Archive for the ‘Sakai’ Category

Panopto 10: Coming Soon

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

Panopto 10

Greetings from ITRS! We are pleased to announce the arrival of Panopto 10, Loyola’s official lecture capturing platform. The new version will be available on December 20th, 2020 and will include several new and improved features:

  • Tags — Panopto’s video library has a new way to support content organization and discovery: #tags.  Users can now add tags to their recordings from the video settings, the editor, or in Panopto Capture. 
  • Smart Chapters — The new Smart Chapters tool automatically creates a table of contents for any recording with a screen capture, including recordings from Zoom.
  • Delete Streams in the Editor — Users can now delete or replace video streams in the editor, allowing for greater flexibility in making changes to recordings.
  • Share interesting points in a video — This feature enables viewers to easily share a link to a specific point in the video with others.
  • Audio Normalization — Users can now make audio levels consistent throughout their recordings with the audio normalization feature in the editor.
  • Updated Mobile apps — New updates to the Panopto app (coming soon) will provide users with enhancements for recording and uploading content from their phones.

What’s New in Sakai 20?

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

Sakai 20 is coming to Loyola on Monday, December 21st, 2020! On 12/21 from 7am to 12pm, Sakai will be unavailable. 

Once the upgrade is complete, the following new and improved features will be available: 

  • Sakai Grader with a document preview for the Assignments tool 
  • A date manager that allows instructors to quickly modify all due dates in the Site Info tool 
  • An auto-groups wizard that takes the guesswork out of creating groups 
  • A brand-new Rubrics tool that integrates with Assignments, Forums, and Tests & Quizzes 
  • Gradebook enhancements, including the ability to equally weight items within a Gradebook category 
  • Rich text editor templates to easily create stylized Lessons pages 
  • And more! For a full list of new features, see the Sakai LMS blog

Faculty, staff, and students who would like to learn more about the changes coming to Sakai are invited to attend a “What’s New in Sakai 20?” info-session or a Q&A open forum with ITRS staff. For dates and registration information, see Sakai 20 Upgrade

Top Hat Training: Discover Interactive Learning Software

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

Top Hat

ITRS is proud to announce a series of trainings on Top Hat, a web-based platform that allows students to use their smartphone, tablet, or other mobile devices to participate in and engage with in-class activities.

Top Hat’s student-centric experience engages and motivates learners with captivating virtual classroom features, interactive course content, and built-in assessment capabilities. Instructors can choose between seven different poll question types for instant feedback, create an online discussion board, explore a fun tournaments option, and access an enhanced gradebook.

To learn more about Top Hat, register for a training session or visit the ITRS Top Hat Page.

ITRS Updates: February 2020

Monday, February 10th, 2020


Here is a list of upcoming events, services, and other updates from the ITRS team.  

Upcoming Events

The 5th Annual Information Technology Showcase will take place on February 20th from 9am to 3pm in the Damen Student Center on the 2nd floor. Stop by for a program featuring optional breakout sessions and service provider partner presentations on Zoom, LOCUS, Top Hat, VoiceThread, and many more. We encourage you to register for the showcase for free catered lunch and prize opportunities. 

Training & Support

We offer training sessions for SakaiPanopto, and Zoom.  

For 1:1 assistance, please feel free to utilize our drop-in hours or contact us to schedule an appointment: 


*No drop-ins will be available on February 18th and 20th due to staff conferences and events.  

Sakai Gradebook Checklist

Friday, December 7th, 2018

We smell the coffee. We see the library rush. It’s that time of year again: finals.

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For instructors, we’d like to make your Sakai grading process as easy as possible so you can focus on what matters most: your students. Follow the ten steps below to make sure your Sakai gradebook is good to go at the end of the semester:

  1. Verify your gradebook is set up correctly.
    • Check the gradebook settings to make sure your gradebook is set up with your teaching goals. While you may have already set-up your gradebook at the beginning of the semester, it’s a good idea to check your settings and make sure they match your syllabus. This section is particularly helpful for instructors with categories or weights to make sure all categories are entered with a weight associated.
  2. Enter grades in Sakai.
  3. Make sure all applicable gradebook items are included and visible in the gradebook.
    • Instructors can edit gradebook item details to make sure columns are included in final grade calculations and released to students. Make sure all gradebook items are shown in the gradebook using the Show/Hide Items feature.
  4. Delete gradebook column items, or set ungraded items to zero.
  5. Add any comments to individual student grades.
  6. Override a course grade for individual students if necessary.
  7. Review your settings once more.
    • After you’ve entered your grades, make sure your grade release rules display students’ final course grades to them in the way you’d like.
  8. Verify how an individual student views their grades.
    • You can also review individual student grades via the Student Review Mode. This feature is especially helpful if you need to review an individual student grade in person and do not want the student to see their peers’ grades.
  9. Export final grades.
    • It’s great practice to save a copy of the final grades in a secure location.
  10. Whew! Take a breather. You deserve it!


ITRS’s All-New Instructional Technology Course

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

Are you interested in learning more about creating your own Sakai course or project site? Did you take the Faculty Center for Ignition Pedagogy Online Teaching Course and want to learn more? Do you want to incorporate more technology into your teaching? Check out our new course!

For the first time, ITRS has developed a comprehensive course available to the Loyola community (including faculty, staff, and students) designed to explore our wealth of different technology resources. This six-week course provides you the opportunity to explore the different features, functions, and purposes of the technologies available to the LUC community. Each week you will learn about one or more technologies and strategies for incorporating them into your educational experience. At the end of the course, you will have a fully-functional Sakai course template that you can use for a course you will actually teach.

We are looking forward to launching this new course and seeing you this fall! If you have any questions, email us at Check out our site to learn more about our new Instructional Technologies Course and to register:

Spring Changes

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Panopto will replace Kaltura

Information Technology Services (ITS) is transitioning from Kaltura (Loyola Media) to Panopto for video repository and video streaming services beginning in January 2018 and completing the transition by June 2018. Panopto provides all the functionality of Kaltura while offering additional services such as classroom capture and integration with the Sakai system.

There will be a 3-month period of overlap where videos will be located in both systems allowing time to update the links to the videos (April-May).

Zoom will replace Adobe Connect

ITS is transitioning from Adobe Connect to Zoom for web conferencing and online synchronous classroom services beginning in January 2018 and completing the transition by May 2018. Zoom has been in use for online meetings and webinars at Loyola since 2016. It provides full online meeting capabilities including the use on microphones, webcams, chat, breakout rooms, file sharing, and recording.

Sakai Course Retention

ITS will be increasing the course retention practice from 18-months to 2-years for all course sites in the Sakai learning management system. Sakai course sites greater than two years old will be deleted, and a regular practice of deleting course sites greater than two years old will occur in May 2018 and continue on a regular basis in May of subsequent years to avoid incremental costs for content that is no longer used.

Sakai project sites will also be reviewed for usage, and those not accessed in two years will be candidates for deletion. Sakai project site owners will be contacted via e-mail during the Fall 2018 semester to coordinate the deletion of affected project sites. The deletion of Sakai project sites greater than two years old will occur in December 2018 and continue on a regular basis in December of subsequent years.

Click Here to learn more about these changes.

3rd Annual Information and Technology Showcase

Friday, January 26th, 2018

The 3rd Annual Loyola Information & Technology Showcase will be held on Thursday, February 15th from 9:30am to 3:15pm in the Damen Student Center. Come learn about existing library and technology resources through breakout sessions or visit some resource tables.  There are returning vendors such as Top Hat, Panopto, and SimplyMap, as well as new ones including VoiceThread, and Zoom. This event is open to all faculty, staff, and students. Lunch and afternoon refreshments will be provided to all registered participants. For more information and to register for the event, please visit the event page at

Spring 2018 Will Be the Last Semester for Gradebook Classic

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017
Starting with Spring 2018 courses, the new Gradebook will replace Gradebook Classic on the course menu. Faculty still wanting to use Gradebook Classic for Spring 2018 will have to turn on the tool by navigating to Site Info, then Manage Tools. It is strongly recommended that only one Gradebook tool be available on the course menu. For more information on switching the Gradebook tools, please visit our self-help files for How do I choose which tools will be available in my course? 

Please note: Spring 2018 will be the last semester for Gradebook Classic. The Sakai community is no longer supporting this tool. Therefore, we highly encourage all faculty to switch to the new Gradebook with the start of their Spring 2018 courses. Information Technology Services provides several opportunities to learn more about the benefits of the new Gradebook:

Are Your Courses Ready for the Fall 2017 Term?

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Import, Design, Publish

The Fall Term is just around the corner. Here are a few tips to help with any last-minute course items you might want to implement, before (or after) you click the Publish Now button.

Do you have some course content you would like to use from a previous term?

Check out the “How do I copy my content from one site to another?” article and other content guides on our Sakai Faculty Resources Page. These and the other useful guides on the page are at your disposal to assist with your course designs.

If at any point during the preparation of your course you should find yourself with a question, feel free to stop by one of our ITRS Drop-in sessions. Conveniently located in IC 204, CLC 732 or even online via Zoom! Please visit our website for a schedule of hours:

Lastly, remember that your students won’t be able to see your course until you publish it. Thankfully, it’s as simple as clicking the Publish Now button at the top of your Sakai course.

Thanks for reading and have a great semester!