Happy Spring Break! We hope this week you all are getting a chance to relax and take a bit of a break from the Spring Semester.
Our March Madness Special Edition Sakaiger has an announcement: Summer 2017 rosters are now in Sakai! If you have some time during this break and want to get a head start on your summer courses, you can go ahead and set them up!
Remember you must have one of the following roles in ConnectCarolina to be able to create your course site in Sakai:
If you are not listed as such, please contact your departmental course scheduler. Once you are listed in ConnectCarolina, it may take up to 24 hours for this to update in Sakai. Please note TAs in ConnectCarolina cannot create course sites in Sakai. See more details here.
Re-teaching a course? You can easily reuse course material as you are creating your site or after it has been created. You can select specific items from your Resources to copy or duplicate an entire tool. See more details on duplicating your content.
Contact the ITS Service Desk at help.unc.edu or 962-HELP if you have any questions.
Sakai Homepage Photo Winner
Here is the photo we’ve chosen for the Sakai Homepage Photo Contest we launched last week! Thanks to all the students who submitted photos. Don’t forget, your photo may still be chosen later and we are continuing to accept photos!
Students (left to right): Meredith Katibah, Daniel Stickel, Valerie Lundeen, Ashlyn Atkinson, Zachary Young, Latiyuana Gadson
Featuring UNC students Harrison Toohey and Thomas Nations
Want to be the new face of Sakai?
We are looking for new Sakai models! Every few months we change out the image featured on the Sakai homepage and it’s time to update it again.
Apparently “Sakai models have become a source of UNC bucket-list inspiration for some students,” according to this DTH article — we love this! While we usually send our team members in ITS-Teaching & Learning out to campus to take photos of students, we thought we’d have a little fun with this. We are launching a contest to find the next photo for the Sakai homepage!
Here are things to consider to give you an idea of what we’re looking for:
Group of UNC students, faculty, and/or staff
Must be using a mobile device — laptop, tablet, smartphone
Extra points if you’re on UNC campus or in Carolina gear
Photo will be cropped down to 980 x 375 pixels
Pictures taken outside are encouraged
Look natural and not too staged
Have fun with it!
In order to be considered for the next photo we’ll use for the Sakai homepage, we must receive your submission by this Friday, March 10, at 5pm. Please email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team will choose which picture to use and post it next week during Spring Break. We will continue to accept photos after that, and they may make their way onto Sakai or other ITS publications later.
Photo Release Form
Please note that pictures we receive may be used for Sakai or other ITS-related material. In order for us to use your photos, everyone pictured must sign this Release Form, stating that you give consent to the University to reproduce, distribute, and display these photos and identify you. If there is anyone in the picture who has not signed the Release Form, they must be far enough where we can crop them out or blur their faces.
Email your photos and everyone’s signed release forms to email@example.com and identify the photographer and everyone in your photos.
Need some inspiration? Check out these pictures we have used in the past!
So, why is there a random cat hidden in our Sakai photos? This mysterious cat is actually not so random. He is the mascot of the Sakai Community — meet the Sakaiger!
We can’t wait to see your photos! The picture we choose will be posted to the Sakai homepage next week during Spring Break. Who knows, it could be you and your friends!
Here are two upcoming conferences we recommend UNC Faculty and Staff check out. Both are free to attendees!
Transforming the Teaching & Learning Environment
We invite you to attend the Transforming the Teaching & Learning Environment virtual conference, presented by Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. Registration costs are waived for all UNC-CH faculty, staff, and students, courtesy of our team, ITS Teaching & Learning. All conference details, including how to access sessions, can be found here(Onyen login required).
Transforming the Teaching & Learning Environment
Mon, Feb 13 – Fri, Feb 24
Six 1-hour, non-concurrent sessions each weekday
60 total sessions, all online
Welcome to 2017! We hope you all had a wonderful break and are well rested! To start off the new year and semester, we are offering several Sakai Workshops to help you get familiar with the upgraded system and get your course sites set up for the Spring 2017 Semester.
Please note we also offer personal consultations where we will assist you one-on-one with all your Sakai needs! We can meet in your office if that is most convenient for you. Register on our Events page.
Sakai 11 Demo
Learn about all the new, big features in Sakai 11! Some of these include the new Gradebook, a new Attendance tool, a new checklist, and much more! Register for one of our workshops:
Teaching in Sakai for the first time or need a refresher? Join us for a crash course on teaching in Sakai! Please verify your departmental course scheduler has listed you as an instructor in ConnectCarolina for each course roster you are teaching.
Intro to Teaching in Sakai [Registration]
Tues Jan 10 | 10:30-11:30am
Sakai Drop-in Help Session
Have any last-minute Sakai questions for the start of term? Drop by at your convenience at the House Undergraduate Library between 2pm and 3:30pm to meet with a Sakai expert.
Drop in for Sakai Help [Registration]
Wed Jan 11 | 2-3:30pm
Sakai Help 24/7
Can’t meet in person? The ITS Service Desk is available 24/7 via help.unc.edu and 919-962-HELP to assist you! You can also check out our tutorials in Sakai Help and on sakaitutorials.unc.edu. Let us know how we can help you!
Thank you for your patience while we took the system offline to apply the upgrade, and thank you to all the teams involved in the upgrade. It was a lot of work but well worth it!
As with any major upgrade, odd behaviors and bugs are expected, so please let us know if you notice anything strange in Sakai 11. You can contact us through the ITS Service Desk at help.unc.edu or 919-962-HELP. We appreciate all feedback!
NOTE: If the layout is not displaying correctly or you have issues, please clear your browser cache by simultaneously holding down the Shift key on your keyboard and clicking on your browser refresh button.
Sakai 11 New Features
Here is a comprehensive list of the big, new features in Sakai 11:
New Hot Spot question type — students ID points on image
See all scores for one student on one page
New email notifications for student submissions
If you prefer in-person assistance with getting familiar with Sakai 11, we are holding several workshops before the start of Spring 2017 semester or you can sign up for a personal consultation. You will also find extensive documentation within the embedded Help tool in Sakai.
We hope you are excited about the new features Sakai 11 brings! Check out the ITS article on the upgrade, featuring our T&L Director, Suzanne Cadwell, and one of our Sakai Support Staff, Thao Nghi Bui!
The Sakai 11 Upgrade is TOMORROW! Sakai will be offline tomorrow, December 20, from 8am until 5pm while we apply the upgrade. We will work diligently to bring the system back up as soon as possible.
With the Fall 2016 Semester now over, one of the first things you’ll likely want to do soon is update your top Sakai site tabs. Sakai 11 makes it much easier to do so with the new Sites and Favorites features!
Sites Organized by Term
Starting tomorrow, you will find a new Sites icon in the top right corner. Clicking on this button will display all sites you are a member of, minus the ones you have hidden from your view. It will be even easier to find your Sakai sites now as course sites will be organized by term on the left-hand side and project sites on the right.
You can still hide certain Sakai sites from your view through Home > Preferences > Sites. Note the My Workspace tab has been renamed to Home.
Organize Site Favorites
It will also be easier to organize your favorite Sakai sites at the top of your screen. In the Sites window, simply star each site you want displayed. Then click on the “Organize Favorites” tab to drag and drop your sites in the order you want them displayed. It’s as simple as that!
Video on Managing Site Favorites
Here is a video on how you can manage your Site Favorites in Sakai 11. Thank you to Andrew Ochs at the School of Public Health for sharing!
You’ve been waiting for it. And it’s almost here. The new and improved Gradebook will make your life so much easier! When we upgrade to Sakai 11 next week, you will see the new spreadsheet-style grade entry Gradebook, which will allow you to quickly and easily enter scores, comments, and update settings.
Remember we will need to take Sakai offline to apply the upgrade. Expect Sakai to be unavailable on Tuesday, December 20, from 8am until 5pm. Thank you!
Here is a screenshot of the new Gradebook (click on image to enlarge):
Instead of clicking around to different pages to perform Gradebook tasks, you will stay on this main Grades page to do almost everything:
Create Gb Items (appears in pop-up window)
Edit Gb Item details
View all student scores and Course Grades
Override Course Grades and view log
View Grade Statistics — new!
Set scores for empty cells — can now set any numerical value!
You can more easily see how items are categorized with colors, show/hide specific items or categories, and if you are teaching large classes, you’ll be happy to hear there are now floating headers! (click on image to enlarge)
You can quickly edit Gb Item settings:
Quickly enter scores like a spreadsheet Most likely the biggest improvement you will notice is that you can enter scores on the fly! It works the same way as if you were working in a spreadsheet. You can simply use your keyboard keys to input scores and press enter, tab, or your arrow keys to save scores and navigate between students.
You can now view grade statistics to see how your students are doing. For each Gb Item, the View Grade Statistics option will show:
Graph of grade breakdown
Average (Mean) Score
Total Graded Scores
Set score for empty cells per Gb Item
The former Gradebook Classic only allows instructors to set all items that have no score to 0. The new Gradebook however is much more flexible. You can now specify exactly what score to set for all students or individual sections/groups with no score per individual Gb Item!
Improved Import / Export New options are now available to include in your Gradebook export. In addition to Student Name, Onyen, PID and Gb Item Scores, you can now include:
Calculated Course Grade
Last Log Date
Don’t forget that in order to upload grades, your .CSV spreadsheet must be in the exact format as the default Gradebook spreadsheet, not the customized export. This page is also where you can now find the option to Export Final Grades for ConnectCarolina.
NOTE: With the improvement to the main Import / Export spreadsheet option, the import from Loading Dock function will no longer be available.
Reorder with drag and drop
It can be cumbersome reordering Gb Items within Categories. The new Gradebook allows you to easily reorder items by simply dragging and dropping them in place!
Consolidated settings & menu options
The Gradebook menu has been cleaned up and similar settings have been grouped together for easier navigation and Gradebook management.
Video on New Gradebook
In case you are apprehensive about switching over to a completely new Gradebook, both the new and classic versions of Gradebook will be available for you to use in Spring 2017. Any changes you make in one Gradebook will automatically appear in the other. Andrew Ochs at the School of Public Health does a great job demonstrating how you can use both Gradebooks in this video. Might as well give the new Gradebook a try!
This time next week we’ll be on Sakai 11. We’re so excited!
The Sakai 11 Upgrade brings a new Attendance tool! Tired of keeping track of attendance on multiple pieces of paper and manually counting how many classes students have missed? Save yourself valuable time with the new Attendance tool in Sakai, coming on December 20! The Attendance tool is very easy to use, automatically tallies students’ attendance summary, allows students to see their attendance report, and one of the best parts — you can integrate it with the Gradebook!
Setup & Take Attendance
Once you have added the Attendance tool to your site, you will want to set up an Attendance Item for each class session. To add an Attendance Item:
Click Attendance Items
Enter Attendance Item Name (and date)
Click on the title of the Attendance Item to start taking attendance. You can mark through each student and select an attendance status or complete bulk-actions by marking all displayed students the same status. You can switch who is displayed from Entire Site to different rosters and groups.
You can also add comments by clicking on the message bubble next to each student. A green message bubble indicates a comment has been added.
In case you did not set up an Attendance Item ahead of time, simply click on the Take Attendance Now button as soon as you get to the Attendance tool and start taking attendance!
You can easily create an Attendance item in the Gradebook through the Attendance too:
Enter the Maximum Points Possible
One Gradebook Item will then be created in the Gradebook. To enter an attendance score for each student, click on Student Overview. As you take attendance throughout the semester, the overview will show a summary for each student and you can enter a final attendance grade for each student. These scores will automatically be pushed to the Gradebook.
You can remove certain attendance statuses that you do not want displayed by simply unchecking them. These statuses are available:
You can choose to add comments and whether you want the comments visible to students. Just check the “Show comments to students” box for students to see them.
Don’t forget to Save your settings!
Video on Attendance Tool
Want to see the Attendance tool in action? Check out this video by Andrew Ochs at the School of Public Health. Thanks for sharing, Andrew!
You’ve asked for it and it’s finally coming in Sakai 11. Once we upgrade on December 20, you’ll be able to set up anonymous discussion boards in Forums! Instructors can choose whether they know the identity of anonymous authors and grant this permission to other site roles, or instructors can choose to make the entire thread anonymous to everyone.
Setting up anonymous discussion boards is as easy as checking a box. It’s important to note that you can only set up an anonymous forum as you create the Topic. After that, the setting becomes disabled and it cannot be modified, whether it is anonymous or not. Basically, whatever you choose during the creation process is permanently locked in.
Anonymous Forum Setup
To set up an Anonymous forum:
For a Forum, click New Topic
Enter Topic Title and other relevant information
Under Topic Posting, check Posts are anonymous — You MUST check this now; cannot be altered later*
If you want to reveal identities, check Reveal identities to role with the “Identify Anonymous Authors” permission below — You MUST check this now; cannot be altered later*
Who IDs Anonymous Authors?
By default, these site admin roles can identify anonymous authors:
You can change whether these roles can identify anonymous authors and/or grant this permission to other roles as well. These changes MUST be made as you create the Topic and cannot be altered after the Topic has been created. To modify who can ID anonymous authors, click on Customize for the specific role in the Permissions section and (un)check Identify Anonymous Authors, depending on your preference.
When anonymous discussions are posted, anonymous authors are identified by a series of numbers and letters, such as 64D689 or CF5098. Individual authors are given the same anonymous ID in all Forums and Topics, so while the individual’s name is not revealed (unless you are granted this access), site members will still know which posts belong to the same anonymous author.
An anonymous discussion Topic could look like this:
Next up in our Sakai 11 Upgrade Blog Series — updates to the Lessons tool!
After we upgrade, instructors will be able to add a checklist to their Lesson pages for students to self-report their progress in Lessons. These checklists will help students stay on task and instructors check in on their students’ progress.
Adding a checklist is easy! In your Lessons page:
Select Add Content > Add Checklist
Enter Checklist Title
Click Add New Checklist Item and enter item name. Repeat for additional items
You can hide the checklist name from students, add a description, change the checklist appearance, and only make it available to specific Groups if you would like. This is what the checklist would look like to students:
Instructions can click on the Checklist Progress icon:
This will give you a table view of students’ progress:
NOTE: Keep in mind the progress is self-reported by students.
Organize Sections with Borders, Columns, & Color
Lesson pages can now be divided up into separate sections with borders, columns, and different colors! Instead of having all of your content run together on one Lesson page or dividing up your content into separate Lesson subpages, instructors will have the option to break up their content on Lesson pages into different sections and better organize the course material.
Video: Lessons Updates in Action!
Check out this video that details the new checklist and section settings in the Lessons tool in Sakai 11. Thanks to our good friend, Andrew Ochs, at the School of Public Health for producing and sharing this video!
We are 2 weeks away from the Sakai 11 Upgrade! Please note we must take Sakai offline on December 20 to apply the upgrade. Thank you!