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

Faculty Discuss “The Great Pivot”

the well logoCheck out this great article posted on The Well: The Great Pivot

Faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences share how they were “better prepared for the shift back into remote learning this fall after working diligently since last spring to reimagine their courses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Faculty discuss using technologies, such as Sakai and Zoom, to continue the learning experience online. For example, Brian Hogan, Assistant Department Chair and Teaching Professor in the Chemistry Department, set up student checklists and structured his classes so that “students know exactly what they’re going to get and what they need to do every day.” Michele Rivkin-Fish, Associate Professor in Anthropology, created meaningful remote global experiences by having her students “talk directly with their Russian peers via Zoom” for the first time. Several instructors have been holding their class sessions over Zoom, using breakout rooms to delve into their distinct experiences, and meeting individually with students to better address their needs.

Andy Lang, Associate Dean of the College’s Office of Arts & Sciences Information Services (OASIS), talks about how technology staff have played a critical role in teaching success. In particular, Keep Teaching, the UNC website that provides strategies and tools for remote instruction, was a joint effort between several groups on campus including our own ITS Teaching & Learning team!

We invite you to read “The Great Pivot” on The Well!

University August Updates

August updatesWhile undergraduate instruction is now remote, our campus remains largely operational. Please see Carolina Together for August Updates opens in new window from the University.

You will find information on:

  • Fall 2020 Course Instruction
  • Academic Policies & Support
  • Housing & Dining
  • Student Support
  • Activities & Events
  • Campus Operations (building access, libraries, transportation/parking)
  • Student Conduct & Compliance
  • Research
  • Human Resources and In the Workplace
  • Testing & Tracing at Campus Health & Employee Occupational Health

We also recommend that Instructors and Teaching Assistants review Remote Teaching opens in new window on the Keep Teaching website to find resources designed to support quickly adapting your courses for fully remote instruction.

Quick Transition to Remote Instruction

keep teaching: covid-19 resources for UNC instructorsYesterday, the University announced opens in new window that all undergraduate in-person instruction will shift to remote learning starting tomorrow, August 19.

We understand this may present some challenges for instructors who planned to teach in-person this semester. Know that support is available for you.

We highly recommend continuing to check the Keep Teaching website opens in new window, a resource for all UNC Faculty and Teaching Assistants on using remote instructional tools and methods. You can also request a 30-minute confidential consultation opens in new window to discuss any challenges, plans, strategies, tools, or concerns you may have.

The website is updated frequently, and there is a new Remote Teaching page opens in new window to help you quickly transition to remote instruction. Here is a gist of what you will find on this resource page.

Teaching Strategies for Remote Instruction

See Remote Teaching opens in new window for details on each of these teaching strategies, with examples of synchronous and asynchronous activities:

  • Lectures
  • Group Projects
  • Polling
  • Small Group Discussion
  • Whole Class Discussion
  • Writing / Drawing on Board

Best Practices for Emergency Remote Instruction

More information can be found on these general best practices on Remote Teaching opens in new window:

  • Stay up to date on the latest campus developments
  • Communicate often and share resources
  • ID which course adjustments must be made immediately
  • Help students navigate changes to your course
  • Anticipate that your teaching and your student experiences will be different
  • COVID-19 and students needing accommodations

If you need assistance with any campus-supported technologies, please submit a help request opens in new window. We’re here to help you and your students navigate this challenging time.

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!

Course Planning for Fall 2020

keep teaching covid-19 website

We know faculty are busy figuring how to safely teach courses in the Fall 2020 Semester. We invite you to review the training opportunities that have recently been added to the Keep Teaching Training opens in new window page. There is a new Essentials for Remote Teaching & Learning resource being offered to all instructors, as well as workshops on several different topics to help you plan for the Fall. Check out the many resources available to help you teach successfully!

Essentials for Remote Teaching & Learning

Given the limited amount of time to develop or revise courses, this new “Essentials” resource is designed to help instructors create effective remote teaching and learning experiences this Fall and will focus on the essentials for effective remote instruction.

Topics will help faculty:

  • Make the transition to hybrid or remote teaching
  • Apply research-based course design principles
  • Align course goals/activities/assessments
  • Facilitate student interactions with attention to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Use best practices for grading and assessment

Essentials for Remote Teaching and Learning will be offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats (available now!). Check out the Keep Teaching Training opens in new window page to sign up and to get more details!

45-Minute Workshops on Multiple Topics

Quick workshops on 10 topics are being offered over the next couple of weeks. We invite you to register for the sessions that interest you through the Keep Teaching Training opens in new window page!

  • Assessment in Sakai: Assignments, Tests & Quizzes
  • Essentials for Remote Teaching and Learning
  • Facilitating Asynchronous Student Interaction with Remote Teaching
  • Facilitating Synchronous Student Interaction with Remote Teaching
  • Getting Organized: Using the Lessons Tool in Sakai
  • Getting Started with PollEverywhere
  • Integrating Creative Maker Projects into Your Course
  • Resilient Teaching
  • Teaching with Videos: Tips to create, use and manage
  • Teaching with Zoom Breakouts

Don’t forget that previously recorded training sessions are also available on the Keep Teaching Training opens in new window page. You’re welcome to view them on your own time as needed. If you have any questions, submit a help request opens in new window. We’re here to help you!

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.