Building the Ecosystem of Learning Tools

Learning Innovation builds the ecosystem of education technology tools that support learning, and works with departments and faculty to curate tools for the needs and learning goals of programs and disciplines.

Kits Beta Launched

Kits image with logos from other ed tech

After 2 years of planning, designing, developing, and testing, Learning Innovation and OIT launched the Kits beta in Spring 2019.  A full rollout to the entire Duke Community is planned for Fall 2019. Learn more about how Kits helps teaching and learning or dive right in and visit

We’ve hired Learning Innovation’s Jolie Tingen to take on the new role of Kits Product Manager. We are developing Kits as an open source product, and members of the Duke community can get involved by visiting the Kits Github repository or emailing

Zoom pilot successfully completed

Learning Innovation participated in and engaged with the Duke OIT-led pilot of Zoom web conferencing throughout the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters. We focused on the teaching and learning use cases of web conferencing at Duke and piloted the Sakai integration with Zoom which allows faculty and students to access course-specific Zoom meetings with 1-click. The pilot was a complete success and Zoom has been made available for broader use at

zoom session

Gradescope pilot

Gradescope is an online grading application that saves faculty time spent in the grading process while creating stronger student assessment through standardized rubrics. Duke continued its multi-year Gradescope license in 2018-19, and improved the system with Sakai integration for roster and grade transfer. Gradescope use at Duke expanded to nearly 65 courses in Spring 2019, up more than 100% from Spring 2018.

gradescope stats

Sakai LMS service

Duke Learning Innovation and the Office of Information Technology partner to offer the Sakai learning management system. This year the Duke community created 5,292 Sakai course sites and 346 project sites, a 9% increase and 27% decrease, respectively, over the previous year. Those sites saw a total of 26,562 unique users, a 6% increase, and an average of 6,686 unique users per day, a 5% increase.

In May 2019, Duke upgraded to Sakai 19. New features include a brand new Rubrics tool, new theme modeled after Google’s material design, and changes to login which get you to your site faster are among the changes. Our LMS strategy is to stay current with the Sakai community product, giving the Duke Community access to new features, such as the new Rubrics tool, soon after they are available.

In 2018, we decided to decommission our Open edX infrastructure and move our Duke Extend service inside of Sakai. This technical change, along with a newly designed UI for Sakai makes it easier than ever to create high quality, designed learning experiences for courses, programs, and trainings. Contact us at if you’re interested in partnering to transform your students’ learning experience.

Sakai screenshot

Code+ Students Develop for Sakai

We had the pleasure of leading a Code+ team during Summer 2019. The team focused on standardizing the UI for Sakai which would provide a tremendous user experience benefit to the Duke Community. The students contributed code to the Sakai community product and will begin seeing the impact of their work at Duke as early as Fall 2019.

Code+ team at work