Fall 2013 Semester in Review

old_well_cropCongratulations on another successful semester at UNC! For the 13th consecutive time, Carolina was ranked #1 in academic value in American public higher education, according to Kiplinger magazine. What an achievement! At the heart of this University are the people, and we wanted to congratulate the students who have graduated this semester–You did it, Graduates! As UNC Professor and Commencement keynote speaker Kevin Guskiewicz said at the Commencement ceremony,

Carolina “will always be here for you.”

Sakai Stats

Here are some Sakai statistics to wrap up the Fall 2013 Semester!

There were a total of 3,816 course sites and 2,352 unique instructors in Sakai this semester–we are up 216 courses and 424 instructors compared to Fall 2012!

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Take a look at the rise in Sakai course sites since the Sakai Pilot back in Fall 2008:

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Sakai Tool Usage

There was no surprise in the top 5 most popular Sakai tools as instructors chose the same top 5 tools in Spring 2013.

#1: Groups – 3,106 sites
Since Sakai is group-aware, you can use Groups to limit discussion Forums, Resources, Assignments, and Messages to specific groups of students. Groups are also automatically created from official ConnectCarolina rosters.

#2: Messages – 2,581 sites
Ever have trouble getting in touch with someone in your class? The Messages tool is a great way to communicate as it not only allows users to contact specific users or groups in a site, but it also sends a copy of the message to a user’s email inbox in addition to keeping the message in Sakai.

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#3: Syllabus – 2,264 sites
The Syllabus tool can be used as a quick place of reference for your important class documents.

“Frustrated with the same old questions?” Check out Austin Community College Professor David Lydic’s fun and creative method of reminding students to check the syllabus, as posted on Inside Higher Ed!

#4: Announcements – 1,820 sites
Use the Announcements tool to share important updates in your course. Announcements display on your site’s homepage, and you can send an email notification to students.

#5: Gradebook – 1,444 sites
With two big improvements to the Gradebook, it’s no surprise that the Gradebook made the top 5. Instructors can now drop the lowest scores and export grades for ConnectCarolina from the Sakai Gradebook!

Check out the full Sakai tool usage for Fall 2013:

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Image by Dawnie’s cakes on flickr (CC BY)

What a semester it’s been!

If you want to get a head start on Spring Semester, you can go ahead and create your course sites! Remember that you must be listed as an Instructor for the course in ConnectCarolina.

From all of us at ITS-Teaching & Learning Interactive, we wish you a wonderful and safe holiday season. See you in 2014!

About Thao Nghi Bui

Information Technology Svcs.
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