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  • 2011-06-13 How Teaching and Learning Can Make a Difference for Sakai - Meet the Ambassadors
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How Teaching and Learning Can Make a Difference for Sakai: Meet the Ambassadors


Pre-Conference Workshop


Mathieu Plourde, University of Delaware
Kate Ellis, Indiana University
Brain Dashew, Marist College
Jon Hays, UC Berkeley
Lynn E. Ward, Indiana University
Kim Eke, UNC-Chapel Hill
(other presenters add your name here)


Monday, June 13


1:00-4:30 p.m.


Santa Anita C


The Sakai Teaching and Learning (T&L) group will have Sakai T&L veterans, acting as Ambassadors, present a short panel session on their successes and lessons learned, as well as current T&L group initiatives including the T&L group's part in shaping the future of Sakai and the Sakai community. Following the presentations the Ambassadors will answer questions collectively followed by break-out groups to continue the discussions.

Participants are encouraged to bring questions for the panel. Presenters will make examples/templates available as handouts to session participants.

This session is intended for participants who are either new to Sakai or want to get involved in the Teaching and Learning group.


Sign-up if you're planning or have attended this session.


Interests from the Room

Jargon Watch

  • OAE: Open Academic Environment (Sakai 3.x)
  • CLE: Collaboration and Learning Environment (Sakai 2.x)
  • TWSIA: Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award
  • OSP: Open-Source Portfolio

Follow-Up Notes

Migration / Change Management / Piloting Sakai Group

Moving content:

  • Student assistants manually moving @ Tufts: 700 faculty, 10,000 students, 500 fall courses -- 6 students 20 hrs/week
  • Scripting development to extend Longsight's migration script; shadow courses displayed in a new system
  • Tailor-build courses in Sakai based on their Bb courses -- hired a team ("White glove" strategy)

Migration service offerings:

  • Start fresh - blank Sakai course site
  • Shadow course - content moved from prior system to Sakai Resources folder
  • White glove - manually replicate the prior course layout in Sakai

How to get people to start thinking beyond courses/migration including the long-term vision of the LMS & pedagogical concerns:

  • Peer support and identification of things people are doing successfully (share innovations)
  • Administrative buy-in/confirmation of move
  • Need to highlight new markets & educational audiences like global/international ed


  • Intro to Sakai Training: 4 tools: Announcements, Resources, Forums & 1 other "elective" depending upon the audience needs
  • Course Creation - How to create your sites and populate them
  • Video/tutorials - on-demand, always available snippets of "how to" do something or larger contextualized chunks of info -- "How to Set Up Your Course Site"
  • Scheduled drop-in sessions at peak stressful times of year (like August in the US)
  • Create a site that demonstrates different teaching & learning scenarios or use cases to serve as a model for others to replicate and/or modify.

Strategies for getting the word out:

  • How to handle inertia? It's easier to do nothing!
  • Segment the population and target specific messages that will resonate with them to take action
  • Make things fun - if you can, have food, tee shirts, gift cards, raffles
  • Drag-net strategy: create "special events" for people to drop in and get help with a "live consultant" during a specified window; hype it up!

Other comments & suggestions:

  • Beware: Many of us are focusing so much on faculty that we forget to communicate with students.
  • Many want to see real examples of course and project sites and from real people (colleagues at their own or at other institutions).
  • Many of us need project sites. These can serve as another way to teach people about Sakai in a low-risk environment. The skills, to some degree, will transfer when using Sakai for instruction. It becomes more "known" and less intimidating to use Sakai.

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