July 2016 Archives

Sakai will be upgraded to version 11, and will be unavailable beginning Saturday, August 20 through Monday, August 22, 2016 (until the upgrade is complete). [note that the upgrade was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was moved to coincide with other OIT maintence to reduce the number of interruptions to service.]

Sakai 11 brings the following changes:

  • A new look, with improved experiences on tablets and phones
  • A new gradebook
  • Improvements to tests & quizzes
  • Improvements to the Lessons tool
  • Some older tools have been removed (these were not much used, so shouldn't affect many people)

More information is available on the OIRT Sakai upgrade page, and more detailed descriptions of the changes are on the Sakai Project documentation page.

As noted earlier, COHLIT is replacing the old "eCollege" Pearson Learning System with Canvas, a much-needed improvement. Sakai is unaffected, and continues to be supported by OIT, however some instructors who currently use Sakai may want to switch to Canvas, particularly if they are in a  program that has decided to adopt Canvas for their online courses. 

We have put together some preliminary instructions on how to copy course materials from Sakai to Canvas. Keep in mind that COHLIT is still making changes to Canvas and that some things may change in the next month or two (Sakai too is expected to be updated in August), and that these instructions are based on very limited testing so there may be some variation. We will update the instructions as we gain experience. Currently, to gain access to Canvas you must contact COHLIT directly, and for the Fall semester their focus is to primarily work with specific graduate programs.

In general, moving a course from Sakai to Canvas is not perfect. Depending on the complexity of your course site, it may be better to start from scratch in Canvas, and fine-tune the course materials to take better advantage of Canvas' capabilities. This process should be seen as a "quick and dirty" way to get started; you will want to spend some time afterwards to move, rearrange or change your material before it's ready for students.

Instructions on how to move a Sakai course to Canvas are at the link below:


Course Workload Estimator

Rice University has developed an Course Workload Estimator to help faculty and instructors estimate the amount of  time students will need to spend outside of class in order to complete the required course assignments. This simple-to-use calculator allows you to enter the number pages of reading and writing assigned; based on research about reading speeds, the tool then estimates the number of hours per week the students will need to spend.

The blog post announcing the tool and detailing the research is here:

How Much Should We Assign? Estimating Out of Class Workload

and the tool itself can be found here:

Course Workload Estimator

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2016 listed from newest to oldest.

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