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Frequently Asked Questions, and answers. Last updated: 18 8 2020



What is Isaak, Brock University's Sakai-Based LMS?

Sakai is a web-based Learning Management System (LMS). It facilitates learning by creating private course-based communities for the exchange of information such as dates, files, notes and other resources. A Sakai site also provides communication tools including mail and discussion boards. Sakai is Community Source, making it an open-source project.

Existing web-based materials can be uploaded to Sakai. Content, such as PowerPoint files, can be converted to PDF or other formats and added. You may also link to external web resources that are not part of the Sakai.

Students are automatically added to courses through the Brock Registrar Office's records. All technical support for students is provided by the ITS Help Desk and Lab Advisors on campus.

How do I access Sakai?

Sakai is located at Your Brock University email and password will allow you to log in].

Why can't I login?

  • Students and Instructors require a valid Brock University Email in order to access Isaak/Sakai.
  • If this is your first time logging into Sakai, it's possible your account is not yet activated. Some steps and support are available at Activate Account and Reset Password page.
  • Brock requires that we reset passwords to our Brock accounts frequently. Some information on resetting your password is available at the Activate Account and Reset Password page.
  • For system or security reasons, certain activity may also lock an individual's account. If this occurs, it would be useful to contact the Brock's ITS Help Desk.

What is my Isaak/Sakai User ID and Password?

Your Sakai User ID and Password is your Brock University Email and password. This is the same account & password that is used to login to Office 365.

More information about activating your account can be found on the Brock Portal Students Faculty & Staff

How can I reset or recover my password?

Members of the Brock University community manage their own single password for all computer activities at Brock.

Members are able to activate, change and reset their password via the Account and Reset Password web page.

I don't want my "presence" displayed at the bottom right of each site

Online Presence settings can be modified in the Profile.

Here's how you can limit who sees your presence:

  • Enter Home
  • Select Profile
  • Select Privacy
  • Change "Who can see my online status?" to "Only my connections"
  • Press Save Settings

Please note that you cannot communicate with other students you observe as being present in the course unless the instructor has enabled the appropriate communication tools, such as Chat Room or Forums. Be aware that even if a tool (e.g. the Chat Room) is on, instructors or students currently in the site may not notice your communications.

Can't open a file/What to do when prompted to choose an application to open a file

Most web sites will receive and distribute any file format. Issues do arise when students or instructors attempt to access files for which no program to open that file type has been installed. As a best practice we recommend limiting files to PDF and RTF (you can get a free PDF reader from Adobe and free PDF creator from here).

If you are unable to open a file from the web on your computer please consult the article Working_with_various_files:Best_Practices for tips and free programs.

How do I hide or remove a course/tab?

Add/remove from favorites
Add/remove from favorites
You can control which sites are listed in your Favorites (top red bar in non-mobile view) by adding or removing the star icon to the left of each site in the Sites drawer.
How to hide course/tab
How to hide course/tab

If you'd like to change the order in which the course/tabs appear, or hide some of your course/tabs you can do so in the Organize Favorites area of the Sites drawer (top right).

Why can't I spell check what I type in Isaak/Sakai?

The innate spell check for the Text Editor used by tools like Forums and Messages is not turned on in Isaak/Sakai.

The Text Editor article contains potential work-arounds for Internet Explorer and Firefox. The built-in spell checkers in Apple Safari and Google Chrome work.

Replying to E-Mails from Isaak/Sakai

Some tools (e.g. the Announcements, Messages and Resources to name a few) in Isaak/Sakai send out 'real' E-Mails to accounts. Please do not respond to these E-Mails, instead log into Isaak/Sakai and respond there. Most E-Mails include a link to do so. If you do respond to these E-Mails they will not be delivered. You will not receive a notification of non-delivery until five days later.


Students with questions about Isaak/Sakai or questions about anything else to do with residence technologies (telephone, network, cable TV), passwords and wireless are encouraged to stop by the Student Support Desk in the Computer Commons Help Desk in Scotiabank Hall or call 905 688-5550 ext. 3778 Hours
Students with questions about Isaak/Sakai or questions about anything else to do with residence technologies (telephone, network, cable TV), passwords and wireless are encouraged to stop by the Student Support Desk in the Computer Commons Help Desk in Scotiabank Hall or call 905 688-5550 ext. 3778 Hours

More information on the support offered to students by Information Technology Service at Brock University can be found at

How do I access Isaak-Sakai?

Isaak-Sakai is located at You must sign-in with your full Brock University email address and your associated password. If you can’t login, you may need to reset your password.

I am an online distance education student. How do I get started?

For online learners, visit Online Learning for Students.

I've registered for a course and I can’t see my site in Isaak-Sakai.

Isaak-Sakai rosters are updated from the Registrar everyday starting around 7am and ending at around 1pm. You'll want to allow up to 48 hours after registration to ensure you've been successfully added to the correct course sites in Isaak-Sakai. You can check if you have access to the site by clicking the “Sites” link beside your user icon at the top right of Isaak-Sakai after logging in. If the course is listed there, you can favourite it by clicking the star icon. Favoriting a site will make the course appear beside your Home tab in Isaak-Sakai. If your course is not listed, it could mean that it is hidden. Under “Home”, click “Preferences”, then click the “Hidden Sites” tab. Make sure all the sites you want visible are deselected here and click “Update Preferences”. If you site does not appear here and you've recently registered, you'll need to wait the until following day and/or inform your instructor. Your instructor can add you manually to the site.

How do I print notes?

Notes can be put on Isaak/Sakai in any number of formats from PowerPoint files to HTML, PDF and everything in between. There is a different strategy for each file type. Contact a Lab Advisor.

How do I see a message I posted?

Often web browsers cache (save a copy) of web pages that need to be updated. The simplest solution is to click "Reload". If that does not work you should close your browser and log back in and your post should appear.

I changed sections in my course but Isaak/Sakai doesn't reflect it?

Isaak/Sakai reflects the Registrar's records. If you change sections you must be sure to do it through the registration system at or with an administrator with access to Brock's official course records. Changes will be updated by 1pm the following day.

I've submitted an assignment on Isaak-Sakai in a course that uses Turnitin. Why can’t I see the originality report?

The Turnitin report may take up to 30 minutes to generate.

How can I change my profile icon within Isaak-Sakai?

Click your user icon then the Profile link.

Joinable Sites

Instructors have the option to create Joinable Sites in Isaak/Sakai. These are sites that are separate from regular Brock courses that are populated based on the registrar's enrollment records.

Joinable sites are published to a list of Joinable Sites in the Membership tool. Interested students can browse the Membership tool, find the site and click to join any site that interest them.

Join a Site

To join a course or project site:

  1. In Home, from the menubar, click Membership.
  2. Click Joinable Sites to see a list of all the available sites that you haven't joined. If you'd like to join any of them, click Join.
    • The list is sorted by name, but the search box found at the top right will allow searching for a specific course.
  3. To search for a particular site or group of sites:
    1. Enter your search terms in the Search box.
    2. Click Search. Simply pressing Enter will not initiate the search.
    3. Click Join to join the site you were searching for.
    4. After you click Join the course you have just joined will no longer be listed, however, you will see the site you just joined if you click My Active Sites at the top of the page.

Unjoin a Site

Only sites that are not associated with the Brock University course calendar can be unjoined in Isaak/Sakai. Students who want to leave a formal Brock University course will have to do so within the portal or directly through the Registrar's office or a departmental advisor.

To unjoin a course or project site:

  1. In Home, from the menubar, click Membership.
  2. Under "My Current Sites", you'll see a list of all the sites to which you belong. (This includes sites you have joined, and sites that you have been added to as a participant by the creator of the site.) If you'd like to unjoin any of them, click the corresponding Unjoin link.

How do I forward Isaak/Sakai messages to my Brock email address?

Go to the “Messages” tool, click the “Settings” tab, select “Yes” for “Auto Forward Messages”, and type your email address. Make sure you click “Save Settings” to apply the changes.

How do I turn-off notifications from Isaak/Sakai tools?

Forums E-Mail notifications are controlled under Forums > Watch
Forums E-Mail notifications are controlled under Forums > Watch

This depends on the tool. For the Forums tool, click the tool then the “Watch” tab. Select “No Notification” and click “Save” to apply the changes. To turn off notifications for the Blog, Announcements, Resources, Drop Box, Tests & Quizzes and all sites go to the Home tab, Preferences, click the “Notification” tab, select the “Do not send” options, click “Update Preferences”.

How do I upload files to a Drop Box in an Isaak/Sakai course site?

Beside your Drop Box folder, click the “Actions” dropdown then “Upload Files”. On the following page you can drag or click to upload multiple files. Click “Continue” to apply the upload.

Where can I view who is in my class and which groups they're in?

You can view site participants in the Roster tool if your course Instructor has chosen to add it to your site.

How do I view feedback for a quiz I just submitted?

If the Instructor has enabled feedback, navigate to the “Tests & Quizzes” tool, and click the “Feedback” or "Scores" link beside the quiz.


How do I request a course for Isaak/Sakai?

Course requests can be made by instructors directly in Isaak/Sakai within the Sites area or via the Site Setup tool, found in the Home tab.

At Brock University, the availability of an instructor's class roster is based on information drawn from the most current timetables offered by the Scheduling department of Brock University's Registrar's Office. If you would like to confirm your course assignment, we suggest that you contact the administrative support within your department.

Once a course site has been created in Isaak-Sakai, an instructor can assign to it any rosters of courses for which they are responsible. Please note that class rosters are NOT automatically assigned to an Isaak-Sakai site.

How do I add a Teaching Assistant, Librarian or another Instructor?

You can add a TA or other instructor by going to the "Site Info" item on the left menu, then find "Add Participants" at the top. You will then be asked to enter the TA's user CAMPUS ID (AKA Badger ID or Brock E-Mail prefix) and press "Continue", check off "Teaching Assistant" or "Instructor" and press "Continue", choose if you want to notify the person you're adding by E-Mail and press "Continue". The addition will then be saved and you can press "Finish". More information and a video can be found in the article: Add Participants.

Why is my Student not listed in my Sakai course site?

Sakai rosters are updated from the Registrar everyday starting around 7am and ending at around 1pm. If a student is not listed in a Sakai course roster, it means they haven't been added to the Sakai course roster. A delay of up to 48 hours can occur between officially joining the course and being added to Sakai. In the meantime, they can be added manually via Site Info. More information can be found at: Add Participants.

How do I give my Teaching Assistant grading permissions?

First, you'll need to ensure the user has been added to the site in the Teaching Assistant role. This can be done in Site Info. Next, depending on the Sakai tool, additional configurations need to be set.

  1. For Assignments
  2. For Forums
  3. For Gradebook

How do I add another tool to my course?

Using the Site Info tool, you can add, edit, or remove the tools on the menubar. To do so, follow the steps below:

Click the image above to view large image of the Manage Tools interface
Click the image above to view large image of the Manage Tools interface
  1. In your site, from the menubar on the left, click Site Info.
  2. Click Manage Tools from the grey menu across the top.
  3. Check the boxes next to the tools that you wish to add to your menubar; uncheck the box if you are removing a tool.
  4. Click Continue at the bottom of the page.
    • If you're adding the Lessons, News or Web Content tools, the Customize Tools screen will provide you a chance to make certain changes such as adding a title. When you're finished, click Continue.
  5. On the confirmation screen, you will see a list of your site's tools and any changes you've made. If the list is accurate, click Finish.

More information about Isaak/Sakai tools in the main tools article.

How do I import content from another site?

If you are creating a new Sakai course site, on the page where you select the tools you want to use select “Re-use existing material” followed by the sites you want to import from. The following page will then ask what tools you want imported over from the old site. If you'd like to import content over into an existing site, navigate to the “Site Info” tool and click the “Import From Site” tab.

More information and a video are available in the Import From Site article.

How do I add library database articles to Isaak/Sakai

Depending on the terms of the Library’s licence, you may either post the PDF of the article directly on Isaak/Sakai or link to it. To find out what a particular journal licence allows please consult the Library's resource Find permitted uses for library resources. To create a link, please consult the article Links to library databases.

What copyrighted materials may I post to Isaak/Sakai?

Refer to Brock University's Copyright Information page for information relating to copyright.

How do I create groups within my site?

To create groups, navigate to the “Site Info” tool and click the “Manage Groups” tab. Groups can be made manually, randomly, or joinable. More information able this process is described at Manage Groups.

How do I create group assignments that are only accessible to specific group members?

After groups have been created, you can associate the assignment to certain groups. When creating a new assignment with "Add", select “Group Submission - One submission per group” under “Additional Assignment Options”. Next, select the group(s) you want for “Display only to selected groups” under “Access (also limits groups for group submissions)”.

How do I create a Forum or Topic and make it only accessible to certain groups?

Under Permissions for the forum or topic make sure the Student role is selected as “None” and the group is enabled as a “Contributor”. This will prevent the whole class from seeing other group’s posts.

Where do I add files to Isaak/Sakai

Instructors can add files to the Resources tool that is added to the left menu of every course.

How do I get help putting my course online?

Contact the CPI through They are always happy to help instructors in-person, over the phone or via E-Mail free of charge.

How do I add the official class enrolment to a site

The Instructor(s) of record can add a class roster to an existing course site by navigate to the site and follow these steps:

  1. Open the Site Info tool.
  2. Click Edit Class Roster(s).
  3. Click Add Roster(s).
  4. From the drop-down menu, select the appropriate academic term.
    Example of an instructor selecting the rosters assigned to them
    Example of an instructor selecting the rosters assigned to them
  5. If you are listed as an instructor of record courses within the selected term, those courses and their sections will be listed. Check the associated boxes to the left of each Roster you would like to add to this site.
  6. Click Continue
  7. Click Add Class(es)

How do I remove enrolment from a site

Instructors can remove a roster already assigned to a site to facilitate reorganizing site access or to correct a mistake.

  1. Open the Site Info tool.
  2. Click Edit Class Roster(s).
  3. Review the rosters listed
  4. If there are any additional/unwanted rosters select the “Remove” check box the corresponds on the right
  5. Click Remove Selected

This should immediately remove the additional roster and any associated students and instructors. The Instructor of Record can re-add the roster at any point.

Site Activation/Unpublished Site

Your site will be marked as unpublished and not visible to students until the activation date you selected when you requested the course. You can change this status via "Site Info" > "Manage Access". While your course is not published you will see a "Unpublished Site (Publish Now)" message at the top left. More information is available in our Publish a Site article.

Which tool should I use Gradebook or Gradebook Classic?

We are recommending that all instructors become familiar with the Gradebook environment as the Gradebook Classic tool is no longer supported through Sakai and it will no longer be available as an option as of Spring 2020.

How do I release grades to students

At Brock University instructors can share grades with individual students privately and securely via a number of tools. The Isaak/Sakai Gradebook is one option. Once the tool is added instructors can add a gradebook item and input the grades, or give TAs in the course access to add grades. Once ready, instructors can release the grades to students (For more information see Making grades available to students).

Is there a way I can view what a Student sees on my site?

Yes, above your tool menu there is a “View Site As” feature. This will let you see what student (or what other roles) see when not assigned to a particular group. Don't forget to return to your Instructor view when you're complete via the same feature.

How do I automatically send Tests & Quizzes scores to the Gradebook?

  1. Navigate to the “Tests & Quizzes” tool
  2. Click the “Published Copies: released to students” tab at bottom
  3. Select “Settings” in the “Select Action” dropdown
  4. On the following page under the “Grading and Feedback” section
  5. Select “Send assessment score to Gradebook immediately”
  6. Click Save

Whom do I contact for Sakai related questions?

The Centre for Pedagogical Innovation 905 688 5550 x4734.

Questions About Specific Tools

Questions about how specific tools work are found in their respective articles. All Isaak/Sakai tools are listed in the Sakai Tools article.

Frequently used tools include:

Image:House.png Home, Image:Flag blue.png Announcements, Image:Page edit.png Assignments, Image:User comment.png Chat Room, Image:Folder page.png Drop Box, Image:Comments.png Forums, Image:Report.png Gradebook, Image:Comment.png Messages, Image:Folder.png Resources, Image:Calendar.png Schedule and Image:Application lightning.png Site Info.

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