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This 1 hour session is modelled after the popular Britisch TV show “Dragons’ Den” in which entrepreneurs pitch their business idea in order to secure investment finance from a panel of venture capitalists.

The main purpose of this session is to share a large number of tool ideas for the next version of Sakai with a broad audience in a short amount of time. This could stimulate parties interested in similar projects to collaborate and work together to implement their ideas. 

Session format

The session leader introduces the format of the session to the audience and explain their role is to view the pitches from a venture capitalist perspective (aka Dragons/Sakaigers).

Each pitcher has only 3 minutes to present their idea for the next version of Sakai. The idea could be an existing tool (that maybe needs additional work to make it of interest to the larger community), a tool under development or just an idea for a new tool. The pitcher should use one or two slides to get his idea accross to the audience. During the presentation the pitcher should make clear to the audience what he needs from the community (for instance development/QA resources, a technical review or maybe just some positive feedback).

At the end of the two minute pitch the audience can ask 3 questions to clarify why anyone would be interested in the presented functionality and how they could collaborate with the pitcher. In total the pitch including the round of questions should take no more than 5 minutes.

When all presentations have finished the audience is invited to play their role as venture capitalists and use monopoly money to indicate which idea they liked best. They can either spend all their money on one idea or devide the money among multiple ideas. 

Posters depicting each idea are hung up in a corner of the room and are accompanied by a jar in which the audience can donate their investment. Members of the audience that really would like to collaborate with the pitcher have an opportunity to hook up.

Euro Sakai 2013 pitches

The following pitches were delivered at the Euro Sakai conference in Paris. The audience voted for the best pitch with virtual capital and the clear winner of this edition was Jaeques Koeman's pitch about Sakai as a MOOC platform.

NameTitle of pitchShort description of ideaWhat type of collaboration to you seek?Virtual investment secured
Jaeques KoemanSakai as a MOOC platform

The University of Amsterdam will offer a MOOC on Communication Science , starting February 20th. The platform used for the MOOC is based on Sakai 2.9 and developed by Edia.

The potential problem for universities with offering MOOCs on commercial platform is that they lose control of what happens with the user information, course content and data that can for example be used for learning analytics. Having an open source MOOC platform will form an alternative for institutions to commercial platforms, as a means to control their own destiny and to jointly develop new tooling for both online education and research.

Edia has already developed a set of tools for creating a MOOC catalogue and automating the underlying administrative, registration and enrollment processes. Institutions can publish a MOOC offering and students can register within two clicks. Once the course starts, all registrants will be added to the designated course site automatically. The course itself uses standard Sakai tools such as the lesson builder, test & quizzes and forums.

The idea is to add and improve a number of functionalities in a relatively short time that will allow Sakai to be used as a competitive MOOC platform in the evolving MOOC ecology. Competitive in the sense that it can support new forms of massive online education with for example peer review, batch systems, and learning analytics. But also competitive in the sense that it is truly open in terms of technology and licensing. Both Sakai as a framework and the institutions using it will potentially gain a huge benefit from this idea.

We look for partners that can provide input in terms of functional and technical requirements for Sakai as a MOOC platform.

We look for institutions that have a stake in MOOCs and that are interested in pilots with the current Sakai MOOC functionality or that have funding/resources to extend and improve MOOC functionality, based on a community driven road map.

EUR 7730,-
Unknown User (aberg1)Experience API

Improve the quality of Learning Analytics data by adding the experience api to Sakai CLE (

Note: The experience api was previously called tincan api.

Joint Proof Of Concept. If successful, look to add the code to trunk.EUR 1000,-
Adam MarshallNew search tool
  • Replace current tool with something different (or just remove search tool entirely)
  • Develop a new Java API (prototype already written at Oxford). see
  • Place search box on every page (in portal)
  • Search this site - default
  • Search all documents I can access – option
  • Advanced search
  • Predefined weightings to title / description / meta data / content
  • See: SRCH-89 - Getting issue details... STATUS SRCH-98 - Getting issue details... STATUS SRCH-99 - Getting issue details... STATUS SRCH-111 - Getting issue details... STATUS SRCH-115 - Getting issue details... STATUS

What we need:

EUR 820,-
Adam MarshallRestore deleted files
  •   KNL-309 - Getting issue details... STATUS et al, “Kernel 1.4 tentative”
  • Has been there for years!
  • Recycle bin – can restore Resources
  • Resource purged after so-many days
  • Not in trunk due to no HSQLDB support?
    • But it is SO good!

What we need:

  • either commit to trunk now, or,
  • somebody to add HSQLDB & commit to trunk
EUR 700,-
David Roldán MartínezZipping site resources SAK-22779 - Getting issue details... STATUS TestingEUR 650,-
Neal CaidinAccessibility - get certified by the National Federation for the Blind

30 second video showing how accessibility works -

Making Accessibility improvements benefits everyone with a better interface. Analogy is that sidewalk curb-cuts are made for Accessibility, but they benefit us all (shopping carts, bicycles, etc).

Accessibility is the right thing to do. And it is becoming, or has become a baseline expectation for higher ed LMS systems.

Likely we would have an easy time getting "bronze" certification. We might stand a good chance of getting "gold" certifications.

Where do these certifications come from? NFB (National Federation for the Blind) and WCAG are two of the most well known.

What is the process? The groups charge money to perform an independent assessment. It is feasible we could get one of the two groups to do the assessment and simply paying the other will be sufficient to get both certifications.

Based on WCAG being more broadly accepted in Europe and based on some "word on the street" information as well, WCAG might be the place to start.


We will need money (how much, TBD) to pay for an outside organization to perform the audit. Also will need commitment from community resources to address issues that arise. It seems likely that the community has the resources to respond.


EUR 620,-
David Roldán Martínez & Diego del BlancoConditional release in Assignments & Samigo SAK-23141 - Getting issue details... STATUS Developing & TestingEUR 300,-
Diego del BlancoImprovements for Admin user in massive tasks Developing and/or TestingEUR 190,-
Jose Mariano Lujan & Juan José Meroño SánchezSakai + Open Badges

In order to move forward in terms of users experience inside Sakai and to provide instructos with a new "functionallity" to challenge and encourage students to participate more in their learning process, we think that badges should be introduced in Sakai. Sakai could be integrated with Mozilla Open Badges and act as an issuer of badges. The right place to hold those badges inside Sakai could be Profile2. More information about Mozilla Open Badges. Those badgets could lately be showed in other social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook...

This idea was pervisously discussed on the Sakai mailing list but we think that now is the time to go for it. It could be a cool new feature for next versions of Sakai.

Article from the NYTimes about badges and High Education.

  • Joing proof of concept and interest from the community
  • Bring the discussion alive
  • Developing
EUR 100,-
 Improved export of student assignments  EUR 20,-
Unknown User (aberg1)A community Mentoring process

Sakai CLE is at a mature stage with a slowly declining population of developers.

The community is full of organizations that have software engineer students. Why don't we provide learning events around the Sakai code base. Then find ways to mentor the best.

Proof Of Concept around targeted mentoring in the community.

Status: An event of one month with 60 students has occurred. Now looking at how to link this into building the developer part of the community.

Anyone interested in partnering up?

EUR 0,-
Juan José Meroño SánchezSakai Performance FrameworkProvide the community with an easy to use, deterministic load test framework that encourages regular CLE performance testing and early discovery of problem areas in the code.

What we need:

    • Performance testers interested in creating new JMeter tests and add into the framework.
    • Jenkins server to run nightly performance tests.
    • EUR 0,-


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  1. A MOOC workgroup has just been formed. For more info see Sakai MOOC