Sakai Learning Management System

We are now moving into our fifth year with the Sakai LMS. We continue to see an increase in faculty, staff and student usage each year. We updated the system back in the later part of Spring 2011. We plan to update it again in May 2012.

For those of you who do not use Sakai, I urge you to consider the benefits. Sakai will store your syllabus in a convenient online location. How many times have you heard students say that they lost their syllabus? With Sakai, just upload it once and it will remain there for student access; no more printing copy after copy. You can also share information with your students such as websites, articles, PowerPoint, You Tube videos, and much more by using the Resource tool for storage. Create an assignment, give tests and quizzes, make announcements and use the discussion board or email tool in Sakai. It offers many possibilities to enhance the student learning experience.

For faculty wanting assistance in integrating your pedagogy with Sakai, I’d be delighted to help you. Simply load your learning content and material into a USB drive, CD, or store it onto your M: drive. Once the material is stored, we can work together to successfully move the information to the Sakai interface.

Teaching Classes Online

Some of you may be gearing up to teach an online course for the first time, and could be experiencing some apprehension. Never fear! I can help you eliminate any concerns with several tips to help you create an effective online learning experience. Feel free to make an appointment to meet with me one-on-one and we can discuss your specific needs and explore some options for enhancing your online classroom. The following link can help you get started:  http://www.shepherd.edu/ctl/instructional_tech/asychronous-discussions.mov

We will be offering a professional development opportunity in Summer 2012. I have created a quick “course” you may take to help fully prepare you for the online teaching experience.  After participating in this course you will receive a certificate. Please contact me at llewis@shepherd.edu or x5059 to get started.

Techshop Series

The CTL has developed a series of workshops designed to train faculty and staff in various technologies. Offered every other Tuesday and Wednesday, Techshops are designed to increase technology usage, awareness, and knowledge on campus. This program coincides with the university’s strategic plan to implement 21st century technologies into the campus culture. Techshops train faculty and staff on various technologies to augment their classroom and work area, including SAKAI, Microsoft Office, SMART Technologies, Turnitin, blogging and the Sakai discussion forum tool. These hands-on workshops can help you learn something new and easily applicable in under an hour; stay tuned for an announcement of the fall Techshop schedule.

Other Exciting Endeavors

We are developing a University iTunes account which will be used to enhance video and podcasting capabilities. At this stage, we are writing code so that Sakai and University iTunes can communicate with one another, enabling the end user to log on to Sakai and upload class material. Faculty will be able to use video and podcasting technology to promote assignments, homework, lecture, commercials, etc. Please stay tuned for more information and updates.