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Instructors Guide to Getting Started

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Instructor's guide to getting started with Brock University's Sakai System: Isaak.

Instructors can request a course space in Isaak by going to and selecting Instructors: Click here to request a site. Instrucotrs can then enter their CAMPUS ID and password to log-in then choose Request a Brock Course to begin the process of selecting which course they are responsible for and how they would like to configure it.

Once requested, instructors should be able to find your course by going to and logging in with your CAMPUS ID and password.

YouTube/Podcast - One minute Intro to Isaak/Sakai

A one minute introduction by Matt Clare from the CTLET. If you need assistance please contact Matt Clare via Isaak/Sakai is located at

You way also want to watch our Welcome To Sakai Webinar or one of our other Narrated Videos

[edit] Requesting your course

YouTube/Podcast - Requesting a site

Find more videos for instructors at the Welcome To Sakai Webinar article, or look in the Video Category

Instructors can request a course space in Isaak, Brock University’s Sakai-based system, by navigating to and selecting “Request a course site” located half way down the page on the right hand side or directly at You can then enter your CAMPUS ID and password to log-in. Choose “Request a Brock Course” to begin the process of selecting which course you are responsible for and how you would like to configure it.

[edit] Adding Files

Once a course is approved instructors can access their course at . The first thing most instructors will want to do is add content to it. This is generally done through the Resources tool.

The CTLET recomends [Making PDF documents]] out of your files before you add them to Sakai mainly because Internet Explorer blocks certain files

Files can be added to the Resources by choosing to browse for the file on your device, or on desktop computers using a modern web browser, drag files from an Explorer/Finder window into the Isaak-Sakai window.

To add files follow these steps:

  1. Add > Upload Files
    Add > Upload Files
    Inside your course click the Resources tool on the left.
  2. Click the "Add" button beside the folder you would like to add the file to (likely the top-most).
  3. Drag the file you would like to add into the Drop files area OR Select Choose Files.
  4. Navigate to the file you would like to upload and select open.
  5. Select "Upload Files Now" once you have located the file.
  6. Done: You should now see the file in your course resources. You are welcome to click the file to confirm it works or modify it via the "Actions" button.
Optional drag-and-drop interface
Optional drag-and-drop interface

All modern web browsers support single file uploads through the drag-and-drop interface, most support full folder uploads, such a Google Chrome.

Dragging-and-dropping folders can be a faster and more reliable alterntive to situations where the WebDAV upload process might have previously been used.

For more information please see Working with files.

[edit] Contacting Students

There are a number of ways to contact students through Sakai. By default instructors can make use of the Announcements tool for posting current, time-critical information that will be sent to all site members (including those who join late).

Other tools allow for other method of communication to take place via Sakai. These additional tools can be added as outlined in the Adding more tools section.

  • Forums Tool for asynchronous discussions
  • Messages Display messages to/from users of a particular site -- Inter-Sakai-E-Mail

[edit] Grades

  • Gradebook allows instructors to return grades securely and privately for all elements of the course.
  • Assignments allows instructors to receive and return assignments securely and privately.

Isaak/Sakai is great central location to collaborate on marking and grading with other instructors and TAs.

[edit] Adding more tools

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 Edit Tools interface
Click the image above to view large image of the Edit Tools interface
  1. In your site, from the menubar on the left, click Site Info.
  2. Click Edit 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.

[edit] Controlling Access

  • Site Info For showing modifying site information, adding and removing site participants and managing groups.

[edit] More Information

  • Import From Site - How to import content from another course (like one that was converted from WebCT)

[edit] Getting help

Please contact the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation for technical support or pedagogical guidance in using Isaak-Sakai.

Other articles about Isaak/Sakai's tools and how instructors can use them:

Core Tools:   Image:Flag blue.png Announcements | Image:Page edit.png Assignments | Image:Book open.png Lessons | Image:Comments.png Forums | Image:Report.png Gradebook | Image:Folder.png Resources | Image:Calendar.png Schedule | Image:Pencil.png Tests and Quizzes

More Tools:   Image:User comment.png Chat Room | Image:Folder page.png Drop Box | Image:House.png Home | Image:Comment.png Messages | Image:Chart bar.png Statistics | Image:Page world.png Web Content

Related articles:   How to add tools to your course | Using the Text Editor | Manage Groups | Permissions and roles | Contact the CPI for help

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