Course Sites Access – Update

As of 4:20pm EST, the impact of Amazon Web Services (AWS S3) continues to impact online, face to face and blended courses sites in Sakai (http://sakai.johnsonu.edu | https://sakai.lampschools.org).

You can find out more about the AWS S3 issue here.

After further research, the issue not only affected image content in courses – it also affected student’s ability to upload or access files in courses – including but not limited to, access to course syllabi, files in course Resources, upload of assignments as attachments, entry of forum and blog posts and and submission of assignments. Other areas may have also been affected as well.

What does Amazon have to do with Sakai anyways?

While it’s expected that the issue will be resolved soon, instructors are asked to use discretion when accepting assignments and other grade-impacting tasks which rely on electronic submission via Sakai. While not preferable, some instructors may decide to correspond with students via standard email about changes/adjustments to assignment submission processes due to the AWS issue, including extending the due or accept until date(s). Instructor’s ability to access student submissions, files and related gradable digital content is also an issue in some cases.

Students are encouraged to create and author content using an offline editor (such as in Word or Pages) and save their work so they have a back up and can potentially submit their work later or using a different means.

Instructors and students can continue to check the JohnsonU_Online Twitter feed for continued updates on this issue. Additional status update information is available directly from Amazon here.

 

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What’s Coming in Sakai 11?

In just over two weeks – the Fall 2016 term will end.  At almost the same time, Sakai, the learning management system used by Johnson University (Tennessee, Florida and Online) will undergo an upgrade from Sakai 10.2 to 11.2.

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Sakai 11 Interface for Johnson University

This upgrade has been planned for well over 6 months and as with any upgrade hopes to bring better continuity and usefulness to a tool as used by both faculty and students within the context of face to face, hybrid and online courses offered by Johnson University.

So what are the biggest changes you can expect to see?  Apart from reading through the detailed list of changes and new features here’s a simple bullet point list:

  • Gradebook upgrade providing spreadsheet grade entry
  • Clean, modern interface
  • Significantly improved mobile functionality (responsiveness)
  • New and improved features in the Lessons tool
  • Favorite and better organize sites

If you’d like to see an overview provided by New York University – you can see it here. Other videos and tutorial information will be made available in the coming weeks.

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Upgrade Date Announced

DATE CHANGED: Original Date was August 6, 2016

Sakai has been re-scheduled to be upgraded on:

December 19, 2016 from 12am to 1pm EST.

The upgrade will take several hours. During this time Sakai will be completely inaccessible to faculty and to students.

A confirmation email will be sent following the upgrade, letting you know that you can again login to Sakai.

The upgrade will take Sakai from version 10 to version 11, and includes updates some new features and most of all a new look that’s meant to make accessing Sakai on mobile and tablet devices much easier. See this list for a full list of the new features and changes. You can track availability of Sakai using the Johnson University Internet Services page. Login credentials will not be affected.

The User Guide is a good place to start when you have immediate questions.

Contact the Help Desk if you have issues following the upgrade.

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Upgrade Schedule Rationale

The most important aspect of the upgrade is to make it as smooth as possible and minimize frustration and headache for both faculty and students.

Sakai is a world class, open source learning management system providing a platform for tens of thousands of students in various educational settings and used by the likes of Duke, Standford, Oxford and others.  The global Sakai community is currently in the process of field testing Sakai 11 and making sure it’s ready for ‘prime time’.  This testing is critical to put Sakai 11 through it’s paces to insure quality assurance for every adopting institution and organization.

The Quality Assurance testing is done by faculty, students and administrators in institutions who are using Sakai currently.  This QA process in collaboration with Sakai Developers helps insure Sakai 11 is ready.

In order to insure a smooth upgrade and provide ample time for instructors to prepare for their upcoming fall courses, course sites for the Fall 2016 term will be made available July 5, 2016.  This provides faculty with course sites a full month prior to the upgrade and about three weeks of lead time before fall term courses begin on August 22, 2016. This is a change from the plan to wait until the after the Sakai upgrade to create fall term course sites.

Contact the Department of Online Education with questions.

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How do I select a profile image?

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 4.08.24 PMSelecting a profile image in Sakai allows others to see who you are, and even shows up in discussion forums – helping others in the class identify who you are.

Selecting and uploading an image is easy and takes just 60 seconds.

To choose a profile image:

  1. image7Select Profile on the left (laptop or desktop) or if you’re on a mobile or slate, select the profile image on the top right and in the drop down menu select “Profile”.
  2. On the new window that appears hover over the profile image and select “Change picture”. If you’re on a mobile or slate, tap the profile image, and then tap the “Change picture” link that appears.
  3. Next select Choose File and upload an image from your device by browsing to an image on your computer or taking one with your mobile.
  4. After selecting the image you want to use, click or tap Upload.

Your new image should now show up in the Profile area and in the top right near the logout menu.

Be sure to select an image that helps others identify and recognize who you are.

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How do I publish a course in Sakai?

Course sites are created for all courses offered by the University, even if it’s an independent study course.  These course sites are periodically updated to reflect the current registered enrollment reflected at My.JohnsonU.edu in keeping with Add/Drop and Withdraw deadlines.

Once a course site is created, it’s left in an unpublished state, and not available to students until an instructor publishes the course (thereby making it available to students officially registered to take the course). Course sites should be made available to students on or very shortly before the first official day the course begins.

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To publish a course site:

  1. Navigate to the course after logging into Sakai
  2. If the course is unpublished, you’ll see a status message near the top, indicating “Unpublished Site”
  3. Simply click the (Publish Now) button to change the status

To unpublish a course site:

  1. Navigate to the course after logging into Sakai
  2. Select Site Info>Manage Access
  3. Change the selection from Publish Site to Leave as Draft
  4. Save the change by selecting the Update button

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Unless needed, course sites should be unpublished 2 weeks after the conclusion of a term or session.  Doing so helps limit the number of course sites students need to negotiate in their courses and helps prevent students from potentially sharing course content with students who have yet to take the course.

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How do I log out of Sakai 11?

Even Amazon has it – a way to log out of the site when you’re done.  Sakai’s logout process is much the same.

Locate the Logout area at the top right near where you see your name listed and/or your profile image.  If you’re accessing Sakai from a mobile or small device just click the profile image.

In the dropdown menu select the Log Out option.

It’s always a good idea to log out of sites you’re not using at the moment, especially if you’re using a device located in a public library or other location.  It’s important to protect access to your courses and sites in Sakai and logging out helps you to do this.

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