Sakai 11 Upgrade: New Lessons Checklist & Sections

Next up in our Sakai 11 Upgrade Blog Series — updates to the Lessons tool!

Lessons Checklist

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:

  1. Select Add Content > Add Checklist
  2. Enter Checklist Title
  3. Click Add New Checklist Item and enter item name. Repeat for additional items
  4. Save

screenshot of checklist setup

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:

checklist_studentInstructions can click on the Checklist Progress icon:

checklist_prog_iconThis will give you a table view of students’ progress:

screenshot of checklist student 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!

Sakai 11 Upgrade: New Hot Spot Question

Welcome back from Thanksgiving Break! We hope you are well rested and geared up for the end of the semester! The semester end also means our Sakai 11 Upgrade is quickly approaching. The upgrade will happen on December 20, which is after all final grades are due.

One cool feature in Sakai 11 is a new question type in Tests & Quizzes — the Hot Spot question! With Hot Spot questions, instructors can have students identify certain points on an image. Instructors could use Hot Spots to have students identify areas on maps, graphs, artwork, human anatomy, organic structures. The options are endless!

So, how does it work?

Hot Spot Setup

When creating or editing an assessment, select the new question type: Hot Spot

Create your question

  1. Enter the point value, instructions, and any other settings
  2. In the “Select Hot Spot image” section, click Browse
  3. Locate, select, and open your image file
  4. Upload. The page will refresh with the hot spot image

tq_hot_spot_imageAdd items on image to ID

  1. Next to Item 1, enter a description
  2. On your hot spot image, highlight the area for Item 1 with a click, hold, and drag selection. You will see a blue box around the area you selected
  3. If you want students to identify additional items, click on the + Add Item button and repeat steps 1-2

When you are finished, your image should look similar to this:

tq_hot_spot_markupDon’t forget to Save your question!

Student View

Here is how this question would look to students. Students will select each highlighted/green item on the image, and if where they click is within the box the instructor selected, they will receive credit for that item.


Stay tuned for another Sakai 11 feature!

Sakai 11 Upgrade: New Look & Mobile Friendly!

sk11_upgradeIn case you missed the big news in September, we are upgrading to Sakai 11 on December 20! There will be several major improvements and enhancements in the system.

Are you interested in seeing Sakai 11 before anyone else? We are offering several personal consultations for you to get a sneak peek into the system! Just sign up for a one-hour session on our Events page.

It’s hard to believe but we are just a little over a month away from the upgrade and want to highlight some of the big new features to expect in the highly anticipated new version of Sakai. Introducing…the Sakai 11 Upgrade Series!

New Interface & Mobile Friendly!

The very first thing you will likely notice when you log into Sakai after the upgrade is the updated look of Sakai 11. The new, modern interface of Sakai 11 also comes with a responsive design! This means the system will detect what type of device you are using and adjust the website according to your screen size.

Here are screenshots of what you can expect to see on a computer and a smartphone (click on image to enlarge):

sk11_desktop  sk11_mobile

Video: Introducing Sakai 11

Check out this video from the Sakai Community that gives an overview of our active global community and introduces Sakai 11! In case you didn’t know, Sakai is 100% open-source. This means that Sakai adopters, such as UNC:

“have a direct influence over the direction, design, and functionality of the system, shaping the future of online teaching and learning and ensuring that Sakai stays 100% open source and responsive to the needs and values of higher education.”


Video highlights:

  • Sakai is 100% open source, which means its powerful flexible functionality is driven and developed by an active global community
  • Sakai provides you with the tools you need to deliver rich, innovative online learning suited to your needs
  • Sakai 11 comes with a responsive design, which looks and works great on any device
  • The new, clean, modern interface makes it easy to navigate the system and personalize your work experience
  • Some new features: spreadsheet-entry Gradebook, a responsive, multi-column supported Lessons tool, and improved LTI integration

Stay tuned for more Sakai 11 sneak peeks!

ITS Annual Report 2015-2016

cci_printing_mobileThe ITS Annual Report was just released last month! Find out what exciting work Teaching & Learning and all of Information Technology Services has worked on from August 2015 through July 2016.

Here is a quick rundown on facts and figures for Teaching & Learning from each of our divisions. Stats are from August 1, 2015 to July 12, 2016:

  • 8,080,696 pages printed through CCI Printers
  • 144,086 Virtual Lab sessions
  • Nearly 200,000 exams scanned July 2015 – June 2016
  • 29,000 unique Sakai users
  • 3,915 Spring 2016 courses in Sakai
  • 6,560 Classroom Hotline room checks

See more highlights from Teaching & Learning!

3-Year Classroom Upgrade Project in Home Stretch

200 classrooms have been upgraded from analog to digital equipment. With these upgrades, we are better able to support and troubleshoot devices for instructors. Often times we remotely check the classroom equipment and make sure everything is up and running before anyone even walks into the classroom. Some of the digital-upgrade classrooms also received upgraded cameras and microphones to provide a better experience for web conferencing. Check out the following video and our previous post to learn more about classroom upgrades:

Greenlaw 101 Renovation

image of faculty and staff in greenlaw 101

Another classroom that got a huge upgrade is Greenlaw 101. If you haven’t been to this room in the past year, we highly recommend taking a quick stroll to Greenlaw Hall!

Our very own Bob Henshaw led a planning group comprised of staff from ITS, the Center for Faculty Excellence, and campus administrators, who worked with over two dozen faculty members across a wide range of disciplines to identity key instructional goals for a final design. Greenlaw 101 has been transformed from a lecture hall with stadium-style seating into a classroom with a middle ramp that splits three tiers into six learning zones, populated with moveable tablet-arm seats on casters. Instructors can now easily move around and interact with individual students and groups. Several monitors also line each section of the room, which allow students to easily view content and display their devices.

CCI Printing Goes Mobile!

With 60 printers in 45 locations across campus, CCI Printing is one of the most convenient ways for students to print. The University’s official mobile app, CarolinaGO, was launched in November 2015, and it includes the CCI Printing map. The map automatically updates every 2 minutes, providing users with live updates of each printer’s status, nearest printer locations, and better support since we can easily see if a printer is low on supplies or needs technical attention.

Sakai Q&A with Jeremiah Joyner


Did you know that 70% of all instructors now use Sakai? Check out this Q&A on Sakai Stabilization with Jeremiah Joyner, Manager of the Sakai Support team.

In case you haven’t heard, we are upgrading to Sakai 11 in December, bringing even more updates and new features to the system!

You can view the full ITS Annual Report from all ITS departments, which includes stories, videos, and other stats on the services we provided to the UNC Campus.

Spring 2017 Rosters now in Sakai

pixabay_864956Want to get a head start on the Spring Semester? You’re in luck because Spring 2017 rosters are now in Sakai! Instructors can create their Spring course sites in Sakai now to get a head start!

You must be listed as one of the following for your course rosters to create your Sakai course sites:

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

Please have your departmental course scheduler list you as the instructor for each course roster you are teaching in ConnectCarolina. You will need to wait up to 24 hours for this to be updated in Sakai. Teaching Assistants in ConnectCarolina cannot create course sites in Sakai.

Create Course Site

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

Reuse Course Material

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 options:

  1. Re-use Material from Other Sites You Own
  2. Import from Site
  3. Copy specific items into Resources from other sites

See Duplicate your content between Sakai sites for full details.

Contact the ITS Service Desk at or 962-HELP if you have any questions.

BIG NEWS: Sakai 11 Upgrade Dec 20

sakai 11 upgrade announcementAttention everyone, we have very big news! Something exciting is happening at the end of this year. We are thrilled to announce that in just a few months, you will find major improvements and enhancements in Sakai because…

We’re upgrading to
Sakai 11

The upgrade will take place on Tuesday, December 20. Please plan for Sakai to be unavailable all day as we must take the system offline to apply the upgrade. The outage will occur after all final Fall 2016 grades are due in ConnectCarolina, and we will make every effort to minimize the outage. Thank you for your understanding!

Sakai 11 Features

Sakai 11 comes with many wonderful improvements. We wanted to give a sneak peek on expected features in Sakai 11, but please note we are actively testing and debugging the system through December and will implement  the functional features.


  • Responsive — this means mobile friendly and a new look!
  • No. More. iframes. You can use your browser back and forth buttons!
  • Improved Favorites menu to organize Sakai sites
  • Breadcrumb navigational menu in most tools
  • Additional options to set up email notifications


  • New spreadsheet-style grade entry and view!
  • Quickly enter grades, comments, view log, update settings
  • Set score to anything in empty entries, by group/section
  • New grading analytics
  • Consolidated menus for setup and settings
  • Drag and drop functionality to move items
  • View by grouped sections, categories, specific Gradebook Items
  • Student review mode
  • Option to enter comments through imported spreadsheet
  • Floating headers — great for large classes


  • Enhanced layout
  • Consolidated menus
  • Ability to divide up sections with breaks, columns, different colors, and widths

Tests & Quizzes

  • New “hot spot” question type for students to ID points on image
  • Settings streamlined with less menus
  • See all scores for one student on one page

We will highlight some of these new features in the coming weeks leading up to the December 20 upgrade. Sakai 11 will bring many improvements instructors and students have requested, and we’re so excited that this upgrade is happening. Stay tuned for more details!

New! Streaming Media Campus Solution

We have very exciting news!

If you have been looking for a way to share videos or have students upload recordings to share with your class, search no more. We now have a campus-wide media streaming solution! Introducing…


So what exactly is Warpwire? Think of a YouTube-like service in your Sakai site. Instead of uploading a file that each user has to download and then watch on their computer, the video will be embedded directly on the Sakai page. You and your students just click play and the video will play instantly. It’s that simple!

Why Use Warpwire?

There are many advantages to using Warpwire!

  • Upload video, audio, and image files and securely stream in Sakai
  • Record and upload media files straight to Warpwire from any mobile device or computer
  • View detailed analytics (% viewed and viewed segments)
  • Create private library collections and share with individuals or groups
  • Have students upload videos to share with classmates or privately with instructor

Getting Started

image of warpwire plugin

If you are interested in using Warpwire, just submit a request through to have Warpwire added as a tool on your Sakai site. Once we add it, you will then see Warpwire as a tool in your left Tools menu on your Sakai site and as a plug-in in all the tools with the rich-text editor. Just look for the blue W!

Warpwire Help


Here are help options to assist you with using Warpwire:

Don’t forget we also offer personal consultations or you can contact us through the ITS Service Desk at or 962-HELP.

Happy streaming!

Streamline Course Content with Lessons: Workshop 9/14

image of bird in flight

CC image by Martin Heigan on flickr

As an instructor, you are likely breaking up your course content into different modules and units. The Sakai Lessons tool is a great way to organize, streamline, and deliver all your materials to your students in one place.

Think of Lessons as a combination of the older Modules tool and Resources but with more options and flexibility!

We have a workshop lined up for you next week to discuss and demo the Lessons tool. We hope you’ll join us!

Creating Lessons in Sakai: [Register]
Wed Sept 14
12pm – 1pm
UL 124

Consider registering for the workshop if you:

  • Teach online or develop online courses that are structured into modules or units
  • Develop online training with defined sequences of material that might require certain items to be completed or limit access until prerequisites are met
  • Want to integrate Sakai’s suite of tools into one streamlined place for students

There are many benefits to using the Lessons tool. Whether you want to simply put all your course lessons into one place or integrate Sakai Tests & Quizzes, Assignments, and Forums, or require students go through a sequence of content, the Lessons tool is definitely worth checking out! If you are unable to make it to the workshop, we invite you to review our help documentation:

Don’t forget you can also sign up for a personal consultation. We’d be happy to help you get started!

Classroom Equipment 101: Video Tutorial

Happy First Week of Classes! We hope the Fall semester is off to a great start for you and that everything has been running smoothly.

To help instructors get familiar with the equipment in classrooms, our Classroom Hotline group put together the following instructional video tutorial for classrooms with one projector. We invite you to check it out!

In this video tutorial, we provide an overview of these tools:

  • Touch panel — controls all classroom equipment
  • Sending devices to projector
  • Connecting your laptop
  • Connecting USB flash drive
  • Controlling projector, audio, lights, projector screen, window shades
  • DVD Player
  • Document Camera
  • How to connect to Classroom Hotline for help — look for the red phone
  • How to shut down classroom when you’re done

Hopefully this video tutorial will help you feel more comfortable with using the classroom equipment. We can always provide classroom demonstrations and assist with any questions you may have. Please contact us through the following options:

  • Email at
  • Call at 919-962-6702
  • Pick up the red phone in your classroom
  • Schedule classroom demo

Stay tuned for more video tutorials!

Sakai Help Sessions: Aug 23 & 24

UNC campus in the fall

Welcome back to a new semester!

Instructors, do you need any help getting started with Sakai for your Fall courses and you’re just not sure where to start? We recommend registering for our upcoming workshops in the House Undergraduate Library next week!

Intro to Teaching in Sakai [Register]
Tuesday, August 23
10am – 11am
UL 124

Thinking of teaching in Sakai for the first time or need a refresher? Join us at the Intro to Teaching in Sakai crash course! This workshop is intended to help you with:

  • Becoming familiar with Sakai
  • Creating your course site
  • Managing your course site
  • Uploading and organizing course material in Resources
  • Communicating with your students via Announcements and Messages
  • Getting an overview of the Gradebook
  • Addressing any other questions you may have

NOTE: Your departmental course scheduler must list you in ConnectCarolina as one of the following in order to create your course site:

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

Drop in for Sakai Help [Register]
Wednesday, August 24
2pm – 3:30pm
UL 124

Have any last-minute Sakai questions for the start of term? Need help setting up your course site? Drop in any time at your convenience between 2pm and 3:30pm to get quick help from the Sakai experts!

If you want to go ahead and create your course site on your own, see details here.

Good luck with the start of classes!