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In November 2014, the first ever Sakai Virtual Conference was held online. As an added benefit of the conference, the registration fees for this event were pooled to go toward Sakai development. Conference attendees had an opportunity to submit ideas for Sakai features or enhancements, and also vote on the item to be selected for development using conference funds.

After the conference attendee votes were tallied, the top pick for use of conference funds was Samigo (a.k.a. the Tests and Quizzes tool). Now that a focus area for the conference funds has been selected, we are calling this effort the Samigo Tests Enhancement Project (STEP).

  A working group has been formed to move this process forward, and additional community members have also volunteered to assist with various phases of the project.

  So far, this group has outlined the following stages and tentative timeline for the project.

  What’s next for STEP:

  1. Discovery Phase (December 2014 through early January 2015): The working group reviewed existing feature requests, jiras, and unmerged patches to determine the scope of the STEP effort and decide which items to be targeted for development.
    1. List of targeted enhancements was narrowed down to 10 items to put out for bid
  2. Vendor Selection (January-February 2015): Developers and/or Sakai Commercial Affiliates had an opportunity to bid on the development work outlined by the STEP working group.
    1. Flying Kite was selected as the developer for this project. 
    2. The following 6 items from our list were contracted for development. These items are listed in order of priority, with the top priority items to be completed first, and items further down the list pending development funds available.
      1.  Note: We hope to get some or all of these into Sakai 11, time permitting.

        1. SAM-1408 - allows instructors to have custom settings for users/groups on an assessment, better support for students with disabilities requiring additional time on tests
        2. SAM-1263 - hotspot question type, QTI issue to be addressed
        3. SAM-1369 - allows instructors to have a better idea of user activity and retakes allowed within T&Q, supports future analytics
        4. SAM-1262 - Email template service migration, supports internationalization
        5. SAM-2419 - More flexible FIB templating (workaround for curly brackets in question text supported in FCKEditor is no longer available in CKEditor)
        6. SAM-1596 - improved image handling for questions within question pools

  3. Development and QA Process (late May through June 2015): The development, testing, and merging of features will take place during this window.
  4. Showcase STEP Improvements (June 2015): We plan to showcase the new Samigo features selected for development through STEP at the Open Apereo Conference in early June.
  5. New Samigo Features Included in Sakai: Completed project work will be included in the Core Sakai Community Release. The timing of this is dependent upon the overall Sakai QA and release timeline, but we are currently projecting that some or all of the STEP items could potentially be included in the Sakai 11 release.

STEP has outlined a fairly aggressive timeline, and we plan to showcase the STEP progress at the Open Apereo 2015 conference in June. Between now and June 2015, the STEP team will also be communicating periodic updates to the Sakai community through the regular Teaching & Learning meetings. If you have questions or would like to know more, please keep an eye out for STEP updates on the T&L agenda.

There was also a recent webinar on STEP. You may view the webinar recording on YouTube for additional information about the project.

A list of individuals involved with the project is included below. If you are interested in participating, please contact

NameEmailContribution area of interest
Neal Caidinneal.caidin@apereo.orgWorking group
Wilma Hodgeswilma@longsight.comWorking group
Martin Ramsay Working group
Jim Mezzanotte Working group
David Bauer Working group
Laura Gekelerlgekeler@nd.eduWorking group
Jose Mariano Lujan Gonzalez Working group
Ana Sabina Del Rey Carrion Feature selection
Rob Keeney QA testing
Jennifer Loudiana Usability testing
Octavia Baker  
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