Starting Sakai

Whether you are a first-time Sakai user or an Instructor returning to Sakai for the new semester, here are some recommended procedures to organize your course content before publishing your Course Site.

Starting Each Semester


Follow the steps below to start your semester in Sakai.


  1. Log in to Sakai and view your Course Site

    Your Course Sites display in the Quicklinks bar (along the top of the screen) or click My Active Sites to display all sites. If your sites do not display correctly, please contact the OIT Help Desk.

  2. Combine Identical Course Sections to Create a Supersection (if needed)

  3. Set up your Course Site

    or

  4. Add TAs and/or Designers to Assist You

  5. Publish your Course Site


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Note: As of spring semester 2013, Course Sites are not published automatically. Instructors choose when and if to publish a Course Site.
 


Optional: If you would like to view exactly what a student will see in your site, Create a Student Demo user account. Once the account is created, log in using your Student Demo account (use the Guest Login) and test your Course from the student perspective.

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Three Essential Tweaks

The following are three simple site design tweaks which will vastly improve your students’ experience in your course site.

  1. Change your Site Information Display to match short course description.

    image_1_change_site_information_display

  2. Since the home screen is the first thing students see when they log into your course, add relevant content here such as a photo, office hours, or your syllabus. Here are three examples:

    image_2_sample_of_content_added_to_home_page

    image_3_2nd_sample_home_page_content

    image_4_teaching_well_ut

  3. Edit tool links on the left-hand navigation bar to only include those you’re actually using. You may start out using only the Gradebook and Resources, but you can add additional tools as your course evolves. Remember, your students see the same tools you see, so only displaying relevant tools keeps students from clicking each one looking for pertinent information.

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Getting Around in Sakai

Which browser should I use to access Sakai?

For best results, use Firefox 5 or higher, Internet Explorer 8 or higher, or Safari 5.1 or higher. For the complete list of supported browser, please see the browser compatibility list.

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How to Log In to Sakai

Sakai uses Notre Dame's Enterprise Directory for its login system. Sakai users will use the same NetID and password they use for their NetID accounts. All login questions can be addressed to the OIT Help Desk, 574-631-8111 or e-mail.

A smaller population of Sakai users, namely the Institute of Church Life's STEP and those colleagues of Notre Dame Faculty, will use a login account that is identical to whichever email account they have on record with us at the time of their account creation. These users are able to change their passwords directly in Sakai, as their account only has access to the Sakai system.

Students at Other Institutions Taking Notre Dame classes:

Non-Notre Dame students who are officially enrolled in Notre Dame courses will receive a Notre Dame NetID. They can use it to login to Sakai and will automatically be enrolled in their Sakai course sites. If this hasn’t happened for a student in your class, please contact the OIT Help Desk via telephone (574-631-8111), e-mail, or by creating a support ticket at http://assyst.nd.edu.

There are two ways to log in:

Inside ND

  • Browse to http://inside.nd.edu/
  • Log in.
  • Click on the Sakai icon at top right of page.
  • Your Sakai home page will open.

Sakai

  • Browse to http://sakai.nd.edu/
  • Enter username (Net ID) and password
  • Click "OK"
  • Your Sakai home page will open.

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Quicklinks (Video 1:35)

Quicklinks is the menu displayed across the top of your Sakai page that contains links to your most frequently accessed Course or Project Sites.  If you need a complete listing of all Sites, click the My Active Sites tab.


Finding Your Course Sites

Course Sites you have access to display in the Quicklinks toolbar at the top of the screen. Currently, four sites display at one time, but you rearrange the order so the sites you visit most often display first.

To change the order of how the Sites are displayed on the Quicklinks toolbar:

  1. Click Edit on the Quicklinks toolbar.

    image001

  2. To reorganize the order of your Active Sites, select a site name and click up_arrow or down_arrow to rearrange the order in which sites display in your Quicklinks bar.

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  3. If you don’t want a site to display in your Quicklinks bar, select a site name under My Active Sites and click right_arrow to move that site to My Hidden Sites. Sites under My Hidden Sites will not display in your Quicklinks bar or under My Active Sites. To display the site again, select it from My Hidden Sites and click left_arrow to return it to My Active Sites.

    image005

  4. When finished, click Update Preferences.

  5. Your changes will appear after you navigate to another Site or another Sakai tool, like Home.

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Using Refresh

Click the reset icon to return to the tool’s main screen.

Note: Do not use the browser’s back/forward buttons.

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My Workspace, Course Sites and Project Sites

My Workspace

When you log in to Sakai, you will automatically open to My Workspace. This Site will display messages, calendar, and workspace information and tools.

What will ‘My Workspace’ allow me to do?

These tools in My Workspace allow you to:

  • create Course and/or Project Sites
  • view all your calendar events and announcements
  • store, organize, and manage a collection of resources
  • maintain a personal profile
  • set preferences for all your Sites

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What are Course Sites?

A Course Site is where faculty keep materials such as assignments, quizzes, resources, etc. which students will need to access throughout the course. 

Site Access for Students

Sites are based on an academic term and are accessible by all course participants. The instructor must publish the course on or before the first day of classes.

Note: Course sites are automatically unpublished (made invisible to students) 21 days after the last day of class. Instructors can choose to re-publish the course site, if needed. Course sites will then remain visible until the instructor returns the site to an unpublished state.


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Note: You can find a list of tools that are displayed in a Course Site by default and instructions for adding/removing tools here.
 


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What are Project Sites?

Project Sites are used for collaborative activities and research for any type of project.  Unlike Course Sites, access to Project Sites is not tied to a particular semester.  Project Sites can also be used to store course materials that will be reused from one semester to the next. Faculty, students and staff alike can create a Project Site. For more information on how to create a Project Site, see How to Create a Project Site.

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How to Create a Project Site


There are two ways to use a project site:

  • Collaboration – shared spaces which are commonly used by student groups, faculty committees, research committees, etc.

  • Store Course files – materials are accessed via links in course site(s)

    • Multiple course sites can share the same file

      • Tools: Syllabus, Web content, Assignment

      • HTML document on Home page (“site info display”)

    • Update materials in one place (the project site)

    • Students cannot see the entire list of materials like they can in a Course Site

    • Links do not break from one semester to the next


To create a Project Site

  1. Once logged into Sakai, click My Workspace, and then click Site Setup on the navigation menu on the left.
  2. Click New.

  3. Select Create site from template, then select project-Default.

    create_project_site_from_template

  4. Enter a Site title and click Continue.

  5. Click the link to your Project Site from the list.

    project_site_setup

Once your project site is created, you can upload multiple files to the site. See How to upload Multiple Files to Sakai.

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Project Site Default Tools

  • Announcements - For posting current, time-critical information
  • Calendar - Allows instructors and Site organizers to post information about a Site’s activities in calendar format.
  • Resources - For posting documents, URLs to other websites, etc.
  • Roster - For viewing the Site participants list
  • Search – Allows you to search for students, profiles, topic, blog entries, etc.
  • Site Editor (Organizer only) - Allows you to change the content, access, organization, and structure of the Site.
  • Site Statics - For showing Site statistics by user, event, or resource

A complete list of available tools is located in the User Guide menu of Sakai.

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