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Building Your Sakai Course Handout

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Help with Isaak, Brock University's Sakai-Based LMS, can be found at

This workshop presentation is available at, this page is located at: Instructors are welcome to contact the CPI for assistance via:

QR Code link to Isaak/Sakai
QR Code link to Isaak/Sakai

Isaak, Brock University's Sakai-Based LMS, can be found at:

[edit] Requesting a Course

Instructors can request a course space in Brock University's Sakai system by going to and selecting "Instructors: Click here to request a site". You can then enter your login and password to enter then choose "Request a Course" to begin the process of selecting which course you are responsible for and how you would like to configure it.

  • To request a course that the registrar will control the enrollment of choose Brock Course.
  • To request a course the you will control the enrollment in choose Ad Hoc Courses.

[edit] Support

The CPI is building its own knowledge base about Sakai, putting on more workshops, doing one-on-one consultations with instructors and supporting instructors via E-Mail and over the phone. Instructors are encouraged to contact the CPI, specifically Matt Clare, if they have any questions about Isaak, Brock University's Sakai-Based LMS.


[edit] Image:Application lightning.png Site Info Tool

The Site Info Tool provides information about a course space. In addition to providing information such as the participant list, Site Info allows you to make changes to the information about the course space, the tools, and access to the site. Using the Site Info Tool, you can also publish the course space, duplicate the site, and import material from other sites that you own to include in your site.

[edit] Image:Application lightning.png Adding Tools

  1. In your site, from the menubar on the left, click Site Info.
  2. Click Edit Tools.
  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.
    • If you're adding or already using the News or Web Content, the Customize Tools screen will provide you a chance to make certain changes. 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. To edit your changes, click Back, or if you wish to cancel, click Cancel.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Image:Application lightning.png Add Participants (TAs,other instructors...)

  • Go to the "Site Info" item on the left menu
  • Find and click "Add Participants" at the top
  • Enter the individual's CAMPUS ID (AKA Badger ID or Brock E-Mail prefix) and press "Continue"
  • Check off the appropriate role
    • "Teaching Assistant" read-only style access and can be given access to gradebook and other areas in an additional step
    • "Instructor" gets full access
    • "Student" normally added by registrar automatically)
  • Press "Continue"and press "Continue"
  • Choose if you want to notify the person you're adding by E-Mail and press "Continue"
  • Lastly, you will be asked to confirm the addition then press "Finish"

More information can be found at:

[edit] Import from Site

Please note that you must add the tools that you want to import to first Add the Tools. In "Site Info" > click "Import From Site" > choose the site you want to import from > check each of the tools in the site being imported that match the tools in in the current site and import that content to > Press "Finish" and then confirm that the import was successful.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Image:Folder.png Resources Tool

Resources is the most widely used tool in classes and collaborations. In Resources, you can make many kinds of material available online. There are three main types: documents (word processing documents, spreadsheets, slide presentations, etc.); links to other websites; and documents that are created and displayed right on the Sakai page. Using the Permissions feature, instructors can control which types of users can post, delete, and read documents in specific folders.

Almost all file types can be added as resources, however files like MS Word and MS PowerPoint are actually blocked by Internet Explorer and as such should be avoided.

The CPI recommends Making PDF documents in most cases. Windows users can get the free PDFCreator software at -- OS X users have one built into all "Print" dialogues.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Image:Folder.png Adding Files

  1. Inside your course click the Resources tool on the left.
    "Add" -> "Upload Files"
    "Add" -> "Upload Files"
  2. Click the "Add" button beside the folder you would like to add the file to (likely the top-most).
  3. Choose "Upload Files".
  4. Click "Browse" and locate the file on your computer in resulting window.
  5. Press "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.

[edit] Image:Folder.png Creating Folders

  • In the Resources tool click "Add" and choose "Create Folders"
  • Give the folder a name
  • Click "Create Folders Now"

Removing Folders: Please note that all of the contents of a folder must be removed before the folder itself can be removed.

[edit] Image:Folder.png Adding Web Links (URLS)

Please note that Brock University Library/Journal links have be added as a "persistent link".

  • In the Resources tool click "Add" button beside the main folder or sub-folder you would like the create the new web link in and choose "Add Web Links (URLs)"
  • Type in or Copy-and-Paste in the Web Address (URL)
  • Add a title for the link
  • Click "Add Web Links Now"

[edit] Image:Folder.png Re-Order a folder's contents

Items in the main folder or a sub folder can be re-ordered by selecting the "Actions" button and choosing "Reorder". This will present a simple interface for re-ordering that (sub)folder's contents. Note, this is not the "Move" files option.

[edit] Image:Flag blue.png Announcements Tool

Announcements are used to inform site participants of current items of interest. Announcements can have multiple attachments, including documents and URLs. It is possible to draft and save an announcement before sending it out to site participants or posting it on the site. Announcements appear in a list when you are in the Announcements Tool. They also appear on the home page of each course or project site. Site owners and instructors can choose to have an announcement automatically emailed to all of the site participants by using the "required notification" setting shown below.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Image:Page edit.png Assignments Tool

The Sakai Assignments Tool allows instructors to create, distribute, collect and grade online assignments. Assignments are private and student submissions are not visible to other users of the site. The Assignments Tool allows letter grades, points, check marks, pass/fail or ungraded. Assignments can also be returned, with or without grades, for re-submission. This feature can be used to evaluate drafts of final projects or papers, or to allow students to correct and re-submit an assignment. Students can also be asked to agree to an 'honour pledge'.

Instructors can download all submissions to an assignment to their computer at once. When instructors release grades for an assignment, students can access instructor comments along with their grade.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Image:User comment.png Chat Room Tool

The Chat Room Tool is for real-time, unstructured conversations with users who are signed on to the site at the same time as you are. The Chat Room Tool allows for more than one "Chat Room" which an instructor or site owner can create for specific kinds of chats. The Chat Tool alerts users on the Chat page to the other participants who are also viewing that page. This way, users know who is available to talk in Chat. By default, Chat messages are saved and are visible to all users.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Image:Comments.png Forums Tool (Asynchronous Discussions)

Forum example with two topics
Forum example with two topics

Forums is a communication tool that instructors can use to create an unlimited number of discussion forums for their site. The Forums is integrated closely with other tools such as Resources and Gradebook. It is important to remember that participants can only post their messages inside a Topic and instructors can only create topics once they have create a Forum -- Creating a New Forum is only the first step, followed by creating at least one New Topic.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Image:Report.png Gradebook

The Gradebook tool allows instructors to list course assignments and corresponding student scores, and calculate, store, and distribute grade information to students online. Courses can be graded on numeric grade, simple letter grade, or pass/fail scales. You can also have grades from assignments created with the Assignments tool automatically go into the Gradebook.

Many instructors appreciate the way the Sakai Gradebook can calculate the final course grade based on weighted categories and the items placed withing them. This eliminates the need to consider the final course grade when setting an assignment (it can be out of 100, 23, 143, etc) and prevents instructors from having to apply any mathematical formulas to determine a final grade.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Image:Comment.png Messages (Sakai-only mail)

Message Center is a tool that facilitates one-on-one and group communication. Private messaging gives users the ability to communicate one-on-one within a site. Messages can be forwarded on to real E-Mail addresses.

More information can be found at:

[edit] News/RSS Tool

The News Tool allows a Sakai site to display an RSS feed. RSS is a data format that allows users to view continuously updated content from another site. In addition to news, some websites use the RSS format for information that is updated often, such as blogs, events listings, or the revision history of a book. Course creators can customize their News feature by putting in a web address for any RSS feed. An example might be an undergraduate Spanish class having customized News to include news feeds from Spanish language Latin American publications.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Image:Calendar.png The Schedule/Calendar Tool

Schedule allows instructors to post items in calendar format. The calendar has day, week, month, year, and a flat list view. Any Schedule item can have multiple attachments. All Schedules on course spaces you have access to are merged in your My Workspace Schedule. In a course space, you can also selectively merge Schedules from other course spaces you have access to using the Merge feature.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Image:Vcard.png Roster

The roster tool provides a list of all participants to instructors and displays to students the a list of participants in their section of the class and the members of any groups that they themselves are also in. A picture and academic information are take from the Profile2 information that individuals have added to their profile.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Image:Chart bar.png Site Stats

Example Report: 'Active users'
Example Report: 'Active users'
Site Stats allows instructors to view user statistics for your site. Instructors can check how many visitors have been on the site, how much user activity there has been, and the contributions a site visitor has made.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Image:Pencil.png Tests and Quizzes

Allows on-line delivery of test, quizzes and surveys. The can be marked by Isaak or the instructor (or both). Surveys can also be crated with this tool; they can even be anonymous and potential available to the whole Internet without an account.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Image:Page world.png Web Content Tool

Example of a "Web Content" tool that links to
Example of a "Web Content" tool that links to

The Web Content tool allows course space owners to choose a website to display within the Sakai frame. The Web Content button in the left-hand menu is customizable so you can create a label for the button that matches the website you've chosen to display.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Image:Page white edit.png Wiki Tool

A Wiki is a kind of collaborative website in which multiple users can add and change the content. The Sakai Wiki Tool gives users the ability to create a Wiki that is dedicated to a particular course or project site. Members of that site can monitor, update and edit the content of the wiki. The Wiki Tool also allows users to add images, link wiki pages to other documents, and view the change history of the wiki. The website owner can control what permissions the members have, including access, reading, writing, editing, etc.

More information can be found at:

[edit] Accessibility Information

A table that should help with adding content accessibly, see following table for textual representation.
A table that should help with adding content accessibly, see following table for textual representation.
Please remember that thought Sakai/Isaak will hold any file under 100Mb, some files do not provide the best experience for students. Please be sure the content you add is accessible.

More information can be found at:

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