Instructors Guide to Getting Started

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

[edit] Creating a Site

Instructors are able to create courses directly in Isaak-Sakai within the Sites area or via the Site Setup tool, found in Home.

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.

[edit] Adding Files

[edit] The Resources tool

The first thing most instructors will want to do is add content to a new site. Files can be added easily to the Resources tool.

If you are adding a file that could use explanation, or the context of other information and links to other Sakai tools or content embedded from place like YouTube, consider using the Lessons tool.

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. Actions > Upload Files
    Actions > Upload Files
    Inside your course click the Resources tool on the left.
  2. Click the Actions button beside the folder you would like to add the file to (likely the top-most).
  3. Select Upload Files
  4. Drag the file you would like to add into the Drop files.. area OR click upon the Drop files.. area to choose a file from your computer's directory.
  5. Optionally notify your students that the file has been newly added with the Email Notification menu. Note that additional file details, such as a description or custom availability dates, can only be added after upload is complete. If you prefer that students receive notifications after details have been added, consider using the Actions >> Edit Details option once the file has been uploaded.
  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.

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

For more information please see Working with files.

[edit] Consider the Lessons Tool

While more complex than a simple file listing, the Lessons tool allows instructors to add context to artifacts and integrate content from around the web (YouTube, O365, etc.) into their site.

[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 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.

[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:Lessons-icon.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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