Sakai is one of Wellesley’s supported learning management systems, along with Google Apps for Education, which faculty use to communicate with students, administer assessments and assignments, and distribute materials. You can use Sakai, Google Apps for Education, or even both.
Shortly after the Registrar finalizes the course schedule for each semester, Wellesley creates Sakai course sites for every class except independent studies and theses. Often, this is some time in October for spring classes and March or April for the following fall. These sites remain unpublished and invisible to your students unless you choose to use them.
If you’d like to use Sakai for independent studies, theses, to coordinate a lab, or for an organization, you can create your own Project Sites.
Latest Wellesley Sakai News:
On Tuesday, August 10, Wellesley upgraded Sakai to version 20. Sakai 20 offers improvements and bug fixes with only minor changes to the way things look and work. Two improvements we're looking forward to are grading assignments using a document preview in the Sakai Assignments tool, and a Date Manager to more easily adjust dates in a single place for all of the content you're reusing from a previous semester.
Curious about changes in Sakai 20? You can read more at the Sakai LMS blog.
For help with Sakai:
Stop by RIS Office Hours. See the Faculty Development Events Calendar for the most up-to-date schedule.
Contact your favorite subject specialist.
Call 781-283-4848 - the Instructional Technology line - and leave a message.
Using Sakai 20
Logging in to Sakai
Log in to the MyWellesley Portal
Click on Sakai in the menu along the top of the page.
Click on Wellesley Login in the upper right. Sakai will use the login information from MyWellesley to log you in to Sakai.
Choosing and reordering your Favorite Sites (the sites displayed at the top of your Sakai window)
Returning to the first page of a tool. (coming soon)
Organizing Course Materials for You and Your Students
Resources Tool for uploading and organizing files
- Consistent file organization and naming structures are important to help both you and your students find files.
Adding New Content to the Resources Tool
You cannot upload folders to the Resources tool, but you can upload groups of files by dragging and dropping. Start by creating folders in your Sakai Resources tool then upload the appropriate files.
The first folder in your Resources is for the entire site. It’s called the root folder. Everything else is organized inside it.
- Sakai Lessons Tool to create modules and an interactive syllabus, or put all content on a single page
- Video E-Reserves in Sakai with Sakai’s Media Gallery
- Copy content from one site to another
- Date manager
- Short instructions for Importing only the Resources folder
Communicating with Your Students
Student Tech Tip: Making Course Communications Easier to Find
Student Work, Activities, & Assessments
The Sakai Assignments tool allows instructors to create, distribute, collect, grade, and provide feedback on assignments. Students can submit their work as a file upload, by typing directly in to Sakai, or by turning in an offline physical artifact depending on your preference. The tool can enforce due dates, supports instructor feedback, and offers peer evaluation of assignments if desired. Reviewing student work is a bit less labor because you can now grade assignments using a document preview. The Assignments tool is not part of our default tool set. Edit the Tools to add it.
Student Tech Tip: Finding Assignment Feedback in Sakai
The Sakai Dropbox tool automatically creates an individual folder for each student in the Sakai site. Students can submit work by uploading files to these folders. Because each student only sees their own folder, their submissions remain private between the instructor and the student. Instructors can provide feedback by doing the same. If you use the Dropbox, you will create and distribute the assignment tasks through other channels, such as Forums, Announcements, or your syllabus. The Dropbox tool is not part of our default tool set. Edit the Tools to add it.
The Sakai Tests & Quizzes tool allows instructors to create, distribute, grade, and provide feedback on online tests, quizzes, and surveys using a variety of question types, including file upload. Certain question types, such as multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank, can be "auto-graded" by Sakai. Tests & Quizzes allows instructors to administer timed assessments and allows for easy adaptations for individual students who require accommodations or other modifications, such as a make-up exam. The Tests & Quizzes tool is not part of our default tool set. Edit the Tools to add it.
Student Tech Tip: Taking Exams in Sakai
The Sakai Gradebook tool can collect grades from other Sakai tools, and a few external tools, and incorporate them into a total course grade complete with categories and weighting. You can also use the Gradebook as a standalone tool entering grades directly by hand. The Gradebook is not part of our default tool set. Edit the Tools to add it.
Other Tools you can use within Sakai
Some software which is not actually part of Sakai can be added so that it integrates more smoothly with Sakai. This software appears in a course site's toolbar, can be added in the lessons tool, passes student log-ins, so students don't need to enter their credentials again, and sometimes even pass grades to Sakai's Gradebook tool. These tools are not included as part of our default tool set. Scroll down to the External Tools section when you edit the Tools to add it.
The software Wellesley currently includes are below. If you're curious about other possibilities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Hypothesis is a social annotation tool. Students and faculty can collaboratively annotate any documents openly accessible with a URL, including websites as well as readings saved as PDFs.
Perusall is a social annotation tool for texts that allows students and faculty to collaboratively annotate assigned readings and engage in deep reading practices in a shared space. It works either with uploaded content, such as PDFs, or with content you can purchase from publishers within Perusall.
VoiceThread is a social annotation tool intended primarily for images and videos. Students and faculty can create and collaboratively annotate slides that hold images, documents, and videos. The annotations can be text, audio, or video.
Piazza is an instructional system which allows students to ask questions in a forum-type format. Instructors are able to moderate the discussion, along with endorsing accurate answers.