New Look for Bb Collaborate in Sakai 10

bbc_logoWe just upgraded to Sakai 10 on Monday, and with this update rolled out the new LTI integration of Blackboard Collaborate! You will find an improved user interface that makes it easier to create sessions and navigate through the options.

**Please note that any previous sessions and recordings are still available in the Elluminate Live! Bridge tool. All new sessions and recordings will only be available in the new Blackboard Collaborate tool.

We invite you to check out the new Blackboard Collaborate integration in Sakai!

Create Session

To create a session, click on + Create Session in the upper right corner. A window will pop up to enter the Name, Start time, End time (now optional!), and Early Entry time. Click on the blue Create Session button when you’re ready to create the room!


You can also edit Options, such as giving Moderator privileges and supervising chats, and upload Bb Collaborate Whiteboard/Plan files or Multimedia files through the Content tab.


NOTE: You can keep one room open for an extended period of time and reuse that room for multiple purposes.

Join Session

Click on the session you want to join. The pop-up window will include the Join button, as well as telephony dial-in information, and a Guest Join Link to share with non-site users. You can also Edit or Delete the session from this window.


Participants will see only see Participant dial-in details:


To access recordings, click on the top Recordings tab, select your recorded session, and click on Play from the pop-up window. Moderators can now also convert their recordings into MP3 and MP4 files themselves! Just click on Start Conversion.


Blackboard Collaborate Launcher

Don’t forget that you must install the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher to access Bb Collaborate sessions and recordings. You should be prompted when attempting to open a Bb Collaborate session with options to download the launcher.

Let us know if you need help by calling 962-HELP. See what else is new in Sakai 10!

Fall 2015 Rosters in Sakai

pixabay_510470Fall 2015 rosters are now in Sakai! Get a head start on the Fall Semester by creating your course sites now! Remember that you must be listed as one of the following for each of your section rosters in ConnectCarolina in order to create your course site in Sakai:

  • Primary Instructor
  • Secondary Instructor
  • Proxy
  • Dean’s Designate

Teaching Assistants in ConnectCarolina cannot create course sites in Sakai. Also note that Sakai data updates three times a day, so you may need to wait up to 24 hours for your Sakai account to update with Registrar information. Please contact your departmental scheduling officer if you have any issues. See this post for details!

Create Course Site

Get started in My Workspace > Worksite Setup to create your course site! See the following tutorial for step-by-step instructions:

Notice step 5 has a *new feature that came with Sakai 10–the right-hand side will display tools that are selected to be enabled on the site. See what else is new in Sakai 10!

If you are teaching the same course and want to reuse old course material, you can easily do so as you are creating your course site or any time after the site has been created. You have three different options:

  • Re-use Material from Other Sites You Own
  • Import from Site
  • Copy specific items into Resources from other sites

See Duplicate your content between Sakai sites for full details.

Contact the ITRC Help Desk at or 962-HELP if you have any questions. Good luck with Summer courses!

Welcome to Sakai 10!

sk10_welcomeThe Sakai 10 Upgrade is complete!

We finished the upgrade early and are very happy to release the new version of Sakai to the Carolina campus! Please let us know if you run into any problems or strange behaviors by contacting the ITRC Help Desk at or 962-HELP.

Please note that you may also need to clear your browser cache to see all updates.

What’s New in Sakai 10

We detailed several new features in the weeks before the upgrade, but here is an extensive list of what’s new in Sakai 10! See the full list here.


Site Info


  • New look
  • Assign start and end dates
  • Bulk-create/update/delete items



  • Group Assignments
  • Add Visible Date
  • Download all Assignments with flat file structure
  • Hide Assignment due date
  • Instructor comments sent to Gradebook
  • Notification sent to student when instructor allows resubmission

Tests & Quizzes

  • Tabbed view in Settings
  • Event Log tracks entries, submissions, and errors
  • New question types: Calculated Question, Extended Matching Items
  • Option for “All or Nothing” credit on Multiple Choice with Multiple Selection questions


  • Pictures display from Profile (from My Workspace)
  • Site admininstrators can move threads between Topics
  • Reflect same grade entry type setting from Gradebook


  • New tabbed view for adding content
  • Question polls
  • Peer review rubric
  • Table of contents
  • Option for anonymous comments and pages
  • Student pages can be owned by group and individuals
  • Embedded audio/video now supports HTML5

Drop Box

  • Instructor can send file to multiple students
  • Option to compress student folder into ZIP file


  • New look
  • Expands down and to the right
  • Word count plugin

Preferences (My Workspace)

  • Option to display site description instead of site ID in tabs
  • Improved language list to select desired language


  • Display sender’s profile picture (My Workspace) on received messages
  • Redesign of selecting recipients


  • Option to add start and end dates to rooms

Embedded Help Tool

  • Redesigned interface

There are just too many new features to mention! Check out the full list on the Unicon  website. Welcome to Sakai 10!

New in Sakai 10: Group Assignments & Joinable Groups

We are just a few days away from the Sakai 10 Upgrade!

We’ve got one more great feature to announce that we think you’ll be pretty excited about. Have you ever assigned students to a group and had them work on projects together? Well we’ve got good news because the Sakai 10 Upgrade brings…Group Assignments! Now it will be easier than ever to have students submit their assignments as a group and grade their work as a unit.

Create Groups with Joinable Sets – New!

To create a Group Assignment, you must first create Groups. You can manually set up each Group or you can use another *new feature* coming in Sakai 10 and create Sets of Joinable Groups! Joinable Group Sets consist of automatically created groups based on a set name a site admin creates, which users then select to join themselves.

1) Go to Site Info > Manage Groups
2) Select Create New Joinable Set
3) Enter a Set name, Number of groups, and Max members per group
4) Check the following if you want to:

  • Allow user to see group membership before joining
  • Allow members to see the other members of these groups after joining
  • Allow members to unjoin (leave) groups in this set after joining


5) Click Add

Students will then go to Site Info to join a Group. Depending on what options you allowed during the Group Set creation process, this is what students will see:


Students click on the Join button for the Group they want to join. Groups at capacity will be grayed out and unjoinable. Note that an individual can only join one Group per set.

Create Group Assignment

Go to the Assignments tool and create an Assignment. Note the *new “Use Visible Date” feature* that allows an instructor to set when an Assignment becomes visible to students! You will set up the group functionality in the Access section:

1) Check Are submissions for a group?
2) Select to Display to site or selected groups

NOTE: If any student will be a member of more than one Group at any point during the course, you must choose Display to selected groups and check each Group that will submit to this Assignment. Otherwise, students will not be able to submit to the Assignment.

3) Make any other necessary modifications and click on Post.

Grading Group Submissions

Any member of each Group may submit to the Assignment, and each student will receive an email confirmation once the Assignment has been submitted for their Group.

When an instructor grades group submissions, they will assign one grade to all group members, however you can override an individual’s grade if needed. Just check the “Assign Grade Overrides” option and enter the override grade for the individuals.


Sakai 10 Upgrade Outage: Monday May 11 | 8AM-5PM

sk10_upgradeThis is it. We are just days away from the Sakai 10 Upgrade! Please prepare for Sakai to be inaccessible on Monday, May 11, from 8AM until 5PM as we apply the upgrade.

We appreciate your patience and can’t wait for Sakai 10!

Spring 2015 Semester in Review

grads_old_well_5_8_12_082Exams are officially over and all final grades are due by this Friday, which means the Spring Semester is just about done! The Carolina community will be celebrating the accomplishments of all UNC Graduates this Sunday in Kenan Stadium at the Spring Commencement. Congratulations and best of luck to all the Graduates!

Here is a quick review of the Spring 2015 Semester!
(Click on each chart to enlarge)

Virtual Lab

Virtual Lab is one excellent resource all students should utilize! If you need to use software for class but don’t want to pay for it, use it for free on Virtual Lab! Check out the top 10 applications in Virtual Lab for Spring 2015:

vl_app_sp15See all available Virtual Lab applications.

Virtual Lab Maintenance: Thursday May 7

Please plan for maintenance work on Virtual Lab from 6-8AM tomorrow, May 7. Connections to the website might be intermittent during this time. Thank you!

CCI Printing

Students have the convenience of printing at over 50 campus locations using their allocated funds with CCI Printing. See the breakdown of each non-residence hall campus location for the Spring 2015 Semester!cci_campus_sp15


Here is a review on Sakai usage for the Spring 2015 Semester. We had a total of 3,923 courses taught by 2,276 unique instructors on 3,081 published course sites–up 116 total courses from Spring 2014! There were also 2,251 project sites created this semester by request.

Sakai is great for communicating and assessing student work. Check out how many course sites enabled these collaborative tools this semester:

Groups: 3,146 | 97.34%
Communication: 2,933 | 90.75%
Discussion Boards: 785 | 24.29%
Gradebook: 1,535 | 47.49%
Assignments & Assessments: 1,168 | 36.14%

Here is the full Sakai tool usage for Spring 2015:

sk_tools_sp15Want to learn more about the different tools in Sakai? Sign up for a personal consultation!

Sakai 10 Upgrade Outage: Monday May 11


The Sakai 10 Upgrade is less than a week away, and we couldn’t be more excited!

Please prepare for Sakai to be offline and inaccessible on Monday, May 11. We plan to take the system offline at 8AM and back up by 5PM.

We’ve got one more exciting new feature to announce in Sakai 10 before we officially upgrade. Stay tuned, and get ready for the upgrade on Monday!

End-of-Semester Sakai Reminders

The end of the semester is here! We wanted to give you a few reminders and tips on Sakai before closing out the semester.

Gradebook Checklist

Instructors, make sure to check these 5 steps off the Gradebook Checklist:

  1. Verify all grades have been entered
  2. Check items are included in final grade calculations
  3. Set ungraded items to 0 – Sakai will only calculate items with scores!
  4. Release final grades to students
  5. Export grades for ConnectCarolina

Providing Feedback on Assignments & Tests

Here are some valuable tips on providing feedback and returning grades to students. Save valuable time by bulk-uploading Assignments, and make sure you are not showing students feedback while they are taking your test! See tips here.

Online Testing Reminders for Students

What students need to know about online testing.Students, are you taking an online exam? Here are 5 things you need to know about online testing:

  1. Confirm you have dedicated Internet access
  2. Use Firefox
  3. Avoid opening new browser windows or tabs
  4. Use Sakai’s built-in navigation
  5. You will time-out after 60 minutes of inactivity

Sakai Help Session Friday

Have last-minute Sakai questions before the semester ends? Need help finalizing your grades? Sakai experts will be in the House Undergraduate Library this Friday to assist you with your Sakai needs! Drop in any time between 2pm and 3:30pm. Please register for the event to ensure that a consultant will be available to meet with you. We hope to see you!

Sakai Drop-in Help Session [Register]
Friday, May 1
UL 034

Sakai Outages: April 26-28

We also wanted to apologize to the Carolina community for the Sakai performance issues we experienced Sunday and Monday of this week. We know this is an extremely stressful time for our faculty and students. Sakai has been stable since late Tuesday night, and we are continuing to monitor the system. Please see our ITS Website for communications, a log of service disruptions, and other updates. Also prepare for nightly maintenance work from 3AM until 4AM for the duration of the final examination period. If you experience any issues with the Sakai system, please call 962-HELP. Thank you!

Good luck on finals! You’re almost done!

New in Sakai 10: Extra Credit

You’ve asked for it. And here it is.

Coming in May in Sakai 10 is built-in Extra Credit in the Gradebook! The new Extra Credit function allows instructors to set individual items as extra credit and also gives the option of setting an entire Category as extra credit to the final grade. Here is a sneak peek on how to set this up!

Set Category as Extra Credit

If you want to set an entire Category to be counted as extra credit toward the final grade, you can easily do this in the Gradebook:

1) Click on Gradebook Setup
2) Select Categories only or Categories & Weighting
3) Enter names (and percentages) for your Categories
NOTE: If you are weighing Categories, you must set a separate percentage for the Extra Credit Category that is not calculated into the 100% of the course grade Running Total.

4) Place a check in the Extra Credit column for the Category counted as extra credit
5) Save Changes


Set Individual Items as Extra Credit

You can also set individual Gradebook items as extra credit:

1) Create or edit a Gradebook Item
2) Enter the Title and Item Value (and assign the Category)
3) Check Extra Credit
4) Click Add Item(s)


NOTE: Individual Gradebook Items counted as Extra Credit SHOULD NOT be included in an Extra Credit Category as this will interfere with course grade calculations.

(Extra Credit) will be noted next to each extra credit Item and Category. In the following example, the student has received full credit on all assignments. With the Extra Credit Category worth 1%, the student’s grade is bumped up to a 101%. With the 10 Extra Credit points in the Exam Category worth 50% of the final grade, the student receives an additional 2.5% on their grade, bringing their final course grade to 103.5%.


Happy LDOC!

Next week we’ll take a short break from the New in Sakai 10 Blog Series for end-of-semester happenings. We can’t believe the semester is nearly over!

New in Sakai 10: Instant Custom Site Pages


Image by Ghenady on flickr (CC BY)

If you have created custom links on the left tool menu in a Sakai site, you are familiar with the Web Content tool. The ability to create these custom links allows site administrators to add links on the left site menu to specific items in Resources, an entire folder in Resources, and different websites outside of Sakai.

Continuing with our New in Sakai 10 Blog Series, you will see how quickly and easily you can create these custom links with the new option in Sakai 10!

Create Custom Site Pages with just a few clicks!

Any items you have in your Resources can be made into a Site Page. Did you hear that you can drag and drop files into Resources in Sakai 10?

To create custom Site Pages, all you will need to do is:

1) Click on the Actions menu for the item you want to turn into a Site Page
2) Click on Make Site Page


3) Enter the Title of Page
4) Click on Add Page

Done! You should then see your new Site Page listed at the bottom of your left site menu. You can reposition its location on the site menu through Site Info > Page Order.

NOTE: If you created a Site Page of a website and it appears blank, edit the Site Page (pencil icon in top right corner) > check Open in new window? > click Update Options.

Bye-bye, 404 Errors!

Another useful tool within Sakai now is the Import from Site tool, which allows site administrators to reuse content between their Sakai sites. When importing Web Content links between sites, Sakai currently duplicates the old site ID and puts it into the new site. This is problematic because students in the new site do not have access to the old site and will see the dreaded 404 error:


Site administrators will then have to replace every URL with the new site ID, which can be confusing and time-consuming. Not to worry though, because Sakai 10 fixes this problem! Instead of retaining the old site ID when importing content, Sakai 10 automatically replaces the URL in the new site with the new site ID! Bye-bye, 404 errors!

Don’t forget! We will need to take the Sakai system offline on Monday, May 11, to apply the Sakai 10 upgrade. Thank you for understanding!

New in Sakai 10: The Recycle Bin

recycle_bins_colorWe are continuing our New in Sakai 10 Blog Series with another great addition–the Recycle Bin! Chances are you may have deleted items and folders from your Sakai site Resources only to realize later that you still needed them. With the new Recycle Bin, you can restore all items that were deleted from your Resources!

Restore Deleted Resources

Restoring deleted items is as easy as it gets. Once you have deleted items in your Recycle Bin, the “Restore” feature will appear.

1) From your top-level site folder in Resources, click on the Actions menu
2) Click on Restore

sk10_recycle_bin3) Check the items you want to restore and click on Restore


The deleted items will now be restored in your Resources. It’s that simple!

NOTE: Deleted items may be permanently deleted after 30 days if not restored.

You can also do some housekeeping in your Recycle Bin if you want to go ahead and permanently delete items. Just navigate to your Recycle Bin following the above steps, check the items you want to permanently delete, and click on Remove.

sk10_recycle_removeSakai Maintenance Outage: Sat 4/18 | 7-7:30 AM

Please note that we have a Sakai outage outside of our regular maintenance window tomorrow, Saturday, April 18, from 7AM until 7:30AM to avoid the last week of classes. Thank you for your patience!

New in Sakai 10: Drag and Drop Files

sk10_upgradeLast month we announced our plan to upgrade to Sakai 10 on May 11. You’re probably curious about what updates Sakai 10 will bring, so we are starting the New in Sakai 10 Blog Series to give you some sneak peeks into new Sakai 10 features!

Don’t forget that in order to apply the upgrade, we must take the Sakai system offline on Monday, May 11, so please plan accordingly. Thank you!

Drag and Drop Files into Resources

We’re kicking off the series with one of the biggest new additions–you can drag and drop multiple files into Resources! Currently you must upload files one-by-one, which can be a time-consuming process. In Sakai 10, you can drag your files into Sakai from your computer or open the upload window within Sakai and select multiple files to upload all at once. It’s that easy!

sk10_dragdrop_moveOnce the upload begins, you will see the progress for each file. You may remove any files you no longer wish to upload, which can be useful if you attempted to upload a file larger than 200 MB.


Things to keep in mind:

  • Each uploaded individual file must still be no more than 200 MB, however the total of the files you are uploading may exceed 200 MB.
  • You cannot drop in folders. First create the folders in your Sakai site Resources and then drop in the content within each folder.
  • Each Sakai site has a limited storage capacity of 2 GB. If the files you are dropping in will exceed the site quota, an error message will appear.

Another update on Resources is coming up this week, so stay tuned!