To access Sakai, go to the Sakai portal page.
Introduction to the Sakai Collaborative Learning Environment
Sakai is an open-soure collaborative learning environment that CIS is currently testing in a pilot program as an alternative to a traditional, commercial course management system such as WebCT. Sakai offers a number of features and tools for helping instructors, researchers, and students create web sites that facilitate collaboration. The creation of course web sites is the most obvious application, but faculty and students can create web sites for research projects, committees, clinic teams, and any other project where the participants would like to collaborate and share resources. CIS will automatically create and populate course web sites at the beginning of the semester.
The Sakai Project begain in January 2004 as a collaboration between the University of Michigan, Indiana University, MIT, and Stanford University, along with the Open Knowledge Initiative and the uPortal consortium, and a grant from the Mellon Foundation. Development is continuing under the Sakai Educational Partners Program, a community source model for developing open source projects. If you'd like to learn more about the Sakai Project please visit their web site at http://www.sakaiproject.org/.
- Home:View recent announcements, discussions, and chat activity
- Announcements: Post current, time-critical information
- Assignments: Post assignments and receive submissions online
- Chat Room: Participate in real-time, written conversations
- Discussion: Engage in written conversations, not in real time
- Drop Box: Allow private file-sharing between instructors and students
- Email Archive: Maintain an archive of all email sent to the worksite's email list
- Gradebook: Compute and store grades
- Help: Access help documentation
- Membership: Choose sites in which you would like to participate
- News: Display an RSS feed from an external site
- Preferences: Set your personal preferences, such as time zone, tab order
- Presentation: Present slides to a live audience, who can also view slides later
- Profile: Let users add and make public personal information, including pictures
- Roster: View list of site participants
- Resources: Add documents and URLs to your worksite
- Schedule: Keep track of important dates and deadlines on worksite calendar
- Section Info: Manage sections or groups within a site
- Site Info: View worksite profile and participants list
- Syllabus: Create a worksite syllabus
- Tests & Quizzes: Create, administer, and correct tests and quizzes online, and automatically feed the results to the Gradebook
- Web Content: Include external website content in your worksite
- Wiki: Collaboratively edit simple web pages
- Worksite Setup: Create and manage sites
- The Sakai web site is located at http://sakai.claremont.edu.
- Students and faculty should use their username@hmc and LDAP password.
- If a user is from outside The Claremont Colleges and doesn’t already have a guest account, select "reset guest password" from the left pane of the Sakai welcome page and enter their email address. Sakai will send them a password. Their userid is their email address.
- Be sure to choose "Harvey Mudd College" from the pop up list of colleges.
Faculty who are new to using a course management system may want to start with just a few of the tools that Sakai offers. Which tools you should use will depend on your interests. CIS recommens you choose about four of the following tools to get started with Sakai. CIS recommends the following tools for faculty getting started with Sakai:
- Resources: A tool for easily distributing files to the participants in your site. Faculty can upload image files and documents files, including PDF, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, among others. Faculty can also post URLs and create simple web pages.
- Drop Box: Whereas the Resources tool is for faculty to distribute documents to all of the students in their course, the Drop Box tool is intended for private sharing of documents between faculty and students. For example, students can upload papers for comment or grading and faculty can then share their comments with the student.
- Schedule: Post important dates to a course calendar. Keep separate calendars for each course. Each user also has their own workspace where they can keep a personal calendar.
- Syllabus: Create a syllabus from scratch or upload an existing syllabus file.
- Discussion: Post topics for your students to discuss or allow students to create their own discussion topics.
- Chat Room: Conduct online discussions in real time.
The following tools are also useful for creating new sites, managing your sites and adding new tools.
- Site Info: The tool for modifying which tools are available in your sites and who the participants are.
- Worksite Setup: The tool for creating new sites. If you would like to add a site for a research project, this is the tool to use.
- Preferences/Customize Tabs: For hiding and showing tabs.
- Help: Sakai has extensive online help. Use the Help tool for step-by-step instructions on how to use a particular Sakai tool.
- WebDAV: WebDAV allows you to mount your Sakai Resources on your desktop so that you can use drag and drop to upload and download files and folders to and from your Sakai Resources. Click on Resources/Upload-Download Multiple Resources for more information on how to use WebDAV in Sakai. OS X users might want to try a utility called iDiskMenu instead of the Goliath application (available from http://www.versiontracker.com).
- Presentation tool: If you have a series of image files that you would like to show in slideshow format you can use the Presentation tool. It supports .jpg, .gif, and .png files. To use the Presentation tool, first create a folder called "Presentations" in your Resources. Create another folder inside the Presentations folder with the name of your slideshow. Then upload your image files into the slideshow folder. The order of the slides in the slideshow is alphabetical according to the filenames of the image files. More information can be found in the Sakai Help tool.