On December 20th, 11am to 3pm, CSC Online will be upgraded from Sakai 10.5 to Sakai 11.4. This upgrade will bring CSC Online to the current version of Sakai which is supported by the developer community. Sakai 11 offers many exciting improvements for Chadron State College faculty and students.
Improvements in Sakai 11
- Mobile User Experience – Completely mobile friendly with no need to install an app. Students and faculty may use, access, prepare, and submit coursework using any major mobile browser. Learning on the go has never been easier for CSC Online students!
- Modern User Interface – Revamped user interface with a new modern look-and-feel.
- Lessons Tool Improvements – Many updates for all users, including responsive design for mobile devices and new page layout options.
- Content Package Import – Quickly migrate content from Modules to Lessons.
- Gradebook NG – A brand new Gradebook provides a new and efficient grading experience for faculty. Complete your grading directly in a spreadsheet style interface. The old Gradebook will continue to be available.
- Accessibility Compliance – Includes several updates fulfilling the most recent accessibility standards.
- Performance and Stability – 3000+ bug fixes and system improvements. Sakai 11.0 was released in July 2016, and 11.4 was released in June 2017 (11.4).
Learn More: Webinar – “What’s New in Sakai 11”
Learn More: Lessons Tool Workshop
In addition to the webinars, the TLC’s Elizabeth Ledbetter will conduct a hands-on TLC Workshop, Course Design Using Lessons in CSC Online focused on the Lessons tool. Learn how to effectively utilize the Lessons tool to organize your course content for enhanced teaching and learning. Participants will also learn how to use the new import functions to quickly migrate content from Modules (old lessons).
This workshop is offered:
- Tuesday, Nov 21 @ 2:00 – 3:00 pm: Register for this session
- Wednesday, Nov 22 @ 10:00 – 11:00 am: Register for this session
- Thursday, Nov 30 @ 3:30 – 4:30 pm: Register for this session
On August 7th, 2017 CSC Online (Sakai) will switch to using CSC’s Single Sign On (SSO) authentication service. Prior to this date, CSC Online required a unique password. After August 7th, all faculty members, students, and staff will sign into CSC Online with their CSC Campus Credentials.
Campus credentials are used to sign into the following systems:
- Office365 (includes Email, Sharepoint, Skype for Business, Word Online)
- CSC Online (Sakai)
- Campus computers
*Tk20 username is email without @eagles.csc.edu
Instructions for Logging into CSC Online
2. Click the CSC Login button, which opens the CSC Single Sign On page.
3. Enter your full email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and password, then click the Sign In button. You will be redirected back to CSC Online as a logged in user.
Why did CSC make this change?
Teaching & Learning Technologies and Information Technology staff launched this project with the following 3 goals in mind:
- Improve the user experience for students, faculty and staff
- Increase the security of CSC’s technology systems and services
- Maintain a high level of service availability
Improve User Experience — based on help desk reporting, the most common support request are password-related issues. From the perspective of many students and incoming faculty, SSO is commonplace as many institutions have already implemented SSO policies and services. Adding CSC Online to the growing list of SSO-capable services is a step forward in creating a better experience for faculty and students to teach and learn with technology.
Increase Security — with SSO, the security of our user’s credentials and data is improved by enforcing password policies, and ensuring that all authentication is routed through CSC’s secure login service. Per security industry publications, single sign-on improves account security by eliminating areas a password can be compromised. It also allows users to choose one strong password for multiple services, rather than using multiple weak passwords which are easier to remember.
Maintain Service Availability – the most common arguments against implementing SSO for CSC Online is related to the availability of the LMS when the sign-on service is experiencing problems. In the past several years, many improvements have been made to increase the reliability of CSC’s login service by implementing connection redundancy and backups. Additionally, the technologies powering SSO have improved greatly.
Based on these 3 goals, this project has resulted in a great opportunity to improve the services supporting our student and faculty experiences at CSC.
CSC Online instructors often receive requests to provide students with accommodations for extended testing times. This article reviews the process for setting up an assessment for special accommodations in the Test & Quizzes tool and provides information about student access.
There are three key steps to remember:
- Create a unique group in Site Info
- Duplicate the original test
- Release the duplicate test for the unique group
General procedure for accommodation requests
- In Site Info > select Manage Groups
- Create a new group and add the student(s) requiring accommodation
Important – Do not identify the student’s name or the purpose of the group in the group title!
- Select “Add” to save the new group
- Open Tests & Quizzes > Working Copies
- Create a Duplicate of the original assessment (Actions > Duplicate)
- Confirm assessment duplication
- Open the COPIED assessment settings
- Release the assessment for only the group created in Step 1 (Change “assessment released to” > Selected Groups and check the group.
- Edit settings as required by the accommodation request (e.g., set time limit to allow additional time)
- Modify assessment title (expand the “About this assessment” section and edit title text)
- Expand the “Grading & Feedback” section and select “none” under Gradebook options. This will prevent duplicate Gradebook entries ***.
***If you publish the duplicated exam without modifying the gradebook settings, there will be two gradebook entries for the same exam. Selecting the “none” option to not send the scores of the duplicated exam will allow you to keep student(s) with accommodations in the same Gradebook entry as the other students. After the student with accommodations submits the duplicate exam, manually view that student’s exam score and adjust the score in the original exam to match. This is optional, but helps keep a manageable gradebook for instructors and students.
Important information about how all students see the exams and groups
After following the general procedure, only the student with accommodations will see the duplicate exam and the related Gradebook entries (if applicable). However, the student with accommodations will also see the original exam. The instructor MUST communicate to the student which exam version to take. Additionally, other students will be able to see the group title and membership (but not the duplicate exam or gradebook entries). Ensure that the group title is generic, and not descriptive of the purpose it serves or the group membership.
There are two alternative methods which will ensure that the student with accommodations will only see his or her own exam. However, these methods are much more diffictult to properly manage, and are not recommended unless required by specific circumstances.
- Create two groups (one with the accommodations student, the other with the rest of the class). This is not recommended since the instructor must update the large group every time a student is added to the course.
- The second alternative for providing accommodations is by setting up a separate course site for the student. This will prevent other students from seeing the group and keep the exams separate for the student with accommodations. This method is reserved for special circumstances in which the general procedure will not apply.
Screencast of procedure (no audio)
For further information about any of the topics covered in this article, please contact the Teaching & Learning Center staff at email@example.com.
Support articles for several frequently asked questions are provided below:
- How do I copy my content from one site to another?
- How do I choose which tools will be available in my course?
- How do I hide, rearrange, or rename the items in the Tool Menu?
- How do I use the Lessons tool?
Please refer to the Sakai 10 Instructor Guide for additional support. The guide is also accessible from the Help menu item, or by clicking the blue help icon (?) in the top-right of any Sakai tool.
Many CSC Online-Sakai instructors are familiar with the pre-configured External Tools available to all online courses such as TurnItIn and the EBSCO Reading List. However, a vast array of educational applications are available which offer integration capabilities with CSC’s learning management system (LMS). The Teaching & Learning Center encourages the exploration and trial of new technology in teaching, and past experience has shown that integration with CSC Online can be the key to successfully launching a new learning tool. This article will discuss the background of Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) integration and how to get started using it with External Tools in CSC Online.
What Are External (LTI) Tools?
External Tools utilize the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard, which allows for simple and secure integration with external applications. The LTI protocol provides a method for the LMS to securely send user names, email addresses, user roles, and other course information to the external application.
Educational applications may use LTI integration in a wide variety of ways. Some apps may only use LTI to send the student’s name and role to the application to avoid requiring the student to log in. Other applications may directly integrate with the CSC Online Gradebook, allowing instructors to score student activities in an external application.
Using External Tools in a CSC Online Course
All course instructors have the ability to add External Tools to CSC Online courses. While an External Tool may be added and configured for any individual site by an instructor (without admin approval), some commonly used tools have been made available system-wide and may be added without additional configuration (ie. TurnItIn).
However, often times an instructor may want to test and use an external app in a course utilizing LTI integration. Fortunately, all instructors have the ability to add an External Tool without requiring the LMS administrator to make it available for all CSC Online courses. External Tools are added in Site Info > Edit Tools > External Tools. Once the tool is added, follow these instructions to configure the tool with the launch URL, secret and key provided by the publisher.
Example Applications With LTI Support
Many existing educational applications and tools contain an LTI integration component. Below are three examples to try out:
Office Mix is a free PowerPoint plug-in that provides tools for narrating, annotating, and creating interactive content such as polls within a presentation. Content created with Office Mix (referred to as Mixes) may be uploaded and shared within the Office Mix web application. While Office Mix may be used independently of the LMS, it offers an LTI integration to allow instructors to easily share Mixes in a course and track student participation. Interested in learning more about this application? Sign up for the TLC workshop offered in March 2017, Geared to Engage Students in Learning: A Simple Way to Add Interactive Content to Your Course.
Piazza is a wiki-style Q&A platform that may be used to foster strong peer (student-to-student) learning in an online class. It works by allowing students to ask and answer questions in real-time. Instructors may join in, or simply guide the conversation with endorsements and other feedback tools. Piazza can be used successfully without integrating with CSC Online. However, to avoid manually adding and requiring students to log in, the application offers a complete LTI integration (instructions here for a sample Sakai integration).
OneNote Class Notebook provides an easy way to launch a OneNote notebook for all participants of a course. A class notebook can provide a flexible space for organizing notes, collaborating on assignments, or providing real-time feedback on student work. The LTI integration will automatically add students to the notebook and provide access from within an online course.
Discovering More LTI Apps
These examples provide only a brief introduction to the variety of applications that are utilizing LTI to integrate with online learning systems. To discover more apps, browse through the IMS LTI Product Directory and the EduAppCenter collection of LTI apps.
Please contact the Teaching & Learning Center (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information about LTI, External Tools, and to discuss piloting a new application integration in your courses.
In this digital age of inbox-filling emails and pocket-buzzing instant messages, the human voice is often silent behind walls of text displayed on a screen. In an online course, a student’s individual contribution may be weighed more in terms of paragraphs typed rather than the depth of ideas discussed. As an instructor assesses student work, finding the best balance between number of words typed versus concepts the student absorbs can become a challenge. In these cases, encouraging asynchronous voice conversations through audio feedback may provide an element of warmth, sometimes missing in online course interactions. Fortunately, an easy-to-use tool for these tasks is ready to use in CSC Online-Sakai.
The Record Audio Clip function is found in the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), or rich text editor anywhere the option to type text is available in course sites. A microphone button is nestled in the text editor toolbar. Hover over the button to reveal a tool-tip displaying “Record Audio Clip.”
The first time you use the Record Audio Clip function, your browser may prompt for permission to use the computer’s microphone. This access must be allowed before you will be able to use the Record Audio feature. Below is an example of this permission alert in the Chrome browser.
Once permission is granted, click the Start Recording button to begin recording your audio message. When finished, click Stop Recording. Once your audio is recorded the Preview Recording and Post Recording options are displayed. A posted recording appears as a large placeholder in the WYSIWYG editor and as a small audio player in the published text. Continue editing your post by typing text around the recording and previewing to see how the audio clip will appear to others. Listen to an audio clip recorded by another user by clicking the Play button in the audio player displayed.
All members of a CSC Online-Sakai site, including students, have the ability to quickly record and post audio. This convenience makes audio recording a useful teaching tool in all areas of an online or blended class. Course forum discussions can become asynchronous voice conversations, allowing students to explain ideas, demonstrate their learning, and share thoughts in a more nuanced manner than typed posts may convey. Students may also benefit from the warm audio feedback from their instructors on graded assignments, test answers, and/or forum conversations.
Once the Record Audio function has been mastered, take a look at the Meetings tool, a class-contained option for face-to-face communication.
For more assistance with CSC Online-Sakai or any of the technologies highlighted in this article, contact the Teaching & Learning Center staff at email@example.com.
Updated – 5/6/16
We’ve been made aware of some confusion or concern regarding this article. Please allow me to help clarify some of the major points. I will continue to update the article as new questions are raised.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Wait, what’s happening?!
- The Modules tool will eventually be removed from Sakai. It has not been actively supported by the community since 2014. We want to get started training people on Lessons and moving content away from Modules before it goes away completely.
- What is Lessons and Modules? The titles are confusing and were changed recently.
- Modules is a Sakai tool that was called Lessons prior to the Sakai 10 upgrade in March. The majority of courses taught in Sakai still use Modules to display course lesson plans.
- Lessons is the tool that was previously called Lessons Builder prior to the upgrade. In other words, before March 2016, you were calling the Modules tool “Lessons” and the Lessons tool was called “Lessons Builder”.
- This was a confusing, but very necessary change, to upgrade CSC Online to the community supported version of Sakai.
- What will faculty (course owners) need to do?
- All content that is currently in Modules will eventually need to be moved to the Lessons tool. Faculty will be responsible for moving their content, however, we will release a conversion tool and support documents to make this easier.
- How long do we have?
- We are hoping to accomplish this before August 2017.
- What happens after August 2017?
- After August 2017, the Lessons tool will be completely used in place of Modules. The Modules tool will still remain in the system for the time-being (for archival purposes), however it will be removed when CSC Online is upgraded to Sakai 11.
- Is this another name change?
- No, we are abandoning Modules and moving to Lessons, these are two separate tools.
- How do we transfer content before course shells are created?
- Fall course shells are planned to be created in June each year, Spring shells in October.
- For courses taught on rotation or other non-active sites, instructors may need to work in the most recent version of the course to move content from Modules to Lessons. This way, Lessons will be ready to import into the active shell when the time comes.
— Original Article —
The next critical step in our on-going initiative to improve CSC Online is abandoning the Modules tool. We are turning our attention to the Lessons tool (formerly known as Lessons Builder) which is actively supported by the Sakai developer community. Lessons provides a much-improved student learning experience and allows instructors to present course content in a more organized way. Currently, several faculty and adjunct instructors are successfully using this tool to teach courses in CSC Online-Sakai.
By August 1, 2017, all CSC Online courses must exclusively use the Lessons tool. On this date, the Modules tool will no longer be available. CSC faculty members play an important part in this transition, and we request their assistance to successfully make this change.
In the coming weeks, the TLC will provide tools and resources to help course owners and instructors migrate content from Modules to Lessons and archive all other vital content. Watch for several announcements regarding tools and resources for migrating/archiving Modules content as well as training on the new Lessons tool features. Many of these tools and resources are courtesy of the past hard work contributed by Sakai community members.
Listed below are three resources to help get started using Lessons (links open in new tab):
- Longsight: Sakai Instructor Guide – Lessons
- Duke University: Getting started with the Lessons tool
- Sakai Project Confluence: Lessons features and specifications
The timeline for completing the migration from Modules to Lessons follows:
|Description of Goal||
|Training and consultations on the Lessons tool (Lessons Builder) and migrating course content from the Modules tool||
Offered Continuously (TBA)
May 2016 – July 2017
|Active term courses are using Lessons||
|Lessons will replace Modules as the default tool in Sakai shells (but will continue to work in past term courses)||
Prior to Summer 2017
|Modules content archived in all courses (past and current terms)||
|Modules tool no longer available as a tool option in Sakai sites||
|Modules is removed from the system||
Prior to Sakai 11 Upgrade (TBA)
For questions about the migration away from Modules, or other CSC Online – Sakai topics, contact the Teaching and Learning Center IT specialist Sam Ballard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 432-7089.
Thanks to a recent upgrade, CSC Online-Sakai is now powered by one of the most actively developed open-source learning management system (LMS) platforms available. On March 7th, between 6am and 2pm, CSC’s LMS hosting partner, Longsight, successfully moved the CSC Online codebase to the community version of Sakai v10.5. As online programs grow at CSC, the technology supporting them must also grow. This upgrade was an important step in providing a stable and economically sustainable online learning platform. A huge thanks to all faculty, staff, and students for bearing with us as we completed this major upgrade and for providing valuable feedback.
Moving a heavily used, hosted application to a new codebase and software version is no small feat. The project requires many hours of planning and testing. The goal in any major application platform update is to identify and fix all major issues before the new software instance is launched to end users. In this regard, the March 7th upgrade was a resounding success. However, there were several minor issues; these were reported and swiftly resolved (within 12-48 hours in almost all cases) in the days immediately following the upgrade.
With application updates come new opportunities to make the experience better for all users. This experience is extended to the CSC Online-Sakai students in the form of building more engaging courses with better tools. Some of the new features offered in Sakai 10 were discussed in a previous blog post. Additionally, Longsight offers extensive documentation and tutorials covering all features and tools available for instructors to use in Sakai. All faculty are encouraged to read the Sakai 10 Instructor Guide.
The TLC will continue to coordinate rolling updates and improvements to CSC Online-Sakai in a timely manner. A rolling (non-disruptive) incremental update to Sakai 10.6 is planned for the near future and will provide approximately 100 bug fixes and enhancements. Since this is an incremental update, users will not experience downtime. For more details about Sakai 10.6 and a list of all improvements visit the Apereo Sakai 10.6 release webpage.
As an added benefit to aligning CSC Online’s Sakai instance with the community codebase, we are able to track changes and find out about current developments within the Sakai community. For example, see what’s planned for Sakai 10.7.
Thanks to the update, the TLC is actively working to include several commonly requested vendor integrations including EBSCO Curriculum Builder, McGraw Hill Campus/Connect, and Cengage products. Additional details on these integrations are forthcoming.
As always, contact Sam Ballard in the TLC at email@example.com or 308-432-7089 with any questions about CSC Online.
As an online instructor in Sakai, you may often need to add additional faculty or staff members to your courses. As the site owner, you have the ability to make these changes yourself—without contacting the Sakai administrator.
For instance, you may need to add a colleague to your course in order to team teach or share content. Additionally, you may need to add staff members, such as teaching assistants or course designers, to assist with managing your course. The step-by-step instructions below make the process quick and easy. Read Full Post
The learning management system (LMS) will be offline for the day so that it can be upgraded. Two changes will be made during the maintenance window. First, CSC will be moved to the community release of Sakai; second, Sakai will be updated to version 10.5. These changes are integral to improved performance and will be completed in one, comprehensive upgrade. Read Full Post