Sakai Update: What is ‘Duke Toolkits’? Plus: summer courses and new training opportunities

Adding guests and managing participants with Toolkits

Duke’s move to Sakai promises added flexibility and better integration with several other Duke tools that exist in Duke’s eLearning landscape. As of last month, Duke Sakai offers a new method for adding participants to Sakai course and/or project sites via the Duke Toolkits tool. You’ll find it in your Sakai project and/or course sites under Site Info > Add Participants. There are a few advantages to having Toolkits integration vs. the old default Sakai method for adding participants:

  1.  Toolkits provides the added convenience of managing participants and guests for several Duke tools (think Duke WordPress, Duke Wiki, etc – plus Sakai) in one place. This is particularly useful for courses or projects that use WordPress and Sakai together – as the administrators or instructors can add participants to Toolkits to automatically provide access to both tools.
  2. You can now add non-Duke guest users (via OpenID) to your course and/or project sites! (For now, this means users with Yahoo, Gmail and AOL accounts. More options will be added soon).

There are three new documents available on the Sakai Support Site to address these changes:

Summer course data is now available

This summer will mark the first term where Blackboard will no longer be an option for courses. If you’re teaching a course this summer, there’s no better time to start creating a Sakai site. Don’t forget to visit the Sakai Support Site to learn more about using Sakai – now including several useful videos like this one:

Blackboard is going away soon – don’t forget to save your stuff!

With every month that passes, we’re getting closer to June 30, 2012 – when Blackboard is officially decommissioned and all access to Blackboard ends. Even though the Duke Sakai team has migrated content from Blackboard into Sakai, there’s still some content that couldn’t be migrated that you may still want to save or access. In particular, student data (such as the Grade Center, Discussion Board postings, Assignments that were turned in, etc) DO NOT migrate to Sakai, and need to be manually saved prior to June 30, 2012 if you ever think you’ll need to access them again. Learn more about what migrates and what doesn’t and learn how to save additional content.

CIT offers several training opportunities!

For faculty not leaving town for Spring break – consider attending one of our intensive Sakai Quick Start workshops (one on 3/6 and one on 3/7). These are 3-hour workshops that will take you from a basic introduction all the way to building out your basic course site. Perfect for those looking to get a jump on their summer courses, or even faculty interested in getting started for Fall 2012.

As always, we also offer a full set of ongoing workshops and open Office Hours (for drop in help or consulting).