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!

Get Sakai & Poll Everywhere Help Jan 6-10

hand holding coffee cup with 2020 writtenHappy 2020! We’re excited to start a new decade, a new year, and a new semester!

To help you get started with the Spring 2020 semester, we’ve got several help sessions lined up for you next week. Don’t forget we also offer Personal Consultations to assist you one-on-one and can come to your office!

If you prefer to get started on your own with creating your course site in Sakai, check out our blog post on creating your Spring 2020 sites opens in new window. You can also reach us via the ITS Service Desk at opens in new window.

Crash Course on Sakai

Teaching in Sakai for the first time or need a refresher on the basics? Join us at this 1-hour crash course on teaching in Sakai to kick off the week! Please note that you must bring your own laptop as this location does not have computer workstations.

Intro to Teaching in Sakai: Registration opens in new window
Monday, January 6
2pm – 3pm
Wilson Library 304 (ground floor)
*Laptop required*

Drop by for Quick Sakai Help

Have last minute Sakai questions for the start of term? Need help setting up your course site? Drop in any time between 3-4:30pm on Thursday to get help from the Sakai experts! Please note this workshop is intended for quick Sakai questions. If you have more in-depth questions, we recommend that you sign up for a personal consultation opens in new window.

Drop in for Sakai Help: Registration opens in new window
Thursday, January 9
3pm – 4:30pm
Undergraduate Library 034 (basement)

Getting Started with Poll Everywhere

Interested in using polls in class? Learn how Poll Everywhere can be used to support a variety of instructional goals and how to effectively integrate polls into class activities. We will use a combination of discussion and poll questions to facilitate the session. Staff will also be on hand to help troubleshoot individual issues.

This workshop will be held twice:

  1. Poll Ev. Tues. Jan. 7 opens in new window: 9am – 10am, Wilson Library 304 (basement)
  2. Poll Ev. Fri. Jan. 10 opens in new window: 3:30pm – 4:30pm, Greenlaw Hall 101

Good luck this semester!

Spring 2018 Semester in Review

Another semester has come and gone, and Summer courses are already well underway! Let’s take a moment to look back on another successful semester here at Carolina.

Before we dive into numbers, we wanted to say a quick thanks to the featured UNC students in the current photo on the Sakai gateway page!

From left to right: Patrick Buhr, Arijit Datta, Branden Pantoja, Han Wang
Photographer: Damian Walker


With Sakai being the University’s central learning management system, it’s no wonder there were over 4,000 courses in Sakai this semester!

Course sections: 4,039
Course sites: 3,216
Unique instructors: 2,273
Project sites to date: 3,587

Here are the top 10 tools in Sakai for Spring 2018:

table of top sakai tools: groups, messages, gradebook, course reserves, syllabus, announcements, gradebook classic, roster, assignments, drop boxVoiceThread

What is VoiceThread, you might ask? Think of this tool as a set of slides of images, documents, videos, PowerPoint slides, or really anything to be shared online. Your collaborators can post comments on your VoiceThreads, adding to a rich discussion around your shared media!

MonthVTs CreatedUsage in MinsTotal Comments


Do you have videos you need to share privately with your students? Consider using Warpwire, the video-streaming service available directly in your Sakai course site. You can add videos through the Warpwire tool or just use the Warpwire plug-in in the text editor to essentially stream videos in any part of your Sakai site!

MonthFiles CreatedUnique ViewersTime Watched
January2,0863,09845d 9h 54m 10s
February2853,83267d 17h 27m 42s
March3302,43138d 20h 53m 52s
April3623,14853d 23h 23m 13s
May 1-137656710d 16h 5m 37s
TOTAL3,13913,076216d 15h 44m 34s

Poll Everywhere

This semester we had 261 active instructors using Poll Everywhere, including 51 new accounts. Check out the overall usage since we’ve had Poll Everywhere available at UNC!

Instructors: 568
Participants: 45,932
Polls: 32,997
Poll Responses: 4,445,848

Thanks for a great semester!

Schedule Meetings with Doodle

With people’s busy schedules, it is often difficult to figure out the best time to get everyone together for a meeting. Ongoing communications to find the right time for everyone can be cumbersome and time consuming, which is why we like to use Doodle! Doodle is an easy, FREE scheduling app that simplifies the process of scheduling events through polls.

Here is some more information and a quick video on Doodle (About Doodle):

  • No registration required by poll initiator or participants
  • Synchronizes with calendars (Exchange, Outlook, iCal, etc.)
  • Free service offers basic features needed to initiate and organize event
    • (Paid) Premium account provides professional booking services with customized themes and no ads

Easy Scheduling

You can set up your Doodle poll in just a few, simple steps:

  1. Select Schedule an event on
  2. Enter General info about your event
  3. Select Time Proposals and enter any necessary Settings
  4. Send the Invite!

It is that easy! Here is an example of a Doodle poll:


Keep in mind that the poll feature is not limited to just a date and time of an event, but you can also use it to conveniently plan your event. For example, a group of students may set up a poll to decide on a group presentation topic for class or Faculty members may decide on what to discuss in their departmental meeting. You can also use Doodle as an online appointment booking system or to assist with organizing your work schedule.

Mobile Friendly

There are several features in Doodle that make it easy to schedule events.They have a mobile interface that works across multiple browsers and devices. Doodle even has native apps that allow you to create, view, comment, poll, and sync your events with personal calendars and an address book. Download the Doodle app on your mobile device for quick and easy access!

google_play       app_store

Consider using this smart assistant to save yourself time and ultimately bring people together, whether it is for a conference call, meeting, or a quick gathering!

More on Doodle: