Sakai is our LMS at Loyola University Chicago. This post will include some setups I often use and since these steps are needed only every semester, I prefer to write them down as a reminder for myself, while hoping that the post would also be useful for my readers. This post will be expanded in the future as new setups needed.

Common Tasks

1. Copying a Course from a Project Page in Sakai

As an instructor, login Sakai and navigate to your new course that you need to add new content. Follow these steps:

  • Site Info > Import from Site, if one imports from a Project Site within Sakai. You should be added to the Project Site in order to see it as an import option.
  • As a precaution, I always select I would like to merge my data in the next step.
  • Select the Project Site that you want to copy its contents. A nice feature of Import from Site in Sakai is you can import from multiple Project Sites in this step.
  • The import process is typically completed in 2 minutes.
  • On 8/28/2022: My test today turned out to be with errors, actually. The issue was Assignments and Tests & Quizzes modules failed to import. After the third attempt with I would like to replace my data option selected, those modules were copied as expected. As I did not see any error messages, I had no idea about the source of this error.

2. Adding a TA to Your Course

An instructor cannot add or remove course participants including TAs. It has to be done via the ITS Service Portal.

3. Achieving Group-Based Tasks

3.1 Make Groups

Make groups within a course by:

  • Site Info > Manage Groups > Bulk Creation
  • Export student names and IDs using Gradebook > Export. Ude fault file type which is .CSV.
  • Insert a new column as the first column. Make groups in this column. Typically, we have two groups in CHEM 111. We assign students by alternating Group labels as A and B until all students are complete. Default order of names are by last name; keep this order unchanged for simplicity.
  • Make sure that the second column is User ID. See Figure 1 for data formatting rules.
  • Delete all the rest of the columns, and the first row (no headers).
  • Import the .CSV file using the file dialog in Figure 1.
  • All students are assigned to a group once Bulk Create Groups button is clicked.

Figure 1
Figure 1. Import screen: File selection.

3.2 Make Group-Based Assignments

  • Click Edit an existing assignment (or make a new assignment).
  • Scroll down and find Assign To > Each individual member of the selected group(s) (for individual assignments) > Select a Group to assign. See Figure 2.

Figure 2
Figure 2. Assign an assignment to a group.

3.3 Make Group-Based Announcements

  • Click Announcements > Add.
  • Scroll down and find Access > Display this announcement to selected groups only. See Figure 3.
  • I always set Email Notification to High - All group members, which will trigger an email message to only specified group. Kind of a need! We target only certain groups…

Figure 3
Figure 3. Assign an announcement to a group.

3.4 Make Group-Based Tests & Quizzes

  • Click Edit and existing test or quiz.
  • Click Settings > Availability and Submissions > Assessment released to > select a group (See Figure 4).

Figure 4
Figure 4. Assign a quiz or test to a group.

3.5 Sending Group-Based Emails

This feature is quite handy if you want to email data files to a group.

  • Click Email and Compose.
  • To > Groups > select a group to send the message (See Figure 5).

Figure 5
Figure 5. Sending an email to a group.

3.6 Gradebook with Group-Based Scores

Once all grade items are assigned to a grade category, groups don’t make any difference in weighed grade calculations. e.g. Figure 6 shows a class’s Lab 2 grades. Lab 2 score will be calculated equally if a student’s score resides in Group A or B.

Figure 6
Figure 6. Groups don’t make any difference in weighed grade calculations.

3.7 Group-Based Resources

Resources module is no exception when it comes to sharing documents group-wise.

  • Click Resources and Edit existing file.
  • Under Edit Details > Availability and Access > Display this file to selected groups only. > select a group (See Figure 7).
  • As seen in Figure 7, one can do more detailed groups for different activities. e.g. I have groups for Datasets.

Figure 7
Figure 7. Assign a file to a group.