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ITS Teaching & Learning has been preparing UNC-Chapel Hill for an upgrade to Sakai 11. Now with students away for winter break and final grades submitted, Sakai is offline today while Teaching & Learning rolls out the new version.

Thao Nghi Bui of ITS
Thao Nghi Bui

The Sakai upgrade provides the most significant interface and feature improvements since the University adopted the open-source collaboration and learning-management system in 2013. Sakai 11 has responsive design, an accessibility checker, simple spreadsheet-style grade entry and the ability to stream media resources through third-party integration and much more.

New features and functionality

“Sakai has been given a fresh, new look, and the new responsive design adjusts to the device at hand: laptop, tablet or phone,” said Thao Nghi Bui, Learning Technologies Administrator. “Sakai’s new gradebook provides Carolina’s faculty with fast, simple spreadsheet-style grade entry. The text editor auto-saves as you type and has an accessibility checker. Site owners can stream media and control access to student media assignments through Sakai’s integration with Warpwire, a third-party video platform for education.

Suzanne Cadwell of ITS
Suzanne Cadwell

“Sakai 11 was released in August, which did not provide enough time for testing and implementation before rolling out a new version to users in time for Fall,” said Suzanne Cadwell, ITS Teaching & Learning Director. Soon after release, the Teaching & Learning team began quality assurance testing and fixing code. As the Fall semester was winding down, Teaching & Learning consulted with faculty and staff who wanted an early introduction to the system before the new year.

Workshops begin January 4

The team will hold workshops for the campus community during the first two weeks of January before classes begin and can meet with faculty and staff one-on-one for an introduction to the new features. Workshops will be held:

  • Wednesday, January 4, 4-5 p.m., Health Sciences Library, Room 307
  • Thursday, January 5, 8-9 a.m., Health Sciences Library, Room 307
  • Friday, January 6, 11 a.m. – noon, Undergraduate Library, Room 124
  • Monday, January 9, 2-3 p.m., Undergraduate Library, Room 124

“For those who are unable to join us for face-to-face training, we invite you to check out our blog for details and videos on the new features. You will also find extensive documentation within the help tool in Sakai,” Bui said.

Check out Teaching & Learning’s presentation about the Sakai 11 upgrade via the Adobe Spark presentation app.

You also can get more details about the upgrade on Teaching & Learning’s blog.


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