Here are just a few of the coming changes you can expect to see in the upgrade of Sakai 10 to Sakai 11:
- Responsive Design: How it works and looks on different devices
- Gradebook Improvements
- Lessons Enhancements
- Additional Tools (Attendance for example)
- Font Awesome Support
- Tool name and actions refinements
- And more!
Sakai 10 and 11 have a similar visual structure, but there’s definitely something to be said for understanding how to get around and where to find things. The left-hand navigation per-site or course remains, as does the access to course and project sites across the top. Beyond this standard web-site design (even Amazon uses a similar structure) there are some definite changes. You can see them below in a screenshot of the same course in Sakai 11 and 10 respectively:
My Workspace gets traded off for Home, but mostly as a change in naming, not function.
Home in a course in Sakai meanwhile also gets updated, but again just in naming not in function, to Overview (see above image).
The whole set of icons used throughout Sakai is updated to use Font Awesome icon set, instead of the famfamfam set. This is most especially notable in the left-hand navigation that appears in the Home (11) and Overview (11) areas of Sakai. These icons can also easily be used in any content development by using the Font Awesome button in the rich text editor, in any tool that accesses the rich text edit window (which includes Lessons, Assignments, Tests and Quizzes, Announcements, Messages, etc.):
There are as yet other changes including, but not limited to:
- More Sites to just Sites
- Overall look and feel to facilitate access on any type of device (referred to as Morpheus)
- Move of View Site As from top right to left just atop the list of tools for any course site
- Move of Publish Now manage access option to the center from the left hand navigation area
- Inclusion of profile image in the top right, which also doubles as the Log Out menu
- Updates to the ‘sites drawer’ location
- Inclusion of easy method for marking sites as “favorite” for quicker access in Sites area
- Update to use of ‘elfinder‘ from old file browser when locating and uploading new resources to a site
- Inclusion of Windows 10 directions for upload/download multiple resources to a course site
- A huge number of visual and functional changes to the Gradebook (thanks to NYU), which are covered in another post.
While there are as yet, still other changes and the possible addition of some really interesting features contributed by University of Dayton, be sure to stay tuned.
Looking ahead at the up-and-coming version of Sakai – Sakai 11, there will be several new changes – all meant to add better functionality not just the addition of new bells and whistles.
One such improvement is the sites ‘drawer’. Essentially in Sakai 10, this part of the LMS acts like a dresser drawer that pulls or drops down from the top sites navigation area – when clicking on More Sites. This allowed you to easily navigate between nearly all sites you have access to. The ability to search and categorize the sites based on type or term was also added.
Sakai 11 takes the drawer a bit further, by adding a ‘favorites’ function. Marking a site as a favorite adds the site to a favorites tab allowing even more granularity in how you can organize and find your ‘stuff’ in Sakai. Instead of having to go to My Workspace>Preferences to arrange and organize sites into Favorites, Active and Archived, you can get to the most commonly needed actions right in the Sites area of Sakai 11. You can still get into Preferences, but only to mark sites as Hidden (or what Sakai 10 referred to in this same area as Archived).
More feature features coming soon! Stay tuned.
Whether you’re teaching an online course or otherwise, having assessments automatically graded and added into a student’s grade is a great time saving feature, and can even be used as a mechanism to give student’s opportunities to practice and retain course content meant for application later.
Sometimes though the question comes up? How do I know a student finished a quiz or assessment in Sakai? Once a student completes an assessment in Sakai, Sakai creates a log entry, which you can view by going to Tests & Quizzes, and then by clicking on Event Log near the top. Students can see similar information (depending upon what feedback settings you’ve chosen for the assessment – by going to Tests & Quizzes and looking at the Submitted Assessments area (second image):
Sakai also gives students a ‘submission receipt’ or Confirmation Number and date when they’ve fully submitted their assessment or quiz:
Additionally, students are warned just prior to submitting the assessment that that is in fact what they are choosing to do:
Quizzes (or any assessment in Sakai) can be set to submit all Saved work in a quiz on the due date and time automatically, though it’s important for the instructor to set this accordingly in the assessment settings:
As part of the annual end of the year meetings last year – the university adopted a formalized grading scale. As stated in the current catalog (page 294) “All Johnson professors use this scale unless the unique demands of their subject matter require a different approach. In such cases, the alternative grade scale appears in the course syllabus“. The grading scale is:
To modify the grade scale in a course (Sakai does not use the new scale as the default when creating new courses):
- Go to Gradebook>Course Grade Options and modify the minimum % column to the following:
A+ = 101
A = 97
A- = 94
B+ = 91
B = 87
B- = 84
C+ = 81
C = 77
C- = 74
D+ = 71
D = 68
D- = 65
F = 0
- The scale above does NOT make adjustment for rounding up. If so, adjust the minimum % by .5 accordingly.
- Once done, be sure to click the SAVE button to apply the scale changes to the course’s grade book (and student grades).
Getting a handle on what an online course might ‘look’ like is kinda tough, given that it’s not confined by four walls and a class-time twice a week. Figuring out how an online course work can take some guidance and this short video is just the thing to give you what you need to get a good start.