Sakai Tips for Students

sakai in appleUNC Students — Your instructors may be using the Sakai learning management system opens in new window to share course content with you and assess your work. Here are tips on some of the most common features you might use as a student in Sakai, which will be especially helpful if you are new to the system.

Think of Sakai as the central location to:

  • Access your course syllabus, readings, lecture slides, and other materials
  • Receive announcements from your instructor and communicate with your class
  • Submit your papers and assignments
  • Take online tests and quizzes
  • Receive instructor feedback

Access Sakai
To access Sakai, go to sakai.unc.edu opens in new window and log in with your Onyen. Sakai is responsive, so you can access the system through any device and web browser, however please note Firefox is the recommended browser. If you are submitting work, we recommend doing so on a computer instead of a smartphone or tablet.

Access Your Course Sites
Once you’re in Sakai, you’ll first be taken to your individual Home workspace opens in new window, and you should see your course sites listed in your top Sakai site tabs opens in new window. You can also check the Sites button in the top right corner next to your name, organized by the term. Click on the course ID to access the site.

If you are still not seeing your course site, your instructor has either not created the site or not published it to give you access. We recommend emailing your instructor.

Find Your Course Syllabus & Resources
One of the first things you’ll look for is likely the class syllabus. You can find this in either the Syllabus opens in new window tool or in Resources opens in new window. In Resources is also where you will find any files your instructor has shared with you. Your instructor may also be using the Lesson Builder opens in new window, a comprehensive tool that incorporates most of your course content in one place.

Contact Your Instructor or Classmates
In your course site, you can contact your instructor, individual classmates, or the entire class by sending a Message opens in new window. Your instructor may also be using the Announcements opens in new window tool to send communications.

Submit Your Assignments
Any written work collected by your instructor will likely be through the Assignments tool. Depending on how your instructor has set this up, you can easily type your responses or upload attachments as you’re submitting an Assignment opens in new window. If you’re typing your responses, the Sakai text editor automatically saves written text, however you may run into technical issues. It’s a good idea to keep a backup copy of your responses.

Take Tests Online
Your instructor may administer assessments through Sakai. Here are some tips on submitting online Tests and Quizzes opens in new window:

  • Confirm you have good internet connection – run a “speed test” in your search engine to check connection
  • Use the Firefox browser on a computer
  • Open Sakai in only one browser tab – see Important Note below
  • Use Sakai’s built-in navigation buttons
  • Sakai automatically saves your answers every 5 minutes but it’s good practice to manually save your answers and confirm your answers are recorded
  • Keep a backup copy of your written responses on your computer in case of technical problems
  • If your test is timed, be aware of the countdown clock at the top of your assessment
  • Click “Submit for Grading” when you are done. You should then see confirmation of your submission and receive email confirmation.

Important Note on Tests & Quizzes: When taking a test, remain in one browser tab of Sakai. Do NOT open Sakai in additional browser tabs or windows. Doing so could cause you to lose your work. If you must access other parts of your course in Sakai, save and exit your test before navigating away. Then reopen the test to continue and confirm your answers are saved. Don’t forget to submit when you have finished.

Post to Discussion Forums
If your instructor is using class discussion boards on Sakai, you will find these through the Forums tool. Locate the discussion board Topic, and then Start a New Conversation thread opens in new window or reply to someone’s posted message opens in new window. When viewing a Topic, you can display all posted messages on that Topic by clicking the “Display Message Content” tab from the top menu. You can also update your email notifications on the Watch tab opens in new window on the main Forums page.

Add a Photo to Your Profile
You might consider adding your picture to your Sakai account opens in new window to help everyone in your classes easily recognize you when profile photos appear, such as in the Forums tool. This can be especially helpful in large classes where you may not meet everyone in your class.

View Feedback and Grades
Your instructor will likely be sharing your grades through the Gradebook opens in new window. Additional feedback may also be found directly in other tools where you submitted your work. For example, you may have received feedback on an Assignment opens in new window, feedback on Tests & Quizzes opens in new window, or comments in Forums.

If you have any questions, please submit a help request opens in new window. We’re here to help you!

See these Sakai tips in action in this video: