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  • 9-24-2008 Conference Call


About Sakai

Sakai is an online Collaboration and Learning Environment. Many users of Sakai deploy it to support teaching and learning, ad hoc group collaboration, support for portfolios and research collaboration.

Sakai is a free and open source product that is built and maintained by the Sakai community. Sakai's development model is called "Community Source" because many of the developers creating Sakai are drawn from the "community" of organizations that have adopted and are using Sakai.

The Sakai Foundation

The Sakai Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the continuing development of Sakai and the Sakai community and to insuring Sakai's long-term viability.

The Foundation employs a small staff that focuses on coordinating activities, including a full-time Executive Director who manages the daily operation of the foundation. Sakai staff provides coordination across a number of activities including project management, quality assurance, release management and conference planning.

The Sakai Foundation is supported by voluntary partner contributions. The Sakai Partners elect the Sakai Foundation Board of Directors, which provides the strategic leadership for the Sakai Foundation.

For more information about Sakai, visit

About the Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award

The Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award (TWSIA) is a worldwide contest between instructors from institutions who use Sakai as a learning management system. The major goals of the TWSIA are the following:

  • To promote good pedagogy and innovation in teaching and learning with technology;
  • To share teaching and learning practices worth replicating;
  • To get more instructors involved in the Sakai community.

Initiated at the 8 th Sakai Conference in Newport Beach, California, in December 2007, The Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award is organized and supported by the Teaching and Learning group of the Sakai community, a geographically dispersed community of practice composed of managers, faculty, instructional technologists, and web designers who voluntarily devote time and energy to build awareness and promote the needs of instructors who are using Sakai. Last year’s award, which was the first,, was a huge success, gathering submissions ranging from K-12 instructors to graduate university faculty from around the world..

The two winners were invited to the 9 th Sakai Conference in Paris, France, where they gave a keynote presentation of their award-winning courses. Considered a highlight of the conference, Aileen Huang-Saad from the University of Michigan, United States, and Salim Nakhjavani from University of Cape Town, South Africa, spoke enthusiastically about how the Sakai collaborative and learning environment gave them the opportunity to take the learning experience of their students to the next level.

The associated press release was picked-up by 157 outlets, including Campus Technology,, and numerous bloggers from across the world, reaching a combined audience of almost five million people.

2008 Winners’ Profiles

"The Sakai platform was critical to the success of my class, and I am grateful to have had such a diverse platform readily available. In particular, the wiki tool was crucial for developing class-based concept design documents, challenging students to evolve their ideas in and outside of class.”

Dr. Aileen Huang-Saad

First place award winner:
Dr. Aileen Huang-Saad, University of Michigan

Course: Biomedical Engineering Graduate Innovative Design.

Dr. Huang-Saad’s course is a two semester course that encourages innovative design in biomedical engineering. It is an interactive course that stimulates students to explore their own solutions to biomedical challenges. Students experience the entire spectrum of innovative design, from concept inception to prototype design. It challenges students to learn about the current state of the art, explore technical need for current challenges, and brainstorm new solutions with members of the medical community.

This first semester is dedicated to understanding the current state of the art, and formulation of ideas and design teams. The two fundamental canons of the first semester are self-assembly and self-selection. The second semester is dedicated to the actual development of the prototype. The three main components of the second semester are design, critical review and a medical technology commercialization guest lecture series. Students are encouraged to participate in national and local design and business competitions throughout the year. Successful designs compete to represent the University of Michigan in a national design competition by the end of the second semester.

"I am humbled to have received this award for what was truly a collaborative effort between academic lawyers, educational technology specialists and students at the University of Cape Town. I hope that this recognition of African innovation on the international stage would encourage others to use Sakai in ways that bridge rather than deepen the digital divide."

Mr. Salim Nakhjavani

Second place award winner:
Mr. Salim Nakhjavani, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Course: International Law, and its related Inkundla yeHlabathi/ World Forum Simulation.

Under South Africa's democratic, constitutional order, training in international law is as vital for domestic legal practice as for work with international and regional organisations such as the United Nations or the African Union. In the preliminary year of the Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) - year 2 of 4 in the undergraduate stream and year 1 of 3 in the postgraduate stream - students are required to complete a compulsory, introductory course in international law. This course is animated by the tension between the classical, state-centered model of the international legal system and concepts such as international human rights, individual criminal responsibility and the common heritage of humanity which are challenging and reshaping the international legal landscape. Topics covered include the sources of international law, international legal personality, the relationship between domestic law and international law, rights to territory, water, air and space, State jurisdiction; the regime of state responsibility, the settlement of disputes; the use of force, the United Nations, the African Union and the influence of international human rights on South African constitutional interpretation.

The course is accompanied by an innovative tutorial simulation known as Inkundla yeHlabathi (World Forum), in which students learn to apply the rules and methods of international law by simulating the work of legal advisers to ten African States.

The course is delivered through a combination of formal, doctrinal lectures, small-group tutorials and the Inkundla yeHlabathi simulation. A compilation of cases and materials, the e-casebook, is made available to students both online and on CD-ROM for offline use. The University of Cape Town implementation of Sakai (known locally as Vula) is central to teaching and learning in this course.

Profile of the Sakai Community

From the very beginning, Sakai established a strong presence in higher education, but is now in use in K-12 schools, in corporations and government, and for collaboration and research purposes. As of July 2008, there were 160 production and 140 pilot deployments of Sakai. A large part of the community is in North America, but the number of international Sakai partners has been growing steadily.


Sponsorship Levels

Leader Level Sponsorship (one)


Sponsorship Value (US Dollars)

  • Executive-level participation in the judging and selection process
  • Permission to place the TWSIA award logo on your company web site with information regarding winners (e.g. proud sponsor of the TWSIA...)
  • Your name associated with the first place prize at Sakai conferences. (The 2009 TWSIA, sponsored by ___).
  • Your participation highlighted in press releases from the Sakai Foundation (for example, one announcing the award, another announcing the winners)
  • Your name and logo with a link to a web page of your choice on the TWSIA call for submissions page.
  • Your logo prominently on the TWSIA flyer.
  • Your logo prominently on the TWSIA poster.
  • Your company name and logo on a slide at the opening remarks of the next Sakai conference and a mention of your contribution by the executive director of the Sakai Foundation.
  • The opportunity to present your products/services during a poster session at the next Sakai Conference.
  • Your company name on any plaque, certificate, or trophy given to participants and winners of the award.
  • Sign to place at vendor booths noting sponsorship of the TWSIA




Supporter Level Sponsorship (maximum of four):


Sponsorship Value (US Dollars)

  • Your company name in partnership with another sponsor associated with the second place prize (the second place award, sponsored by ___ and ___)
  • Your company name and logo (without links to web pages) on the TWSIA call for submissions page.
  • Your logo on the TWSIA flyer.
  • Your logo on the TWSIA poster.
  • Your company name and logo on a slide at the opening remarks of the next Sakai conference and a mention of your contribution by the executive director of the Sakai Foundation.
  • Your company name on a plaque, certificate, or trophy given to the winner of the second place award.
  • Your participation highlighted in at least one press release from the Sakai Foundation (announcing the winners).




2009 TWSIA Tentative Budget


(US Dollars)

Certificates of participation


Travel costs for winners


Lodging costs for winners


Meals and other expenses for winners


Plaques/Trophy for winners





(US Dollars)

Required Sponsorship Contribution




Contact Us

If you need more information about your potential contribution to the TWSIA, please contact:

Josh Baron Susan Roig
Director, Academic Technology and eLearning, Marist College Director of Academic Technology, Claremont Graduate University
TWSIA Sponsorship Coordinator TWSIA Chair
845-575-3623 909-607-8412