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!
We are pleased to announce that the Sakai Pilot Final Report is available for your review! The 74-page PDF (3.2 MB) provides a wealth of data collected during Fall 2008 and Spring 2009.
Spoiler alert: below is an excerpt from the Executive Summary.
The ﬁndings of the pilot are positive, leading the Sakai Action Group to recommend ITS continue to fund Sakai for the 2009-2010 academic year, implement student information system (SIS) integration, when possible, expand the number of participants using Sakai, and research a possible future migration path.
We’d also like to acknowledge and express our sincere appreciation to all of the faculty, staff, students and administrators who contributed their time, energy, resources, and support to make the pilot happen. Thank you.
It’s been a busy start to the semester. We have approximately 3,500 faculty and students using Sakai right now! (Last year, we had about 500 students enrolled in official UNC courses each semester. See the updated numbers here.)
So, what changed?
This year, some Spanish and French faculty decided to use Sakai to help coordinate and manage multiple sections (think: 40) within a single course site. In one course site, there are 960 students — each enrolled in a section of ~22 others taught by an instructor who only sees his or her students. All students and faculty can share a common set of instructional materials in a single location, while conducting their routine course and collaboration activities within their own private section. This is a great example of the value of Sakai’s “group-aware tools.” We hope to share more details about their unique story soon!
However, we are honored to share with you a set of videos created by Rob Moore to help Romance Language faculty learn more about Sakai’s special features. Check them out when you have a chance!
Photo courtesy of Muffet: