Sakai Update: Create your Spring courses now!

Over 180 Duke faculty have already started using Sakai this Fall to teach their courses. Starting today, every Duke faculty member can now use Sakai for their Spring 2012 courses. Instructors new to Sakai might want to start by visiting the Sakai support site, especially the Using Sakai section which includes guides, examples, and searchable FAQs. If you’re interested in diving right in, don’t forget that unlike Blackboard, instructors need to follow a simple process to create their courses in Sakai.

If you’re not planning on using Sakai until Blackboard is completely shut down (June 30, 2012), there’s still a few things instructors should do now to prepare for Sakai – especially if they’re already using Blackboard:

1- login to Sakai ( and take a look at your content migrated from Blackboard. As part of the move to Sakai, the Duke Sakai Team has copied Blackboard content for every Duke faculty member for courses taught Fall 2007 on. For more information on how to access this content, please visit the Blackboard to Sakai section of the Sakai support site.

2- Download and store any student data from Blackboard. The migration process DOES NOT copy any student data to Sakai. Therefore, if you want to have access to any student data for your courses (discussion board postings, assignments, grades, etc), you’ll need to gather that data from Blackboard individually before June 30, 2012. Visit the page on the Sakai support site explaining how to backup student data from Blackboard to learn more.

3- learn more about Sakai now  – either by reading through the Sakai support site or by attending one of CIT’s Sakai workshops. Many faculty using Sakai this Fall decided to design their courses differently (vs the way they’d arranged content in Blackboard) after learning more about Sakai.

One more update: Kaltura Media Gallery (beta)

One of the key aspects of the decision to move from Blackboard to Sakai has to do with an increased ability to add new tools to Sakai. One such tool, the Kaltura Media Gallery, allows users to easily upload and share video, audio, and images within Sakai. Users can build dynamic collections of media that can be categorized, sorted and filtered based upon categories created. Duke faculty using Sakai (for both Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 and beyond) can enable and use the Media Gallery starting today. Please note that the Kaltura Media Gallery is a ‘beta’ tool – and though it is stable and has been tested, it might also undergo more changes than other Sakai tools due to future improvements.

To learn more, check the Kaltura Media Gallery guide.