Sakai Course Homepages and Tools

Each course may use different tools from other courses, but below we will briefly cover the most basic tools for students that are available in most courses.

Viewing and opening files in syllabus

When you click Syllabus in the menu bar, you will see a list of the materials related to Syllabus. To view the syllabus, click the name of the syllabus. If it is a Word or PDF file, it will open the document in the relevant application.

Viewing and opening files in resources

When you click Resources in the menu bar, you will see a list of the site’s resources and folders containing resources. You can then do the following to browse through the available material:

To view a resource, click the name of the resource, or the icon next to it. You may need to agree to a copyright statement, and then you will see the resource.
To view the contents of a folder, click the folder icon next to the folder name or the name itself to open it, or click the black arrows to the left of “Title” to expand all the folders (i.e., make their contents visible).

You can navigate between resources and folders using the “Location:” path above the resource list; simply click a folder name in the path to go to that folder. You can also click the icon of a folder with an arrow in it to go up one level.

You can sort the resources by title (click Title), resource creator (click Created by), date last modified (click Modified), or size (click Size). To reverse the order, click any of these links again.

Announcements tool

The Announcements tool allows you to view course related information posted by your instructor or instructor-level participants in an easily navigable list. The information contained under the announcements tool should be the same as that displayed under the announcements section of the course home page. Announcements for each site to which a user belongs will be displayed when they first long in and access their “My Workspace” site as well.

Schedule tool

Similar to the Announcements tool, the Schedule tool organizes a calendar of events for each class that is displayed on the course home page. Clicking on the Schedule tool allows one to view the calendar of events for specific dates and date ranges. Calendar items for each site to which a user belongs will be displayed when they first long in and access their “My Workspace” site as well.

Assignments tool

The Assignments tool provides a list of assignments that have been released by the course instructor or instructor-level participants. These assignments can also be integrated with the course calendar and will appear in the course and individual calendars if designated by your instructor. Assignment types and activities vary. Follow your instructor’s direction in completing each assignment.

Drop Box tool

The Drop Box tool for each course provides a secure location for students to submit electronic files. The Drop Box location is also linked from a student’s My Workspace under the Resources tool and clicking “Show other sites.” Here you will find links to all drop box and resource locations to which you belong.

Forums tool

Site participants can post replies to a topic (a “flat” discussion) or to other replies (a “threaded” discussion). A site’s owner can also choose whether or not to allow site participants to post their own discussion topics.

Categories are the top level in the Discussion tool. Topics appear under the categories, and replies appear grouped with the appropriate topic.

Replying to a Forum item

To reply to a Forum item (e.g., topic or reply), follow these steps:

In your site’s menu bar, click Forum.

From the list of discussion topics, click the title of the topic or post to which you would like to reply. A green arrow will appear to the left of the item to indicate it’s the one you’ve selected and it will open at the bottom of the page.

Use the black arrows on the left to expand and collapse discussion items. If you click an arrow pointing right, you will expand the item to view topics and/or replies. Click a downward-pointing arrow to collapse a list.

Click Reply to Message or Reply to Topic (you may need to scroll down to see the Reply button).

Complete the “New Reply” form; required fields are marked with an asterisk.
If you would like to add an attachment, follow these steps:
Click Add attachments.

Forum attachments

You can add any number of attachments, and they can be any combination of local files, websites, and resources:

To attach a local file from your computer, under “Upload local file”, click Browse, find the file, select it, and click Open.

Note: When attaching a file, you must include the file’s extension (e.g., .gif, .doc, .html, or .jpg) so it is viewable to others.

When you’ve selected all the items you want to attach, click Finish.

Using the buttons at the bottom of the screen, you can post your reply (Add Reply), preview it (Preview), save it as a draft (Save Draft), or cancel your posting (Cancel).

Deleting a Forum item

The absence of a trash can icon means that you do not have permission to delete a forum item. Only site maintainers, instructors, and others with special permissions can delete forum items.

Posting a discussion topic or reply previously saved as a draft

To post a discussion item (e.g., topic or reply) that you previously saved as a draft, follow these steps:

In your site’s menu bar, click Forum.

In the list of Forum items, click the black triangles to expand the categories and topics as needed. Find your draft posting, which will have “Draft -” in front of the title and will occupy the same place in the forum hierarchy as the eventual posting.

Click the draft title to open the message.

Make any necessary edits and then click Add Reply. You will be able to tell it was posted because the title will no longer have “Draft-” in front of it.

My Workspace