting
  • Improved mobile responsiveness and course navigation
    LAMP_Consortium___JU_AAAB_0010_10_SP16___Week_1
  • Gradebook performance enhancements
  • Enhancements to Lessons (discussions, calendar, resources and name personalization widgets)
  • Assessments extended delivery (Tests and Quizzes): delivery of assessments for select individuals and groups (eg. student time accommodations)
  • Inclusion of “My Official Course Enrollments” area of Home for Students
    Sakai___Home___Membership
  • Improved collapsible course navigation menu
  • Improved Favorite Sites Organization – Auto-Add new Sites to Favorites Bar
    LAMP_Consortium___JU_AAAB_0010_10_SP16___Faculty_Tips
  • Responsive Rich Text Edit window
  • Move View Site As drop down to top banner
  • And other improvements.

This Year’s Sakai Upgrade

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:

Sakai12 Prototype

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.

Online Video Tutorial Authoring – Quick Overview

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:

    1. 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.

 

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Sakai Status – 10 May 2017 UPDATE

An earlier reported issue of the Sites button and related Favorites list has been resolved as of 1:25pm EST.

AppleClockExtra_and_Item-0_and_Item-0_and_Item-0_and_AppleBluetoothExtra_and_AppleVPNExtra_and_Item-0_and_AppleVolumeExtra_and_DisplaysExtra_and_AirPortExtra

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.