Visit our New Teaching & Learning Blog!

In case you have not seen our tweets and announcements on Sakai, we have a new Teaching & Learning Blog and invite you all to check it out! We launched the new T&L Blog this summer so you can already find several posts on learning technologies across campus. You can access the new blog at the following URL:

blog.teachingandlearning.unc.edu

The Teaching & Learning Blog features campus spotlights, updates, tips and guides on using learning technologies, plus more! On the blog, you can already find information on:

And much, much more!

Subscribe to our T&L Newsletter

newsletterTo stay up-to-date on the latest scoop on learning technologies at UNC, subscribe to our Teaching & Learning Newsletter! We will send out email newsletters every couple of weeks to help you stay informed of any upcoming upgrades and outages, campus events, and other relevant information on learning technologies.

Thank You

thankyou_vegThis Sakai Blog was initially started to assist the UNC campus with the LMS migration from Blackboard to Sakai. So with the start of the new Teaching & Learning Blog, we will be concluding and archiving this Sakai Blog. But don’t worry–everything will still be available for you here!

We want to thank everyone for staying tuned in and for any assistance you have provided to the UNC campus with Sakai. Whether you are a Faculty member, Student, or part of UNC Staff, we appreciate any and all input you have given to help us better assist you in your learning technology needs. Let’s bring learning into the open by continuing to collaborate with one another and sharing helpful tips and advice! Thank you, all, again.

Don’t forget–You can still find us blogging away on the Teaching & Learning Blog. We hope you’ll join us!

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Share Your Thoughts on Sakai!

Image by WingedWolf on flickr (CC BY)

With nearly 4,000 University Registrar courses and over 1,500 new project sites in Sakai each semester, we are continuously working on improving the campus learning management system. The best way to make improvements and work on applying the most effective and useful functionality for Sakai users is by working with you, the UNC Community! Share with us your thoughts on anything related to Sakai:

Sakai Feedback Form

Please share your feedback on Sakai using the form below. You may stay anonymous if you wish by leaving the Name and Email fields blank, however providing your contact information will allow us to follow up with any possible workaround solutions and details on your feedback.

We welcome thoughts, suggestions, requests for improvements, and any comments on Sakai–all feedback is valued and appreciated!

  • Leave blank if you wish to stay anonymous.
  • Leave blank if you wish to stay anonymous.
  • If yes, please include your contact information at the top of this form.
  • Please enter the text you see in the following image(s).
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Be sure to click on Submit. Thank you for your feedback!

Sakai Maintenance Window: Thursdays 5AM – 7AM

As we make improvements to Sakai, please remember our regular maintenance window on Thursday mornings from 5AM to 7AM when you may experience intermittent access to Sakai. We will always post planned maintenance outages on Sakai. If you have any questions, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 962-HELP. Thank you!

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New! Stream Audio Files in Sakai

student_laptop_headphonesWe have an exciting announcement–audio files can now be streamed in Sakai! This means that users will no longer have to wait and download the audio files to their computers to listen to them but can play the files directly on Sakai. With busy students and instructors constantly on the go, this is a great way to save valuable time and limited space on devices.

Have you been trying to add audio files to your tests for a foreign language course? Want students to listen to music clips or other audio files in your site? If yes, streaming audio on Sakai is the solution for you!

Streaming Audio on Sakai

Streaming audio files requires just a simple line of code on an HTML editor in Sakai. Before the audio is streamed, instructors must first upload the file to Resources. We recommend streaming MP3 files as other audio file types work inconsistently across browsers. Also keep in mind that each Sakai site has a storage capacity of 2 GB.

First upload your MP3 file to Resources and then copy the URL of the uploaded Sakai file:

1. Click on the Actions menu > Edit Details
2. Copy the URL in the Web address (URL) box

audio_stream1NOTE: MP3 files are uploaded as MPEG files by default. We recommend switching the file type to .mp3 to avoid possible streaming errors. Click on Change File Type > switch mpeg to mp3 > select Update.

To stream the audio file in an HTML editor on your site:

1. Click on Source in the top left corner of the editor
NOTE: You may need to enable the Rich-Text Editor by clicking on Show/Hide Rich-Text Editor above the editor box.

2. Paste this line of code into the source code text box:

<audio controls= “controls” src= “ENTER AUDIO URL HERE;”></audio>

3. Switch out ENTER AUDIO URL HERE with the URL you copied in the above steps. Your code should look similar to this:

audio_stream24. Click on Source again to display the regular visual view with the audio stream

audio_stream3

NOTE: When copying the code from this WordPress blog into Sakai and switching between visual and Source view, extra quotations may be added, which must be removed. Switch back to Source view and delete any smaller, inner quotations around controls and the audio file URL.

audio_stream4

5. Enter any additional text and Save

As with any new features, there may be unreported bugs and odd behaviors. If you notice any issues or have questions about streaming audio files in your Sakai sites, please let us know by contacting the ITS Help Desk at 962-HELP. We appreciate all feedback!

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Spring 2014 Semester in Review

old_well_south_bldg_flowersAnother semester has come and gone! UNC Graduates will be making their way down to Kenan Stadium this weekend to recognize their hard work and accomplishments at this University.

Congratulations, Graduates. You are DONE!

Sakai Stats

Here is a review on the Spring 2014 Semester. We had a total of 3,807 course sites and 2,277 unique instructors in Sakai! See the change over a year:

sakai_course_instr_sp13-sp14Check out our top 5 tools for the semester. UNC Faculty know what works best for them, so there’s no surprise that they’re the same top 5 tools from the Fall 2013 Semester!

#1: Groups – 3,121 sites
#2: Messages – 2,637 sites
#3: Syllabus – 2,193 sites
#4: Announcements – 1,708 sites
#5: Gradebook – 1,411 sites

Here is the full Sakai tool usage for Spring 2014:

sakai_tools_sp14

Want to learn more about the different tools in Sakai? Sign up for a personal consultation!

Teaching this Summer?

The Spring Semester may be coming to a close, but that means Summer Sessions are about to begin! If this is the first time you are teaching in Sakai or you need a refresher, please join us for a crash course on Teaching in Sakai on Monday! We’ll be in the House Undergraduate Library.

Introduction to Teaching in Sakai [Register]
Mon 5/12 @ 11:30am
UL 034

Please register for the event. We hope to see you there!

Planned Sakai Outage: May 10 | 7 – 11 AM

There will be a Sakai Maintenance Outage this Saturday, May 10th, from 7am until 11am as we move our systems behind a new firewall for enhanced security. Please plan accordingly and contact the ITS Service Desk at (919) 962-HELP if you have any questions. We appreciate your patience!

Congratulations again to all students graduating this weekend, and thank you to the UNC Faculty and Staff supporting them along the way! Together, we embody the Carolina Spirit.

Posted in Faculty, General, Maintenance, Students, Workshop/Training | Comments Off

Get Sakai Help at HSL TODAY + more next week!

Health Sciences LibraryHappy Last-Day-of-Classes! Have some last-minute Sakai questions? There will be TLI Consultants in the Health Sciences Library TODAY between 1pm and 3pm to help you with all of your Sakai needs. Stop by Room 307 at your convenience to get quick Sakai help from the experts!

We recommend registering for the event to ensure that a consultant will be available to meet with you.

Drop in for Sakai Help at HSL [Register]
TODAY | 1pm – 3pm
HSL 307

Sakai Help at the UL

ulCan’t make it to the Health Sciences Library? Don’t worry – we’re stopping by the House Undergraduate Library next week for more help sessions! We will be in Room 124 between 10am and noon. This will be on the University Reading Day, so drop by when you have some free time.

Please register for the event to make sure someone will be available to assist you.

Drop in for Sakai Help at the UL [Register]
Wednesday, April 30 | 10am – 12pm
UL 124

Gradebook Final Checklist Workshop

You may have specific questions regarding the Gradebook and just need some assistance finalizing your grades. Join us at our Gradebook Final Checklist Workshop as we go over step-by-step how to complete your grades in the Gradebook and get them ready for ConnectCarolina.

Gradebook Final Checklist [Register]
Tuesday, April 29 | 11am – 12pm
UL 034

We hope to see you soon!

Posted in Events, Faculty, Gradebook, Workshop/Training | Comments Off

Create Fall 2014 Course Sites & Get Help

create_fall_leaves

Image by blmiers2 on flickr (CC BY)

Fall 2014 rosters are now in Sakai! Instructors can get a head start and create their Fall course sites. Summer rosters were also made available last month, so if you have time to spare before finals week, you can create your Summer and Fall course sites now!

Create Course Site

Please note that you must be listed as Primary Instructor, Secondary Instructor, Proxy, or Dean in ConnectCarolina to create your course site:

1. In your My Workspace tab, select Worksite Setup
2. Select New > course site
3. Select the Academic term
4. Check roster of course you want to create

NOTE: This process creates only one course site at a time. Checking multiple rosters will attach all checked rosters on one course site. Accidentally added multiple rosters?

5. Continue through the steps to create your course site

NOTE: You can duplicate old course material in the course site you are creating. At the bottom of the Course Site Tools page is the option to Re-use Material from Other Sites You Own. Select “Yes, from these sites:” and choose the courses from which you want to reuse material. Continue onto the next step to select which tools you want duplicated.

reuse_material

Get Help!

Need help creating your course site or have other Sakai questions? Check out our upcoming Gradebook Workshop and Drop-in-for-Sakai-Help Sessions at the Health Sciences and Undergraduate Libraries. Stop by at your convenience!

apr25-30Drop in for Sakai Help at HSL [Register]
Friday, April 25
1pm – 3pm – drop by at your convenience!
HSL 307

Gradebook Final Checklist Workshop [Register]
Tuesday, April 29
11am – 12pm
UL 034

Drop in for Sakai Help at the UL [Register]
Wednesday, April 30
10am – 12pm – drop by at your convenience!
UL 124

We hope to see you soon! Call 962-HELP if you have any questions.

Posted in Faculty, Micro-tutorial, Workshop/Training | Comments Off

Summer 2014 Rosters now in Sakai

yellow_cupcakes

CC-licensed image by flickr user ayca13

It may be cold and icy outside but in the Sakai world we’re already thinking about Summer! Summer rosters are now in Sakai so instructors can go ahead and create their Summer course sites. Spring Break is next week, so this could be the best time for you to knock out these Summer course sites out of the way!

Create Course Site

To create your course site:

1. In your My Workspace tab, select Worksite Setup
2. Select New > course site
3. Select the 1st or 2nd Summer 2014 Academic term

NOTE: Maymester course rosters are listed under the 1st Summer 2014 Academic term.

4. Check roster of course you want to create

NOTE: This process creates only one course site at a time. Checking multiple rosters will attach all checked rosters on one course site. Accidentally added multiple rosters?

5. Continue through the steps to create your course site

NOTE: You can duplicate old course material in the course site you are creating. At the bottom of the Course Site Tools page is the option to Re-use Material from Other Sites You Own. Select “Yes, from these sites:” and choose the courses from which you want to reuse material. Continue onto the next step to select which tools you want duplicated.

reuse_materialSakai & ConnectCarolina

Regarding Sakai and ConnectCarolina, please note:

  • You must be listed as Primary Instructor, Secondary Instructor, Proxy, or Dean (new Registrar role) in ConnectCarolina to create a course site in Sakai
    • Rosters are NOT attached to Teaching Assistant accounts
  • If your roster is not listed in Sakai, contact your departmental course scheduling officer to list you as an Instructor in ConnectCarolina
    • If you were recently added as an Instructor in ConnectCarolina, wait up to 24 hours to see the roster attached to your Sakai account
  • Teaching Assistants should be added to a course through ConnectCarolina to inherit appropriate permissions

Contact the ITS Help Desk at 962-HELP if you have any questions. We are here to help!

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