Posts Tagged ‘Sakai’

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

4th Annual Information & Technology Showcase

Friday, January 25th, 2019

The 4th Annual Loyola Information & Technology Showcase will be held on Thursday, February 21st from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm in the Damen Student Center.

Come learn about library and technology resources available to the University community. Take advantage of a variety of breakout sessions and a full array of resource tables from vendors like DocFinity, Oracle/LOCUS, ProQuest, and Gartner. All Loyola students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend. Registered participants will receive a box lunch and have an opportunity to win raffle prizes including a new laptop computer.

Visit the Info & Tech Showcase Registration page to register for the event.

For more information, please visit the ITS Info & Tech Showcase Event page. See you there!

Info Tech Showcase Resource Table

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!


Attention Loyolans! We want to feature you!

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Do you enjoy teaching or learning with technology? Do you aspire to be a “Sakai model” during your time at Loyola? Or maybe you’re just an enthusiastic Loyolan?

We’re looking for photos of you, your peers, and faculty or staff to feature on our Sakai Login page. Review the guidelines below, and send your pictures for a chance to make it the Sakai homepage.


    • Who can submit? We invite all students, faculty, and staff to participate.
    • What should the photo look like? Here are some guidelines to create your photos:
      • Include a diverse group of Loyolans using technology
      • Background is outside ideally on one of Loyola’s campuses
      • Wearing Loyola gear is encouraged
      • Avoid looking at the camera
      • Photo can be cropped down to 297 x 257 pixels
      • All Loyolans pictured must sign the release form


 How do we submit?

Email your photo to by 12/10/2018 with signed copies of this Release Form for the photographer and everyone photographed. Identify the photographer and everyone in your photos by first name, last name, and email address.

The release form states an individual gives consent to the University to reproduce, distribute, and display these photos and identify you. If there is anyone in the picture who has not signed the Release Form, they must be far away enough where we can crop them out or blur their face.


Article by: Megan Mitchell


Facilitating Meeting Times: The Sakai Sign-Up Tool

Friday, September 28th, 2018

As an instructor, you often make yourself available to meet with students outside of class. You might hold office hours, meet with individual students, or schedule group meetings each semester. How do you organize your meeting times?

Picture this scenario:

You host office hours for two days per week each term. Students drop-by occasionally at the beginning of the semester. However, at the end of the semester when summative assessments approach due dates, you see an influx in student attendance and an eagerness to communicate with you. There is a line of students out your door during office hours, anxious for your feedback. In an attempt to organize the time, you asked that students email you to request an appointment time slot. With several classes to attend to, the emails become difficult to manage, especially when multiple students ask for the same time frame. To reduce the time you spend scheduling, you hand out a paper sign-up sheet in class and post it to your office door. Crossed out names, erased appointments, and scribbled contact information adorn your office door. You think to yourself, “if only there was an easier way to manage meetings!”

For a seamless scheduling experience, Loyola instructors can use the Sign-Up tool in their Sakai course sites. The Sign-Up tool in Sakai facilitates online registration for office hours, study sessions, and other academic meetings or events. In addition to scheduling, Instructors can use the Sign-Up tool to provide reminders about meetings, track attendance, and offer site participants a waitlist. Project site participants with “maintain” status can also use the Sign-Up tool to arrange meetings for project site participants.

For more information about how to use the Sign-Up tool in Sakai as an Instructor, visit the Sign-Up Instructor Guide ScreenSteps documentation. ITRS also offers individual and group-based training on the Sign-Up tool and other Sakai tools. For more information, visit the Technology Training page on Loyola’s ITS site.

Article by: Megan Mitchell

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:

Sakai 11 is Almost Here!

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

On May 12th, Loyola’s learning management system will be upgrading to Sakai 11. Per this upgrade, you will discover a few changes within Sakai. Some of these changes include:

  • A new Gradebook tool
  • Anonymous forum discussions
  • More customization options for lessons
  • A new Hot Spot question type within exams

We will be introducing the new Gradebook tool this Summer. During the Summer semester, you will still have access to both the current Gradebook (Gradebook Classic) and the new Gradebook. We encourage everyone to begin familiarizing themselves with the new Gradebook tool, since we will be removing Gradebook Classic from Sakai by the Fall semester. When using the new Gradebook this Summer, keep in mind that any changes you make to one of the Gradebook tools will reflect automatically in the other Gradebook tool, so you won’t need to make any changes twice.

You can begin working with our Sakai 11 development site to explore some of these changes on your own at Please note that this is an early development site and should only be used for testing purposes. Any courses you are building should be created in our current instance of Sakai 10. When Loyola makes the switch to Sakai 11 in May, your courses and course materials will transfer over accordingly.

If you would like to learn more about the Sakai 11 changes, please register for one of our training sessions or come to one of our Open Forum Discussions held on Fridays. If you are unable to make it to either one, feel free to contact us at so that we may schedule another time to introduce you to these new features in Sakai 11.

For more information please visit

New Evening Drop-In Time for Spring 2017

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

This spring, ITRS is adding two evening drop-in times on Tuesday and Wednesday nights starting January 17th. We will be available from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in person and online. Evening drop-in times are Tuesdays at the Water Tower Campus, Corboy Law Center Room 732 and Wednesdays at the Lake Shore Campus, Information Commons Room 204. Please drop-in!

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please visit our website for a schedule of hours:

Link for the online Drop-In room:


Inactivity Alert for Lesson Pages within Sakai

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

A new inactivity alert feature has been added as an option to all lesson pages within Sakai. When activated, the alert will automatically trigger and email for any user that has not selected a specific lesson page. Instructors have the ability to set one time, daily, or weekly reminders for users that have not selected a specific lesson.

Each lesson page can have its own alert implanted. This new feature ensures that all students are accessing classroom content.  Instructors have the ability to discover if students are really taking part and using classroom material or simply doing without.

Alerts take just minutes to create and can be done before or during a semester. Check out the support documentation for a set-by-step guide on achieving an inactivity alert.

Top Hat, Let the Polling Begin!

Thursday, September 10th, 2015


Top Hat is Loyola University Chicago’s new response system. This “bring your own device” web based platform takes classroom polling to a new level. Student engagement can be compiled through seven different questions types, including sorting and clicking on target, discussion boards, and even tournaments. Instructors have the ability to allow students to view old questions or turn questions into a review that students can use throughout the semester. Reports can be generated based on daily attendance, student participation, and student performance giving a clearer view of how a student is interacting in the course.


Top Hat is a hardware free system that allows students to use the devices they already own such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Instructors no longer have to worry about checking out equipment and carrying it to and from class, as all information is stored on the web and can be accessed on any web enabled device. There is an integration, so adding Top Hat to your Sakai course is easy.


Instructors then have the ability to continue the conversion outside of the classroom by use of the discussion board or assigning unanswered questions as homework. With the ability to ask questions before or after class, the understanding and knowledge of students can be tracked and used to help drive future sessions. Top Hat provides a whole new interactive platform.


For more information please visit the Top Hat page at