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.
A bit of background to set the stage: Sakai is an open-source software, which means it is actively developed by hundreds of institutions and commercial partners. The main branch of the Sakai codebase is referred to as the community release, and nearly all features and bug fixes are developed for this version of the software. CSC Online is currently running on a “custom fork” of Sakai 2.9, which was originally developed and supported by Asahi Net International (ANI). While the main branch of Sakai (the community release) has moved forward with vigor, support and development for the ANI fork has diminished completely.
This planned upgrade is important for 3 major reasons:
1) Moving to the community release will allow CSC staff and our hosting partner, Longsight, to properly support Sakai, as we will benefit from the collective development and support of the entire open-source community.
2) CSC staff and partners can be proactive in their approach to Sakai by gaining the ability to apply bug fixes and new upgrades as the community releases them (instead of reactively applying fixes when a problem occurs).
3) Users will benefit from the most stable and feature-filled version of Sakai currently available.
In short, CSC faculty, staff, and students will see dozens of new improvements and over 2,000 bug fixes.
While the overall look-and-feel of Sakai will not change, faculty and students will note a few nomenclature differences. Listed below are the tool name differences between the old version of Sakai (2.9) and the new, upgraded version (10.5).
|Old Sakai (2.9)||becomes||New Sakai (10.5)|
|Site Setup||becomes||Worksite Setup|
|Site Editor||becomes||Site Info|
What’s best about application upgrades are the new features. These include:
1) Drag-and-drop features to organize resources and expand ZIP course packs
2) Group assignments for students to submit assignments as a group with group grading
3) Additional text editing options
4) Improved peer-review assignment functions
5) New question types in quizzes: calculated questions, extended matching
6) Extra credit support in Gradebook
7) Improved integration capabilities for services such as Turnitin and McGraw Hill Connect
While it’s not a feature you can see, Sakai 10.5 includes multiple security updates.
The TLC will provide two presentations on the Sakai upgrade in early March. If you’re interested in attending, go ahead and mark your calendars:
Sakai 10 Upgrade Presentations
Tuesday, March 1, 3:30-4 pm, Library, Room 111
Wednesday, March 2, 3:30-4 pm, Library Room 111
Additional announcements will be made throughout the month of February, but if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact the TLC (firstname.lastname@example.org or 308.432.7068).