This is the second in our five-part series called, “Sakai 5 Big Ideas.”
Tools are managed at the tool level — and we have choices! Click on a menu item/tool, and you will see a bar display under the title that provides options for managing it. However, the fun part is that you have choices as an individual — and there are choices at the institutional level.
There is a large set of tools to choose from (see video below) and you can select as many or as few as you like. But there are also choices at the institutional level about which tools to support and how to customize Sakai. Perhaps UNC will want to add and support “contrib” tools (like OpenSyllabus) that are not in our current list — or maybe UNC will opt to support only one of the testing tools.
Having choices is good!
This is the first in our five-part series called, “Sakai 5 Big Ideas.”
You have your own private workspace area where you can upload, save, create, and move files. You can also view all of your sites’ combined announcements and calendar events. (Students report that these features get two enthusiastic thumbs-up.)
To learn more, see the 3-minute screencast below (for best results, make it full-screen). You can try this today by logging into http://sakaipilot.unc.edu
The UNC School of Medicine is using the Calendar Tool in unique ways. We thought you’d like to see how!
Dr. Kurt Gilliland and Dr. Ed Kernick co-directed a course of 160 first-year medical school students in the Fall 2009. The intensive face-to-face course contained the content equivalent to a full semester in a compressed 9-week period. To help everyone stay on track, the course designers and faculty used the calendar as the organizing principle of the course. Below is an example that links to additional screen shots (from a current Med School course).
Thank you, School of Medicine for your fresh ideas! We like them!
Find about more from the faculty in this 3.5 minute video interview.
Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey is a professor in the School of Social Work who shares her experience using Sakai to redesign a course from a traditional, face-to-face seminar to a fully online, self-paced course. Take 1 minute to hear what she has to say!
As some of our Sakai pilot participants have said earlier, one of the interesting and appealing aspects about Sakai is the ability to participate in its development and future directions. (See Phil Edwards and Bill Maisch discuss).
The 3 minute video below provides a first glimpse of the hybrid integration between Sakai 2 and Sakai 3. (Note, we are currently on Sakai 2.6). This is a very early look and is not showing finished product, but instead enough of the user interface to begin real discussion and refinement.
If you are interested in participating in the discussions around Sakai 3, you can! Here’s more Sakai 3 information for those with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
Rebecca Brigham is responsible for administering the School of Social Work Field Seminar program. The courses in the program were redesigned as hybrid courses with students alternating between one week in the classroom followed by one week online. Sakai is used to bridge the learning and conversations that occur in the classroom as well as off-site in students’ individual fieldwork locations.
In particular, the 8 sections of Field Seminar tend to use only a few Sakai tools — primarily the Discussion Forum and the Gradebook. Because only a few tools are used, students and faculty find the course sites easy to navigate and use.
Take 1 minute to hear what she has to say!
Dr. Anastacia Kohl is a Spanish course coordinator in the Department of Romance Languages. Like the coordinators mentioned in an earlier post, she found that:
Sakai has already saved me a lot of time and a lot of hassle. It’s made my job a lot easier. I’m a big fan of Sakai. I would not want to go back to Blackboard after having used it.
She notes, however, that it will be important to address instructors’ reluctance to change - since change is difficult for all of us.
I think Sakai is going to be a very useful tool in the future — it already has been — and I’m excited about using it again in the Spring.
In an earlier blog post, we mentioned that the number of students using Sakai this term is 7 times what it was last Spring. Several Romance Languages faculty opted to use Sakai for their large enrollment, multi-section courses. They are the first group at UNC to use Sakai with multiple sections.
Advantages of Sakai for large-enrollment, multi-section courses:
- 1 Sakai site per large enrollment course (i.e., SPAN 105)
- Shared content ensures consistency across diverse sections
- Multiple sections employ “group-aware” tools so students & instructors see only their own section information
- Course coordinators see all section information.
Below are the stories of three course coordinators who are responsible for the overall management of course content, instructors, and students in selected Spanish courses. Hear what Bill Maisch, Hosun Kim and Josefa Lindquist have to say. Three coordinators in three minutes!
Last week, more than 500 people attended the 10th Sakai Conference in Boston, MA from July 8-10. Of those attending, 40% were first-time attendees. The keynote speaker was Vijay Kumar, Senior Associate Dean and Director, Office of Educational Innovation and Technology, MIT–and co-author of the book, Opening Up Education: The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge. (Get the book!)
For those inquisitive, interested people unable to attend, there are many ways to experience the conference vicariously! “Citizen Journalists” interviewed presenters & new attendees now posted on YouTube, parts of the conference were streamed, slides are available on Slideshare, flickr photos are tagged with “sakai09″ and wiki pages host materials and follow-up notes. You can find all of these and more at http://confluence.sakaiproject.org/display/CONF10/10th+Sakai+Conference.
If you have 3 minutes, you can hear what Paul and Karen had to say!
Bethany Kok, Instructor in Psychology talks about her experience using Sakai blogs to extend class discussions and how students used Sakai.