AWS Reports Issue Resolved

According Amazon’s Dashboard (screenshot below), the issue which affected some portions of access to course sites in Sakai has been resolved (5:08 EST).

screenshot-2017-02-28-20-08-47

Faculty and students are encouraged to continue to working in Sakai normally. If you experience any issues logging in, accessing course content, submitting grades or assignments, to contact the HelpDesk. Students experiencing issues related to submitting assignments, discussions, tests or quizzes late should contact their course instructor for direction on how to proceed.

 

Advertisements

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Once a course site is created, it’s left in an unpublished state, and not available to students until an instructor publishes the course (thereby making it available to students officially registered to take the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.

LAMP_Consortium___JU_BUSN2010_OL___Site_Info

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 If the course is unpublished, you’ll see a status message near the top, indicating “Unpublished Site”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

LAMP_Consortium___JU_BUSN2010_OL___Site_Info2

Unless needed, course sites should be unpublished 2 weeks after the conclusion of a term or session.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.

How do I find my Courses in Sakai 11?

Inheriting new features in a platform you’re already familiar with can be both frustrating and delightful.  Just think of when the modern automobile tire was upgraded to include air as a way to provide a better cushion and ride for drivers and passengers: tires became more expensive and now had to have air put into them which meant they could also pop, but the trade off was a better ride, better control and an improved overall platform for passengers and drivers.

Using Sites in Sakai 11

To find course sites in Sakai 11 after logging in:

  • Locate the Sites icon in the top right and select it
  • Next use the Sites ‘drawer’ that appears to select a course you want to go to
  • If you can’t find the course, use the Search window to try and locate it

You can use the Sites drawer to mark Favorite course sites – or ones you frequent most often. If you still can’t locate the course, try using Membership instead – which lists all courses – even if they’re not one of your favorites.

What if the video isn’t from YouTube?

Ok so you’ve finally finished planning out part of a lesson and you want to include some killer video content you’ve found online.  The only problem is – the video content isn’t yours, and it doesn’t appear as though there’s an easy way for you to get it into your course in Sakai.

So what do you do?

First of all – do you need to include it directly into the course?

The short answer: No.
The best answer: Yes.  Wait – what?

There’s nothing in the ‘How to be a Perfect Online Instructor’ that says you have to include the content in the course, inside the LMS.  Pointing students to otherwise well-curated, applicable and relevant content is good and it’s something you’re likely better better at than students.  However – it may be good to help retain student’s focus by including the content right in the course – inside the LMS.  How many times have you found yourself looking for something online – only to get side-tracked by some ad, link, other video or headline?  To some degree this may not be a big issue, it provides support for learning through exploration.  On the other hand, in the void that is the Internet, students may meet dead ends or distractions that completely take them away from accomplishing the lesson or course objectives.

The lesson here: If you can legally and efficiently include content into an online course’s LMS – do so. This becomes especially important for adult students taking online courses – where their time and energy are likely being utilized in a full-time job or other responsibilities.  The other added benefit is that you’ve curated and organized content in such as way that demonstrates to students how you value their time and the content of the course. This also helps to minimize the barriers between students and the content they need to engage with – online advertisers do the same thing.

Ok, what about finding the content elsewhere?

Many instructors, faculty and/or course designers will look to see if the content has been posted to YouTube – albeit sometimes by others who have used other means of ripping the content and posting it illegally. While there is a lot of good content on YouTube and other video sharing sites that would benefit your course – be sure to steer clear of using content that is more than likely pirated or otherwise posted without consideration of copyright and fair use.

The lesson here: Don’t use content you know or suspect to be posted illegally. It’s so easy to pull that image or video and think, “No one will know, and the students won’t care.” This however is the same type of thinking that galls instructors when students turn in papers which have obvious plagiarizing issues. While you wouldn’t want your students to turn in content that’s not theirs (or otherwise well cited) – demonstrate the same level of integrity you’d expect from your students.  There is room for leaning on fair use policy, but don’t use it as license.

One way to address the ability to place content into your course is by using an embed code.  Yes, YouTube provides these rather handily.  They make it very easy for anyone to copy the embed code and make the video content appear in another website or in this case in the LMS.  In some ways, the use of an embed code provides a somewhat balanced approach to fair-use and inclusion of content in a course without claiming it as your own.

Picture1
Embedding a video from a website into a course site in the LMS.

What exactly does an embed code do? Essentially it acts as a pointer to the content – and the browser understands to go ‘fetch’ the content included in the embed code and display it accordingly.  In some ways it’s like the picture-in-picture (PIP) function of many televisions – it shows the content from some other channel (website) but here, while the other content is being displayed.xmiddleware_pip_01_2b1b72662199a309e45c823b8684d9ea-pagespeed-ic-waatcewutd

So what does an embed code look like?  Something like this, but it’s always specific to where on the Internet the video is really located – sort of like referring to the channel in the PIP example above:

skitch (4)

So where do you do with the embed code once you find it? Basically – you copy the code itself and then place it into a HTML area in the LMS – according to where it best fits for students to see and access the content. In Sakai, for example – you can place the code into any area that uses the Rich Text Editor, by clicking on the SOURCE button:

skitch (5).png

So the pasted code would look like this:

skitch (6)

Once you save the edit, you’d end up with something that looks like this (but without the blue and red area designations):

skitch (7)

Ok so now we get to our final question, or our original question and the one that prompted this particular post. What if the video isn’t from YouTube?  Short answer: look for an embed code. Long answer: Really look for an embed code. There’s no question the Internet is filled with content – not all of it good and yet some of it is really excellent – like this video from TIME.  An instructor contacted me and wanted to include in his online course – but was unsure of how to do so. Thankfully – TIME provided just the right solution – an embed code.  Sometimes these things are hidden or ‘organized’ under a share area or button:

skitch (8).jpg

In this case, hovering over the video itself for a second, allowed the share options to appear in the top right of the video.  The icons represent information, share, link and embed respectively (left to right). Clicking the <> icon displayed the following and provided the means to place it right into the course:

skitch (9).jpg

And here’s how it appears in a course:

skitch (10)

Not every website provides an easy way to share content this way – likely because they just don’t want to or because it’s not within the framework of how they want to provide their content for public access and consumption.  Sites provide ways to embed more than just videos – you can also embed audio and images.  Smells are still quite a ways out of technologies reach for now – thankfully.

Many other popular services provide this ability to embed content including the following:

If you’re still curious or worried about the legality of embedding content check out this interesting post from Andrew Feather (especially the part about the Terms of Service section) on the matter and this ruling from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2012 as reported by CNET. You can even read about Google and Facebook’s position on the issue here if you’re super board or extra curious. Oddly, as of this posting the actual ruling from the Seventh Circuit isn’t available. There’s also this posting by Eric Goldman on the ruling at the Technology & Marketing Law Blog.

FINE PRINT: The easy link can be the weakest

It’s important to recognize an inherent limitation to linking or embedding content.  While doing so does a great job of riding the fair use/copyright line, it also means that content integrity in a course can be compromised.  If someone has uploaded content to YouTube that is later deemed by YouTube to infringe on the copyright owner and YouTube removes the content, your course (by association) is affected. Consequently students become frustrated about content that isn’t accessible.  This isn’t a deal breaker – but it is something to bear in mind.

Grading Scale Update – Checking the Grading Scale in Sakai

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:

2014JUGradingScale

To modify the grade scale in a course (Sakai does not use the new scale as the default when creating new courses):

  1. 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
  2. The scale above does NOT make adjustment for rounding up.  If so, adjust the minimum % by .5 accordingly.
  3. Once done, be sure to click the SAVE button to apply the scale changes to the course’s grade book (and student grades).

What is Turn It In?

TurnItIn
TurnItIn

Turn It In is generally understood to be a plagiarism detection service and refers to itself as a way to improve “the student writing cycle by preventing plagiarism and providing rich feedback to students.”  Faculty can use the TII service when they use the Assignments tool in Sakai. 

When faculty elect to use the TII service in an Assignment using the Assignment tool, student paper submissions can be compared against the TII database for originality, even checking the paper against other student’s papers, papers from other institutions, and information published on the World Wide Web.  In addition faculty can interact directly with the submitted paper adding contextual comments, quickmarks, and even provide an overall voice recorded comment about the submitted work using TII’s Grademark.

Choose to use the service in each Assignment
Choose to use the service in each Assignment

Students need do nothing different from when they turn in other electronic Assignments in Sakai to have papers go through TII.  When a student submits a paper to TII for the first time, they’ll receive a username and password from TII directly – which they can change. They can also (if Faculty elect) see the Originality report that Faculty themselves have access to, as well as see the Grademark information that faculty enter – after the Submission Deadline for the Assignment is passed.

Students can go directly to the Originality Report and see Grademark information without ever having to login to TII directly by clicking on the TII report icon in the course’s Assignments tool. (Circled in red below).sakaitiiiconreport

Sakai Tips for Professors

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.

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

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.

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}