Sakai Learning Management System
Sakai has been a great enhancement to teaching and learning here at Shepherd University. We have had a great deal of positive feedback from those using Sakai. Moving into our fourth year with this LMS, we continue to see an increase in faculty, staff and student usage each year. Please note that an update to Sakai 2.7.1 will be performed on May 10th, 2011, which will help provide a more user-friendly (and aesthetically pleasing!) LMS.
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
For those of you looking for a professional development opportunity this summer, I have created a quick “course” you may take to help fully prepare you for the online teaching experience. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or x5396 to get started.
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. Our goal is to have this technology readily available by fall 2011. Please stay tuned for more information and updates.
Welcome Jun Yin!
Jun joins the CTL as our new java programmer. She is writing computer code to enhance Sakai operations for our students and faculty. We’re thrilled to have her on board and invite you to stop by and say hello (155 Scarborough Library).