Duke begins moving from Blackboard to Sakai

Duke has chosen Sakai, an open-source collaboration and learning environment, as the successor to Blackboard for course and organizational site management. Between August 2009 and October 2010, Duke’s eLearning Roadmap Group reviewed Duke’s eLearning needs and goals, and undertook a formal evaluation of several prominent learning management systems including new versions of Blackboard, Moodle, and Sakai. At the end of their review, the eLearning Roadmap Group recommended that Duke move to Sakai.

Duke instructors and staff interested in using Sakai for Fall 2011:please fill out the ‘Apply for Sakai’ form or learn more at sakai.duke.edu

A small group of Duke faculty and students participated in a pilot of Sakai (thanks to a collaboration with UNC) during Spring 2011. Feedback and information gathered during the pilot will guide the next steps of the migration process from Blackboard to Sakai (download the Pilot Report PDF).

Timeline for Transition


Fall 2011

  • Selected individual faculty and departments begin using Sakai as part of Phase 1 (Apply for Phase 1 now!)
  • Assistance and instructions provided for migration of content from Blackboard as needed
  • Ongoing training and support for Phase 1 faculty and staff
  • Feedback collected from Phase 1 group;  improvements to processes and systems put in place for Phase 2
  • Information sessions and demos provided for faculty and staff to participate in Phase 2: Spring 2012

Spring 2012

  • Faculty, staff and departments in Phase 2 begin using Sakai
  • Assistance and instructions provided for migration of content from Blackboard to Sakai as needed
  • Ongoing training and support for Phase 1 and 2 faculty and staff
  • Information sessions, demos and additional training for faculty and staff planning to migrate in Fall 2012

Fall 2012

  • All faculty and staff transitioned from Blackboard to Sakai
  • Ongoing training and support for all faculty and staff
  • Blackboard decommissioned.

Visit sakai.duke.edu for more information.

1 thought on “Duke begins moving from Blackboard to Sakai

  1. Mark Goodacre

    Thanks for the helpful and clear post, Shawn. I participated in the pilot with the largest class (119 students) and at the end of the semester had several qualms about Sakai which I have set out in feedback to those who organized the pilot. (The official report on the pilot was released before the end of term and some time before the final grading period). There were some major technical problems with Sakai including difficulties with assignments, quizzes and gradebook. I am hoping that these issues will turn out to be connected more with the trial status of the project than with Sakai itself and I am looking forward to using Sakai again next semester in its next phase.

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