Engaging Students

Communication Tools for Sakai Course Sites

Sakai hosts several communication tools. While the list below is not exhaustive, it’s given here to help Instructors choose from the most common options. 

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Enabling the Email Archive Tool

The Email Archive tool is useful for sending class email directly from a personal email account, while creating a reference copy of each email directly in the course site. Once the Email Archive tool has been enabled, instructors and TA’s can send an email from a personal email client (such as Gmail) to the site’s email address and a copy of the email will be delivered to each individual site participant’s email address. A copy of that email will also be stored on the course site under the Email Archive tool. 

To add the Email Archive tool to your Course Site:

  1. To add the tool to your site, follow these instructions
  2. Create an email address in the site email address field. The email address must be unique for each specific course site. A recommended format for the address is displayed below.


    Example: FA13-SAKAI-30423-awulfsoh@sakailogin.nd.edu


    Note: Using the semester designation (SP13) and adding your netID to the address ensures that this title is unique to this specific course site, as well as your section of it (in case it is a cross-listed or supersectioned site.)
  3. Click Continue.
  4. A confirmation window will display indicating that you have added Email Archive to your course site.



  5. Click Finish to complete setup.

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Using the Email Tool to Send Email from a Course Site

The Email tool allows you to send e-mail messages to participants in your course site by role, specific sections, specific groups, or to collaborators not associated with your course site.

  1. Add Email to the course site tool bar. See Adding Tools to a Sakai Course Site for instructions.

  2. Click Email from the site navigation menu to open the tool.

  3. Click Options to adjust default settings for all mail sent from this course site.


    If you want to receive a copy of all email sent via the Email, select Send me a copy. Click Update Defaults to confirm and close the selections window.

  4. Email will return to the Compose screen. Note that your personal ND email address will autofill in the “From” field.

  5. You can specify which participants in your course receive individual messages.

    • To choose all participants of a course, check the box next to All.


    • To choose all of a certain role (such as Student), click Roles and then check the box next to the category role name(s). You can select more than one role. Do the same to select members of specific sections or groups.



    • To send to specific people within a role, click on the role title to open a checklist of participants.


    • To send email to individuals not listed in the participant roster of your course site, click Other Recipients and then enter that person’s email address. Use either a comma or semicolon to separate multiple addresses.


  6. Enter a subject and compose the message. Email is similar to most email interfaces. For example, you may attach files to the email as well as add hyperlinks if desired.

  7. If you would like a copy of the email being sent, select Send me a copy. The message will be sent to your ND email account.


    An additional selection will be available for you to keep a copy of this email message if you first add the Email Archive tool to your course site.


  8. Click Send Mail. A confirmation screen will display a list of the recipients of your email message.


    The email will come to your Notre Dame address as shown below. No names will display in the To field, and your name will appear in the CC field.


  9. Students can reply to your email message by using the Reply function in their email account. They cannot Reply All, thus their message will only be available to the original sender. Further correspondence will take place exclusively within your personal email account (as with normal email interaction) and will not be publically viewable within the course site.

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Adding Announcements to a Course Site

Announcements are a useful way to post a notice about an important change in deadlines, meeting times, or meeting locations.

Create an Announcement

  1. From your course site, select Announcements from the left-hand navigation menu and click Add.


  2. Enter the Announcement Title and Body of your announcement in the appropriate boxes.
    Within the body, you could include a link to a specific file in Resources or link directly to a quiz or assignment.
  3. Access - By default, the visibility of your announcement is set to members of this site, meaning that only your site participants will be able to see it. Publicly viewable means that anyone on Sakai can see the announcement. Selected Groups allows you to determine which groups on your site can see the announcement
    Note: This option only displays if you have groups created.
  4. Availability allows you to decide when your announcement will be visible. The default is set to Show, meaning that your announcement will be immediately visible. Hide will allow no one else to see the announcement. Specify Dates allows you to choose a specific date and time for your announcement to be made visible as well as allowing you to specify a date and time to retract it.
  5. Add any attachments that you would like to add to the announcement by clicking Add Attachments. You can add files from Resources, from your computer, or files on the Internet.
  6. The Email Notification option determines how your site participants receive the announcement through their e-mail. None – No notification is the default. Low – Not received by those who have opted out announcements are sent to participants who have opted to receive them via e-mail, while High – All participants announcements are sent to all participants via e-mail regardless of their preferences.
    Note: Many people check email more frequently than a Sakai site. Send an email notification if the announcement is very important or time-sensitive, to better ensure that site participants will get the information quickly. Note that low priority announcements may not be sent to everyone.
  7. Click Post Announcement to submit the announcement or Preview to see what the announcement will look like first before posting it.
    Your announcements will appear in the Recent Announcements box on your worksite's Home page. You can also view all announcements in the Announcements tool. Both you and your site participants will see announcements each time you enter the course site.

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Creating Student Meeting Times

Instructors can create appointment slots in their personal Google calendar and link it to one or more Sakai course sites. These appointment slots are available to anyone within the organization who has the link.

However, if you do not want students to have access to view your private Google calendar, you will want to create a new calendar for student appointments by following these Google instructions. Once the new calendar has been created, continue on to Step 1 below.

Step 1: Creating Appointment Slots in Google

Google’s Appointment Slots allow you to create “sign-up” spots within a Google calendar. These can be used when creating office hours appointments, a presentation schedule in class, or any other event which allows potential attendees to choose their own time slot. When a student accesses the time slots on the appointment calendar they must be logged in to their ND Google account.

Adding Appointment Slots to your Calendar 

Confirm that you are logged into Google using your Notre Dame Google account.

  • Set your calendar grid to Week view. (Follow these directions to adjust calendar view.)
  • Highlight the time span during which you will be scheduling time on your calendar grid. A pop-up window will appear on the screen with two links: Event and Appointment Slots.


Note: If you do not see Appointment Slots in this window (you may see Task) then you are in Monthly view. Choose Day or Week view to set Appointment Slots.

  • Click on Appointment Slots.
  • Click on the hyperlink Edit Details at the bottom of the window.


  • Select the calendar the appointment should appear on from the drop-down menu next to Create appointment slots on calendar.
  • Title: Add a logical title to your appointment slot. This title will be used for any appointment made during this block.  
  • Time Block: If incorrect, change the starting and ending times and dates. 
  • If you wish for this particular event to repeat at some point in the future, check the box next to Repeat. A pop-up window will appear on your screen.
  • Repeat: How often do you want this event to appear on the calendar? Opens a window to enter the following:
    • Time: At what time should this event begin? 
    • End:
      • ​The Never option ensures the event will continue to appear on the calendar at the designated time and dates until manually altered. 
      • The After_____Occurences option allows you to designate how often the event will appear on the calendar before it ceases. 
      • The On______ option allows you to give a date as to when the event will cease repeating.  
    • Look at the summary at the bottom of the window. If the information is correct, click Done.  
  • Type: This allows you to either
    • Divide the chunk of time into several, separate appointment slots where you designate the length of time for each appointment slot or
    • Create a single appointment slot.
  • Where: Use this to designate the location of the appointments.
  • Before exiting, copy the long link appearing after This calendar’s appointment page (at the top of the window). You will need this link in the next step.
  • Click Save

Step 2: Posting your Appointment Slots in Your Sakai Course Site

You will add the Google calendar containing the appointment slots to your Sakai site using the link you captured in Step 1. 

Adding Calendar via a Web Content Link

  • In your course site, click into Site Info.
  • Click Edit Tools.
  • Select Web Content tool from the list of site tools, click Continue.
  • Replace the Title “Web Content” with “Office Hours” or the name of your calendar.
  • Copy the long Google calendar link from the appointment slot Edit Details screen into the Source field. Click Continue.
  • Click Finish to add.


Students will need to be logged into google.nd.edu in that browser in order to directly access the calendar within Sakai.

Forums Tools

Creating Forums and Topics

The Forums tool allows instructors or site designers to create an unlimited number of discussion forums, and is integrated with other tools such as Resources and Gradebook. You must create a forum first before adding topics.

Creating Forums

  1. To access the Forums tool, click Forums on the left-hand navigation menu.
    Forums are divided into three parts:
    • Forum – The instructor’s overall directive for discussion.
    • Topic – Targeted subject area for discussion.
    • Conversations – Stem from Topics and add more clarity to opinions and variations on a topic.
      Note: Your site may be pre-populated with a dummy forum and topic. You can change these entries or delete them.
  2. Near the top of the screen, click New Forum. The Forum Settings screen displays.
  3. Enter a Forum Title and Short Description to give students and participants a direction in their discussion. Use the text editor to add a longer description, web links, and illustrations. Add an attachment if desired.


  4. In general, the default settings for Forum Posting, Availability, and Mark All Messages are the preferred settings. If you want to limit the date range for an individual forum’s participation, select the Specify dates to open (show) and/or close (hide) radio button.



  5. Select an item from the Gradebook Item drop-down list if you plan to enter grades in the Forums tool. Selecting this option posts grades directly in the Gradebook.


    Note: You must first create the item in the Gradebook.

    The default Permissions settings are desirable in most cases; however, you can revise permission levels for each role in your course, if necessary.
  6. To revise specific role permissions, select a new title from the Permission Level drop-down list.



  7. Once you select a new permission level, click Customize to view permissions specific to that role.



  8. When finished, do one of the following:
    • Click Save to save the forum settings.
    • Click Save Settings & Add Topic to save your changes and add a topic to your new forum.
    • Click Save Draft to save your forum as a draft. Forums saved as draft are not available to site participants.
    • Click Cancel to cancel your entries.
    Note: Forum permission settings will apply to all subsequently created topics in that forum, but if you modify forum permission settings after topics have been created, you must change the topic permission settings separately.

Creating a Topic

  1. To create topics one at a time, do one of the following:
    • To add a topic while creating a forum, finish creating the forum and click Save Settings & Add Topic, or
    • To add a topic later, after creating and saving a forum, click New Topic to the right of the forum title on the Forums screen to display the Topic Settings screen.


    Topic subject selection, availability, grading options, and permissions formatting are identical to those of the Forum.

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Changing the Order of Forums and Topics

By default, the most recently created forums and topics are listed first on the home page.

  1. Open the Forums tool in your course site.  If the Forums home page is not displayed, click  (Reset).
  2. In the menu bar near the top of the page, click Organize. Sakai displays the Organize Forums and Topics screen. Use the dropdown list next to each title to change the order.


  3. Click Save to save the changes.

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Creating Multiple Identical Group Forums

Sakai allows instructors to assign a single forum topic to groups, limiting discussions to within the individual groups. Groups can be as large as an entire section of a cross-listed or super-sectioned course site, or as small as 3- or 4-member student teams.

  1. Create the overarching Forum title. This will be the umbrella title under which the group topic will be located.


    For more details on creating a forum, click here.

  2. Select a gradebook item. Only select this choice if you have first entered the item in the gradebook.

  3. Leave all permission levels at their default settings. The group involvement will be designated at the Topic level.

  4. Click Save Settings and Add Topic.

  5. Enter a Topic Title and description that will guide the student groups in their discussion.


  6. Scroll through the Topic settings to Automatically Create Topics. Select Automatically create multiple topics for groups. A list of the groups in your course site will display. Select all that are participating.


  7. Click Save. The list of group-specific topics will display under the Forum title.



Note: The Undergrad TA role is able to review all group-limited topics, even if they are not a part of those groups. This role cannot be limited by group in the Forums tool at this time. Click here and review step 6 for details on how to customize individual role permissions within a Forum.

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Grading Options in Forums

The Forums tool offers different options for grading. The simplest ways to grade student forums are by tracking a student’s level of participation or evaluating the content of their individual contributions.

Note: Before beginning, if you intend to have grades sent to the Gradebook, make sure you have entered the Forum items in the Gradebook.

Grade a Student’s Forum Postings

  1. Click Statistics & Grading under the Forums header.


  2. Click a student’s name to see a breakdown of forum involvement. 
  3. Click the Subject link to read a specific entry, or click Show Full Text to read all entries for the student.



  4. Click the Grade link to open the grading window. Review the student’s submission.



  5. If applicable, select the appropriate Gradebook Item from the drop-down list.


  6. Enter a Grade and Comments.


  7. Scroll to the bottom of the grading window and click Submit Grade when complete.

Grade a Student’s Level of Participation

  1. Click the More dropdown list next to the forum or conversation title and select Grade.



  2. Select a gradebook item from the drop-down list. The Forum Participation screen shows each student’s level of involvement, broken down by action, and now includes fields in which to enter grades.



  3. Enter grade based on level of forum participation in the grading field under Forum Participation.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Submit Grades when finished.

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How to Place a Watch in a Forum

By default, you will not receive a notification that someone has posted a topic or reply to a Forum. However, placing a watch on a particular Forum enables you to receive an email either anytime a message is posted to the forum or a reply is posted to a topic you started or commented on. Using this setting helps you monitor a discussion that might otherwise be overlooked. 

To Place a Watch on a Forum Topic

  1. Once logged into Sakai, go to the site where you want to place a watch on a Forum topic.
  2. Click Forums from the navigation menu on the left.
  3. Above the list of topics that display, click Watch.


  4. Select how you would like to be notified when a new message posts.



  5. Click SAVE.

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Adding Piazza to a Course Site


Piazza is an independent web application built by a student from Stanford who claimed to be too shy to "ask the stupid question." Unlike the built-in Sakai Forum tools, with Piazza you can choose to allow students to post and comment anonymously* yet also collect statistics on participation, if you choose to grade participation. Watch a brief demonstration of Piazza here.

*If configured, students’ names will not be anonymous to instructors, and students have the option to allow their name to be visible to their peers. Statistics on student participation are collected in Piazza regardless of settings. 

Add the Piazza tool to your course site following these instructions

Getting started with Piazza

  1. Click into the Piazza tool in your new course site. Your Class Name and Class Number will already be listed in the Link to Piazza screen.


  2. Fill out the Estimated Enrollment field. This field will generate a progress bar to track how many students have created accounts and clicked into your Piazza site.


    Note: In order to encourage students to enroll in a timely manner, have the students go through the account set-up process in class, or make the set-up process an assignment that must be completed before the next class session.

    Students who already have Piazza accounts need only click into your Piazza site to be counted as ‘enrolled’. Their single account will work for all Piazza sites with which they are associated.

  3. Click Create Class.

  4. The Confirm Enrollment window opens (see below). If this is your first time in Piazza, you will need to create an account password. Click Continue when complete. Remember your username/password. While you won’t need this password when accessing from Sakai, you will need these credentials if you want to access Piazza directly at http://piazza.com or through a mobile app.


    A fresh site for your course will open in Piazza. The program needs a couple more details to finish the process.


  5. Fill in the date to answer “When is the first day of class?” and click Save.

  6. Skip the Enroll your students step. Participant names will populate in Piazza when they first access the tool through your Sakai course site.

  7. Answer  “Are there TAs/other instructors in your course?” Indicate Yes even if you only have a Designer helping you. Each will be added to your Piazza site with necessary permissions once they log in to Piazza so you do not need to add their names at this time.

  8. The Set up your Course Page block will appear. Click the grey Done bar to complete the process.


  9. These settings as well as many more can be edited through the Manage Class tab in Piazza’s header menu.


Now that Piazza is configured for your Sakai course, go to https://piazza.com/support to learn more about using Piazza to engage with your students.

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ND Course Mailing Lists

Notre Dame also maintains a class email list for each class; this is an address an Instructor can send to which delivers an email to all students currently enrolled. This email address is available through the Online Photo interface. Find more information at these links:

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Video Tools

Embedding Videos

Videos can be embedded in assignments, test questions, and other tools but the method for doing so depends upon where the video is stored. Some locations for storing videos include Media Gallery, Library Reserves, and Resources.

Media Gallery

If your video has been uploaded first to the Media Gallery tool (available from Sakai > Site Info >Edit Tools > Media Gallery), you can embed in your course anywhere the Rich-Text Editor exists: in an Assignment, in an Announcement, in a question in Tests & Quizzes, or sequenced through Lessons.

Library Reserves

If your video is a copyrighted clip of a famous movie, for example, and you’ve already filled out a request with Library Reserves, then the video is hosted with the library, but is still available to embed anywhere else in your course site. Turn on your Sakai Library Reserves tool by going to Site Info > Edit Tools > Library Reserves.

Publicly Available Video

If the video you want to show is publicly available through YouTube, Vimeo, or other source, the embed code from that site can be used in Sakai’s Resources tool.

  1. Copy the embed code from the video’s website.


  2. Select the folder in which you want to store the code and click Add > Create HTML File.



  3. Click Continue. Enter a name for this video and select its Copyright Status from the drop-down list.
  4. Complete any additional details as desired and click Finish.
    When you save the file, you have a reference or link to embed elsewhere in Sakai.

Note: These links, like all other links, need to be confirmed/verified whenever you use the Site Info > Import from Site tool to copy content forward from semester to semester. If you copy all Tests & Quizzes and all Resources, those links will be intact. If you do not also renew your Library Reserves, those links will break.

If you copy Resources, and they include files which have embed code to external video links, you’ll want to click each link to ensure that publicly available video still exists.

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Media Gallery

Getting Started

The Media Gallery allows you to easily upload rich media content, including video, audio, and images for your courses in Sakai. Media in the Media Gallery can be shared and repurposed in other Sakai tools and across course sites. You can also build collections of media that can be categorized, sorted and filtered.

We would like thank the University of Virginia for contributing documentation for Media Gallery.

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Adding the Media Gallery Tool

To use the Media Gallery tool, you will need to add it to your course site:

  1. Log in to Sakai
  2. Choose the site where you want to use the Media Gallery
  3. Click Site Info on the left navigation bar
  4. Click Edit Tools at the top of the Site Info
  5. Check the box by Media Gallery
  6. Click Continue at the bottom of screen
  7. Click Finish at bottom of the screen
  8. Media Gallery will now be listed among the tools on the left navigation bar

Upon entering the Media Gallery tool in Sakai, you will be presented with three tabs:

  • Site Library: Contains all uploaded media and is where one goes to upload new media.
  • Collections: Groups/exhibits of media put together from materials stored in the site library.
  • My Media: Contains all of your uploaded media.

While the Site Library contains the entire corpus of materials, Collections are generally what users will share with students and collaborators. Consider Collections as public, sharable presentations of specifically arranged media items, where the Site Library is a repository of all the uploaded media.


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Site Library

Once a video has been uploaded and converted, you are presented with a video player window in the Site Library where a number of functions are available. You can:

  • Play the video
  • Select the video frame that will serve as its thumbnail image
  • Download the video
  • Obtain code to embed the video in another site
  • Edit the details of the video
  • Remove the video from the site library

Please note: Aside from the ability to play the video (or access the image/audio clip), these functions are available only to those with the Instructor or Teaching Assistant permission, or to the "owner" (i.e., original uploader) of the media item.

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Playing a Video or Audio Item

To play (and pause) a video, click on either the semi-transparent “Play” button that appears in the center of the video player window (next to “Capture”), or on the smaller play button at the bottom left of the player. One can drag the playback time bar to either fast-forward or rewind the video.

To play an audio item, click on the play button on the upper left corner of the player.


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Setting a Video’s Thumbnail

To select the frame that will serve as the video’s thumbnail image in your collections, navigate to the desired frame by using the play button and/or by clicking on the bar to the right of it that represents the duration of the video. Once the desired frame is reached, click the Capture button, and the following message will appear Capture Thumbnail. New Thumbnail has been set. Click OK.

Please note: The updated thumbnail may not appear in Media Gallery immediately.

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Downloading a Video

To download a video to your computer, simply click on the Download button that appears underneath the player. If the Download button doesn't appear, it means that the media is not available for download.

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Embedding a Video in Another Site

To obtain an embed code that allows for the insertion of the media item into a webpage using most current web editors, click the Embed Code button at the bottom of the page. Copy and paste the resulting text into your web editor to embed the media item into your site.

Note: Please be aware that doing so requires no login and allows for the viewing of media items by parties outside of Notre Dame. Please manage your website permissions accordingly.

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Editing the Details of a Video

Clicking on Edit Details leads to a window that is similar to what one sees in the second step of the video upload process, but with the additional option of selecting one of three basic item level permissions. These are:

  • Public: By setting an item to public, the user is allowing the item to be viewed by members other than the owner and site administrators (e.g., students in a course site). Leaving this box unchecked allows video to be viewed only by the owner of the video (the original uploader) and site administrators.
  • Reusable: Reusable media can be placed into other Sakai content.
  • Clipable: Clipable media can be trimmed or clipped to create new media.


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Once you have uploaded the desired materials to the Site Library, you’re ready to begin making media collections. One might think of a media collection in Media Gallery as a Playlist of sorts that groups media based upon a common theme, whatever that may be. Items in the Site Library may be added to an unlimited number of collections.

The first step to creating a collection in Media Gallery is to upload your media. Collections may consist of just one media type (video), or may be a mix (video, audio, and images). Media Gallery currently supports a wide variety of digital video, audio, image files, and codecs.

The examples provided on this page will focus primarily on working with video. However, these general instructions should also apply to users creating mixed collections or working with images or audio exclusively.

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Making a Collection

To make a Collection, click on the Collections tab at the top of the window and then on Add Collection. A box will appear prompting you for a collection Name, a Description, and Management Type.

The management type for collections within the Media Gallery is determinative of which users may see the contents of the collection and which media, if any, they can add and remove from the collection. Management in this context refers to the Collection only, and should not be confused with item level permissions which are discussed here. There are currently four settings for Management type:

  1. Instructor: Only site instructors may add items to, remove items from, or edit the settings of a collection.
  2. Community: All site members may rearrange, add and remove items from the collection.
  3. Personal: Any site member may add items, but members may only manage the items they themselves added to the collection.
  4. Owner: Only the collection owner may make changes to items in the collection.

After filling in the information and selecting the appropriate permission from the list, click Save. You have now created your first collection.

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Adding Media to Your Collection

To add media to the collection, click on the Add Media link at the bottom of the window. This will take you to a new page where you can see the current contents of the collection on the left, and all the available items from the Site Library on the right. Using the search box at the top right can help you find the items in the Site Library that you would like to add to the collection. This is particularly useful for libraries that have many items. Searches incorporate titles, descriptions and tags.

To add items to the collection click on specific items on the Site Library panel on the right. Please note: The current version of Media Gallery for Sakai, items will be ordered as they are added to the collection and cannot currently be rearranged. Please also note: Clicking on the item on the Collection panel on the left removes it from the collection. This does not remove the item from the Site Library, however, and it can easily be re-added to the collection by clicking on it once more on the Site Library panel.

Once you are satisfied with the items that have been added to the collection, and the order in which the items are arranged, click I'm Done at the top of the collection.

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Managing Your Collection

In this view, anyone with administrative permissions over the collection will see three options above the media player:

  1. Manage Media: Returns the user to the collection builder interface where he or she can add or remove items from the collection.
  2. Edit Collection: Allows the user to change the name of the collection, edit the description, and choose new sharing permissions.
  3. Delete Collection: Deletes the Collection (but not items from the Site Library).

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In order to add new collections, you must be one of these four roles :

  1. Instructor
  2. TA (Registrar or Undergrad)
  3. Designer
  4. Librarian

The role of "student" is not able to add a new collection (although they can add a video to a collection that someone else creates).

A typical scenario is that an instructor or TA creates a collection called "Assignment 1". They choose Personal if they do not want students to be able to see each other's work. They choose Community if they want students to be able to see each other's work.

Let's assume for this exercise, that the instructor/TA wants students to be able to view each other's work. The Management setting should be Community.


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My Media

My Media contains all videos, audio files, and picture that you have uploaded regardless of site or collection.

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Adding Media

Uploading Media

Please note: The user account that uploads content to the Media Gallery in Sakai is the owner of that content. At this time, there isn't a way to reassign ownership or have multiple owners.

To begin uploading media, click on Site Library. Here, you will find a single option (one button) to Upload New Media. Click on the Upload New Media button.


After clicking on Upload New Media, you will be taken to an interactive window with three tabs on the top, and two tabs on the side. The tabs on the top, Video, Photo, and Audio indicate which type of media you intend to put into your media gallery. On the left, you will find tabs for Upload and Webcam depending on your selected media type. Thus, by selecting Upload from the tabs on the left, and Video from the tabs on the top, the user indicates that he or she would like to upload video from a source file on his or her computer to the media gallery. Likewise, a user would select Flickr on the left and Photo on the top to transfer photos directly from his or her online Flickr collection.


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Adding Video

To upload a video file, click on the appropriate tabs, and then Browse in the center of the window.


Navigate to the location of the files you wish to upload, and then click Open. The files are then added to your upload queue. Please note that you may add up to 100 files to the upload queue. Uploads will occur in the order in which they were added to the queue and will not commence until the “Upload” button in the lower left-hand button of the window is clicked. If the queue contains more than 100 items at the time the “Upload” button is selected, the user will be asked to remove the number of items in excess of 100.


Please note: Uploading materials to the Media Gallery is a multi-step process. Videos, for instance, must be transferred, named, categorized, and then transcoded before they may be added to collections (this last step is done automatically and requires time, but not input from you).

Note: Do not exit the upload window before a message is displayed indicating that all necessary steps are complete. Doing so will require the media to be re-transmitted from the beginning.

Once Upload has been selected, the files will begin to transfer. The length of time needed for this process to occur may vary widely depending on the size of the file, server activity, and upload speed.

Following the file transfer, click Next in the lower right corner.

Once the upload is done, you will then see a preview thumbnail of each uploaded media item and will have the opportunity of giving each item a Title, Tags, and a Description. While title and description are somewhat obvious, tags may be thought of as keywords that other users would search for to find your media items, such as with an index of a book. Multiple tags can be added at once as long as they are separated by a comma in between.

Once you have added the appropriate information, click Next again in the lower right-hand corner.


You should then see a message that reads, Done! Your files are now being converted and will be automatically added to the video. This might take a few minutes. Following this message, buttons are available to Add More Media, and Finish. Clicking Add More Media will restart the upload window. Finish takes the user back to the Site Library and displays the most recently uploaded item.

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Displaying Media in Sakai Tools

Any Sakai tool that uses the rich text editor (pictured below) can display rich media from that site's media gallery.

To add media in any of these tools, click in the editor where you want to embed a video, then click on the Media Gallery icon in the editor's toolbar and choose a media item to embed. The Media Gallery icon is circled in the image below.


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Clipping Media Items in Media Gallery

Users with permission to edit media items can clip media items to create short clips from a larger video or audio file. Clips can replace the original media item.

To create a clip from an original media item:

  1. Select the desired media item from either the Site Library or Collections tab


  2. Select Clip Media from the menu below the video. An interface displays in which you can create a clip.


  3. Click Add New Clip.

  4. Determine where you want your clip to begin and end. Select the Start Time and End Time using one of the following methods:

    • Select the desired times in the Start Time and End Time fields.


      Note: A default End Time may display. Clear that time before proceeding.

    • Drag the beginning and end points of the selected area in the timeline.


    • Drag the Set In and Set Out buttons to the selected start and end times.


  5. Click image_6_preview_button to preview the clip.

  6. Enter an optional Title and Description in the appropriate fields.

  7. Click Save to save the clip as a new media item, which displays in My Media, or click Replace to save the clip and replace the original media item within the collection or the Site Library.

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Reusing Media

Media Gallery is not a native tool to Sakai and, as such, is not hosted from within Sakai. This means that the content of the Media Gallery tool in one course site cannot be imported to a new course site via the Import from Site process. However, the owner of content will be able to curate a new Site Library in each new site.

Please note: The user account that uploads content to the Media Gallery in Sakai is the owner of that content. At this time, there isn't a way to reassign ownership or have multiple owners.

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When You Are the Owner of the File

When you are the owner of the file, there are simple steps to add content from one Sakai site to another. You can do so by browsing through the content that you own (i.e., you were original uploader) and upload the items directly to a different site’s Medial Gallery tool. To do so:

  1. Go to Media Galley (left menu) in your current site
  2. Click on the My Media tab
  3. Click on the image or video you want to add to the new site’s Site Library or Collection.
  4. Click Add from the menu at the bottom of the image or video.
  5. The Add Media window will open. Select the desired Site Library or Collection. Click Add.

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When You Are Not the Owner of the File

When you are NOT the owner of the file, and you want to add the file to another Sakai site, you need to download the file to the local computer, and re-upload it. Click the media file in the Media Gallery.

  1. Click the "download" button and download the file to your local hard drive
  2. Navigate to the Sakai site where you would like media file to reside
  3. Navigate to the Media Gallery
  4. Choose Upload and follow the menu instructions to upload the file to the new Sakai site.

Now that you are the "owner" of the file, you will be able to add the file to other Sakai sites using the instructions above.

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Downloading Media & Sharing Outside of Sakai

It is currently possible for certain users within Sakai sites to share and download media from within the Media Gallery to external websites. Typically, this is done by obtaining the embed code for specific media items and copying and pasting this code into the software being used to create or manage the website. If you have proper permission within the Sakai site, buttons to obtain an embed code and to download the content will appear below the media item in either the Site Library or the Collections view.


For Sakai course sites, the buttons for downloading and obtaining an embed code are revealed to Instructors, TAs, Designers, and Librarians. For project sites, the embed code is revealed for site Organizers. Students and participants cannot obtain embed codes.

If you are an instructor and have uploaded a video that you have not given them permission to download and have clicked over to "Student View" it will still look like they have the ability to download the video. Do not worry though, even though you're in "Student View", you are still the owner of the video. Since you are the owner, you will see the download button. If you look at the site from an account that is assigned the Student role, the download button will not appear.

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