Spring 2021 Rosters are in Sakai

cute chipmunk wearing a carolina hat in a flower field says hey ya'll, spring 2021 rosters are in Sakai!The University just announced that the Spring 2021 semester will be delayed by a couple of weeks and begin on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. It will include five wellness days intended as breaks from the semester. Please continue to check Carolina Together for updates on the modes of teaching and other announcements for the spring.

Since moving to remote instruction, several instructors have made use of different technologies to connect with their students. Several tools are available in Sakai to help you engage your students and deliver the course content. You can now begin working on your spring course sites because Spring 2021 rosters are now in Sakai!

Step 1: ConnectCarolina

To create your course sites in Sakai, you must be listed as one of the following for each of your course rosters in ConnectCarolina opens in new window:

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

Contact your departmental course scheduler to list you in ConnectCarolina with the appropriate instructor role. If you log into ConnectCarolina and don’t see your courses listed for Spring 2021, your scheduler needs to make this change. Please note that it may take up to 24 hours to update in Sakai. Also note that Teaching Assistants in ConnectCarolina cannot create course sites in Sakai.

See more information on access:

Step 2: Create Spring 2021 Course Site

Once your departmental scheduler has listed you on your course rosters in ConnectCarolina and our Sakai data has refreshed (happens 3 times a day), here are the steps to follow on creating your course site opens in new window.

Get started by clicking on Home > Worksite Setup > New OR Sites > Create New Site. Then follow these steps:

  1. Select course site
  2. Change Academic term to Spring 2021 and Continue
  3. Check course roster you want to create and Continue — Check *only 1 roster* if you want separate course sites
  4. Edit Home Description (or later) and Continue
  5. Check tools you want to use and Continue — can add/remove later
  6. Leave as Draft and Continue — remember to publish site when ready
  7. Finish

If you want to reuse any old course material, you may do so before continuing in Step #5 through the “Re-use Material from Other Sites You Own” option. You can also wait until after you have created your site and use the Import from Site feature. See details on duplicating course content opens in new window.

Step 3: Organize Favorite Sites

Your new sites will automatically appear in your top favorites bar. You may remove old Sakai sites from your favorites bar by clicking Sites and then the star next to each site you wish to remove (star will dim). You can also completely hide sites from your view opens in new window through Preferences. The Organize Favorites tab allows you to reorder how your tabs are listed. Up to 15 sites can be displayed in your favorites bar.

Sakai Sites menu

Teaching with Sakai Crash Course

sakaiger in a face maskHappy First Day of Classes!

We are starting the fall semester early this year, and everything is already in full swing. Whether you’re teaching remotely, mask-to-mask on campus, or using a combination of the two in a Hy-Flex mode, we hope you are safe and healthy. Remember to check Keep Teaching opens in new window for COVID-19 faculty resources.

Last week we held a 75-minute crash course on Teaching with Sakai Tools to Help Students Learn opens in new window. The recording of that crash course is now available for you to view on your own time!

Are you a new instructor and need to create your course site? Do you want to administer online tests to assess student learning or collect student papers? Are you interested in streamlining the student learning experience by combining all of your course content in one place? If you said yes to any of these questions, we recommend watching the recording, which we’ve broken down by topic below!

Sakai Crash Course Recording

Please note you must sign in with your UNC Onyen to view the recording opens in new window:video on teaching with Sakai tools to help students learnThe following topics are discussed at these specific times, in case you want to skip ahead in the video:

Here is the workshop summary download file with links to help guides on what was discussed.

Get Sakai Help

Have Sakai questions? Here are ways to get help:

Please stay safe, and have a great semester!

Workshops for Start of Fall 2020

sakaiger in a face maskThe Fall Semester begins early this year and classes resume in one week on August 10. Whether you’re teaching Mask-to-Mask, HyFlex, or Remote, you will likely make use of technology to connect with your students. We have two workshops this Thursday, August 6, to help you get started with Poll Everywhere and Sakai.

NOTE: See more on the different Modes of Teaching opens in new window on the Keep Teaching website.

Getting Started with Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere opens in new window is an easy-to-implement polling tool available for free to all UNC instructors and students. Class polls support a wide range of instructional objectives, including formative assessment, springboards for class discussion, student feedback and reflection, and ice breakers. During this session, instructors will learn more about creating effective class polls, Poll Everywhere features and question types, and best practices for administering polls in class or remotely.

Getting Started with Poll Everywhere
Thursday, August 6 | 11am – 12pm ET
Poll Everywhere Workshop Registration opens in new window

Crash Course on Teaching with Sakai

Sakai opens in new window provides instructors with a “one-stop shop” to share all of your course content with students, communicate with students, assess their learning and provide feedback, and keep track of grades. Join us at this 75-minute workshop as we discuss how to use Sakai to streamline the learning experience for you and your students! We will cover:

  • Creating your Sakai course site
  • Sharing your syllabus and course materials
  • Communicating with students
  • Setting up Assignments and Tests & Quizzes
  • Combining all course materials and assignments on a Lessons page
  • Quick overview of the Gradebook
  • Getting Sakai help

Teaching with Sakai Tools to Help Students Learn
Thursday, August 6 | 2pm – 3:15pm ET
Sakai Workshop Registration opens in new window

As always, you can request assistance by submitting a help request opens in new window or signing up for a Personal Consultation opens in new window with a Sakai expert. We’re here to help you.

Good luck with the start of classes!

Fall 2020 Rosters are in Sakai

fall colored leaves by old wellThe Spring 2020 term has finally ended.

We know the past couple of months have been difficult and not what any of us imagined for the Spring Semester. We are especially thinking about our recent Carolina Graduates who are waiting to have their official commencement ceremonies opens in new window. As Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said,

You’ve been through a lot and you’ve accomplished so much. Remember the things that bind you to this place: your fellow classmates, your faculty members and the incredible memories you’ve made.

We hope to see everyone else back on campus when it’s safe. If you are teaching this fall, please note Fall 2020 rosters are now in Sakai. You can go ahead and create your Fall 2020 course sites now!

Step 1: ConnectCarolina

To create your course sites in Sakai, you must be listed as one of the following for each of your course rosters in ConnectCarolina opens in new window:

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

Contact your departmental course scheduler to list you in ConnectCarolina with the appropriate instructor role. If you log into ConnectCarolina and don’t see your courses listed for Fall 2020, your scheduler needs to make this change. Please note that it may take up to 24 hours to update in Sakai. Also note that Teaching Assistants in ConnectCarolina cannot create course sites in Sakai.

See more information on access:

Step 2: Create Fall 2020 Course Site

Once your departmental scheduler has listed you for your course rosters in ConnectCarolina and our Sakai data has refreshed (happens 3 times a day), here are the steps to follow on creating your course site opens in new window.

Get started by clicking on Home > Worksite Setup > New OR Sites > Create New Site. Then follow these steps:

  1. Select course site
  2. Change Academic term to Fall 2020 and Continue
  3. Check course roster you want to create and Continue — Check only 1 roster if you want separate course sites
  4. Edit Home Description (or later) and Continue
  5. Check tools you want to use and Continue — can add/remove later
  6. Leave as Draft and Continue — remember to publish site when ready
  7. Finish

If you want to reuse any old course material, you may do so before continuing in Step #5 through the “Re-use Material from Other Sites You Own” option. You can also wait until after you have created your site and use the Import from Site feature. See details on duplicating course content opens in new window.

Step 3: Organize Favorite Sites

Your new sites will automatically appear in your top favorites bar. You may remove old Sakai sites from your favorites bar by clicking Sites and then the star next to each site you wish to remove (star will dim). You can also completely hide sites from your view opens in new window through Preferences. The Organize Favorites tab allows you to reorder how your tabs are listed. Up to 15 sites can be displayed in your favorites bar.

Sakai Sites menu

Tips on Sakai Tests & Quizzes

sakai in appleWe are finally in the last week of classes of what has been a historic semester. We commend you all on dealing with the abrupt disruption to your daily lives and handling all the challenges as well as possible. There is one last hurdle as final exams begin next week. To help make this experience go smoothly, check out these tips on setting up and taking tests online in Sakai. If you need any assistance, please submit a help request opens in new window. We’re here to help you!

Students

Your instructor may administer exams 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.

Remember the COVID-19 Student Care Hub opens in new window is available if you need any assistance.

Instructors

Keep Teaching Website

Before you start creating your exam, please review the Keep Teaching Exams opens in new window page for resources and strategies. You will find testing FAQs, common assessment tools, and other things to consider for your exams. You can also review and post to the Keep Teaching Help Forum opens in new window for testing ideas from your colleagues and campus support staff.

Set up Assessments in Sakai

If you plan to administer your exams through Sakai, we highly recommend creating your test questions using the Markup text option opens in new window. This will save you valuable time, especially if you already have your test questions written up in a document.

Please be as flexible as possible with your students, especially now while students are dealing with slower internet connections off campus, sharing connections with family members at home, or potentially sitting in their cars to drive to a location with Wi-Fi. Here are options to consider to help your students who may run into problems:

  • Increase time limit or remove time limit altogether
  • Provide additional submission attempts
  • Give students larger window to take exam
  • Put all test questions on one page instead of one question per page to decrease how many times test pages must be loaded
  • Break up your exam into multiple assessments – if a student has a problem and needs to resubmit, they will hopefully only have a problem with one assessment instead of the entire exam

You may also want to be available to students in Zoom opens in new window in case they need to contact you while taking their test, instead of relying on checking emails.

Accommodations

You could have students who need accommodations. They may have been approved by Accessibility Resources and Service opens in new window or could have extenuating circumstances at home. Whatever the reason may be, you can easily make accommodations for those students through the “Exceptions to Time Limit and Delivery Date” opens in new window tab in the assessment Settings. You can set these exceptions for individuals or a group of students who have the same accommodation. See more on extending time for accommodated students opens in new window, and reach out to Digital Accessibility opens in new window if you have any questions about making your content accessible.

NOTE: If you’re creating Sakai Groups of students opens in new window for accommodations, do not include student names in the Group titles as these are visible to all site members.

Good luck with finals! We’re here if you need help.

Training on Teaching Remotely

bell tower in front of ominous clouds

The University is extending Spring Break through March 22 and moving to remote instruction starting March 23 until further notice. Trainings on remote instruction using Sakai and Zoom are being held this Thursday, March 12, and Friday, March 13. Bring your laptop and come to Greenlaw Hall 101 to any or all sessions! The March 13 sessions will also be available via Zoom. No registration required.

Both March 12 and March 13 days will follow this training schedule:

10 – 10:45 AM: Preparing to Teach Remotely
11 – 11:45 AM: Getting Started in Sakai
12 – 12:45 PM: Getting Started in Zoom
Break
2 – 2:45 PM: Preparing to Teach Remotely
3 – 3:45 PM: Getting Started in Sakai
4 – 4:45 PM: Getting Started in Zoom

Additional training sessions will be offered via Zoom the week of March 16-20 during the extended Spring Break. Continue to check the new Keep Teaching website opens in new window for trainings and resources on teaching remotely.

Summer 2020 Rosters in Sakai

create your summer course sites text next to yellow flowersWe know you all are busy adapting your courses to be taught remotely right now and want to remind you of resources and training that are available to you. These can be found on the new Keep Teaching website opens in new window.

Whenever you do have the time to think ahead to the summer, we wanted to let you know that Summer 2020 rosters are now in Sakai. This means you can create your Summer 2020 course sites now or whenever you are ready.

Step 1: ConnectCarolina

To create your course sites in Sakai, you must be listed as one of the following for each of your course rosters in ConnectCarolina opens in new window:

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

Contact your departmental course scheduler to list you in ConnectCarolina with the appropriate instructor role. If you log into ConnectCarolina and don’t see your courses listed for Summer 2020, your scheduler needs to make this change. Please note that it may take up to 24 hours to update in Sakai. Also note that Teaching Assistants in ConnectCarolina cannot create course sites in Sakai.

See more information on access:

Step 2: Create Summer 2020 Course Site

Once your departmental scheduler has listed you for your course rosters in ConnectCarolina and our Sakai data has refreshed (happens 3 times a day), here are the steps to follow on creating your course site opens in new window.

Get started by clicking on Home > Worksite Setup > New OR Sites > Create New Site. Then follow these steps:

  1. Select course site
  2. Change Academic term to 1st / 2nd Summer 2020 and Continue — Maymester courses listed under 1st Summer 2020
  3. Check course roster you want to create and Continue — Check only 1 roster if you want separate course sites
  4. Edit Home Description (or later) and Continue
  5. Check tools you want to use and Continue — can add/remove later
  6. Leave as Draft and Continue — remember to publish site when ready
  7. Finish

If you want to reuse any old course material, you may do so before continuing in Step #5 through the “Re-use Material from Other Sites You Own” option. You can also wait until after you have created your site and use the Import from Site feature. See details on duplicating course content opens in new window.

Step 3: Organize Favorite Sites

Your new sites will automatically appear in your top favorites bar. You may remove old Sakai sites from your favorites bar by clicking Sites and then the star next to each site you wish to remove (star will dim). You can also completely hide sites from your view opens in new window through Preferences. The Organize Favorites tab allows you to reorder how your tabs are listed. Up to 15 sites can be displayed in your favorites bar.

Sakai Sites menu

Digital Options to Keep Teaching

bell tower in front of ominous clouds

UNC Instructors — A new resource is now available to help you maintain course continuity during temporary campus closures. Unplanned circumstances, such as adverse weather events, viral outbreaks, and other safety concerns, may require you to adapt your teaching to the digital environment. If you or your students cannot make it to campus, you can find out how to keep teaching at:

keepteaching.unc.edu opens in new window

The new Keep Teaching website opens in new window provides you with:

  1. Preparation plan for moving your class sessions online
  2. Strategies and tools to keep your course on track
  3. Resources to help you adapt your teaching to the digital world

Be sure to stay safe and check AlertCarolina opens in new window for updates during these circumstances.

ATLAS 2020 Awards Competition

sakaiger with apereo logoAre you using Sakai in innovative ways to advance teaching excellence? The Apereo Foundation opens in new window is seeking submissions for the annual Apereo Teaching and Learning Awards (ATLAS) opens in new window competition. The international award recognizes innovation and excellence in the use of digital technologies and Apereo tools, such as Sakai opens in new window, to enhance teaching, academic collaboration, and student engagement and learning.

The innovative method, practice or strategy used may not be new in the world, but its implementation may be out of the ordinary in your field of practice or new to you. It is more than simply using new technologies; rather it is an approach to teaching and learning that results in a much-enhanced, even transformative, educational experience for students.

ATLAS Application Form & Rubric

Applications are due Friday, March 20, 2020. To apply and view the application rubric, select the appropriate form:

Please see the ATLAS FAQ opens in new window to learn more about the award.

We encourage you to reach out to us if you have questions about the application process or would like to brainstorm ideas. Contact us through help.unc.edu opens in new window. We’d love to hear from you and help you get recognized!

ATLAS 2020 Winners

Winners will be announced by end of April 2020 and recognized at the Open Apereo Conference opens in new window June 15-19, 2020 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. Registration and travel expenses will be covered for award winners.

*This post was drafted in collaboration with the ATLAS Awards Committee

Adverse Weather Tech Options

snow-covered old well and treesInclement weather is on the horizon, making it possible that you and your students won’t make it to campus. Instead of losing valuable class time, consider meeting online with your students or providing them with digital resources.

Here are some options to consider:

  • Meet in a virtual classroom
  • Record your presentation over your slides and share them digitally
  • Schedule office hours and meet with students online
  • Have students watch videos and report their feedback via online assessments or a discussion board

All the tools mentioned in this blog post are available through Sakai opens in new window. You can add each tool opens in new window to your course site through Site Info > Manage Tools.

Meet Online in Zoom

Not being able to meet in person doesn’t have to prevent you from having class. You can set up a virtual classroom using Zoom opens in new window and share your slides or desktop with meeting attendees. You and your students can turn on your audio and mics or even enable video connections for a more interactive experience. If you have not already, you can easily create a UNC Zoom account opens in new window, create a Zoom meeting, and share the Zoom meeting link with your students!

Here are two quick 1-minute videos on scheduling and joining Zoom meetings:

You might also consider recording your whole lecture in Zoom and then sharing the recording with your students. See Zoom Support opens in new window if you have any questions.

If you want to schedule office hours to meet with students individually, consider the Sakai Sign-up opens in new window tool!

Record Your Presentation in VoiceThread

Voicethread logoAnother way you can share your recorded presentation with your students is through VoiceThread opens in new window. You can quickly upload your PowerPoint slides as you’re creating a VoiceThread opens in new window and then narrate over the slides with an audio or video recording with comments opens in new window. Don’t forget to share your VoiceThread opens in new window with your class when you’re done!

Share Videos through Warpwire + Student Feedback

You might just have videos to share with your students. If the videos are not already online but on your computer, you can easily upload the videos into Warpwire opens in new window. Warpwire will securely stream your media directly in your Sakai course site.

Perhaps you want to assess your students after watching the video. You can set up a discussion Forum opens in new window and have students post their thoughts and replies to other student posts, or you can test their knowledge using the Sakai Tests & Quizzes opens in new window tool — we recommend creating quizzes using Markup Text opens in new window!

We hope everyone stays safe and that impacts are minimal!

See Alert Carolina opens in new window for updates.