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https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/gJ/BF/AK6ZCESKKX9T.pngA flexible LMS that fit our needs and wantsSakai as an LMS is used across our organization. This includes all of our programs at all levels: from our fully online PhD program all the way down to individual courses taught in face to face contexts by our full-time and adjunct faculty instructors. Sakai provides course sites for every course based on the information provided in our student information system. While most of the use is for organizing and running courses, some departments use it to organize and hold meetings, store department-level documentation and to distribute and archive important communications. Providing a means of organizing course materials and documenting learning is a huge task for any institution or entity tasked with providing training or education to it's constituents, and Sakai does this. With assistance from instructional design professionals, course sites in Sakai become a place where student learning is documented, facilitated and archived - often for review by auditing entities for quality and adherence to industry level standards.,Sakai is flexible, providing a way for our customers (instructors) to customize their courses while staying in line with consistency and continuity of course design. This has allowed our courses to be far less cookie-cutter and stale. This is mostly accomplished through Sakai's LTI functionality and it's Lessons tool. This is particularly notable because not every course is the same, nor should it be. Our faculty and course developers can draw from OER resources, course text publisher assessment quiz banks and pull in content from sources from our library databases and services like YouTube. Sakai is customizable, allowing us to pair it with our student information system to automatically create and track with student registration data - including adding new students and removing students who have elected to drop a course. The customization features also include being able to create course templates for individual schools or courses using specific tools or sequences of tools as well as a way to personalize content for students when they engage with each lesson. Sakai is stable in the market. We have been using Sakai for almost 10 years and continue to see it improve; responding to changing trends in browser technologies, mobile platforms and accessibility requirements. Multiple programs offered over the years have been recognized by outside organizations like BestColleges.com for our programs and given high marks by students taking the courses offered in Sakai. Sakai allows our faculty to inform it's continued evolution. We work closely with the developers, having a front seat to how things can work and function for our faculty. There have been multiple occasions where faculty ask, "Can Sakai do this?" and the answer is never "No.",Sakai's assessment feature could be improved, streamlining and making the assessment function much more simplified. Assessment in any electronic format is complex, but the workflows dealing with assessment import, creation and management of assessment data could be improved or made to be more consistent. It is confusing, for example, that assessments are split between a "working" state and a "published" state. The gradebook or grade reporting feature in Sakai is somewhat clunky to use. While it does boast a spreadsheet look, feel and function, doing so in a browser window with multiple items and hundreds of students makes grading even for TAs difficult. Some of our instructors leverage the Classic gradebook instead of the newer interface because the view or function is more to their liking. Discussion forums or how conversations are managed can be a bit confusing with Sakai. Sakai provides multiple ways in which discussions can be organized - some of which are for large groups of students and some which are more confusing. The discussions area doesn't allow students to share images easily, to up 'vote' or 'recommend' certain posts or sections to peers. There's no way to badge or otherwise highlight certain levels of 'attainment' for students in discussions. It's also difficult to assign grades to discussions.,9,Sakai provided an alternative to other platforms that would have delayed the delivery of courses and full programs. Specific directives and initiatives were brought to bear from C level executives requiring delivery on an extremely tight budget. We have since been able to launch multiple programs, expand campuses and offer courses on a global scale. Using Sakai has meant students familiar with other platforms have had to learn how interacting with Sakai while similar, is different. We have needed to invest in creating instructional materials about the platform, provide training and instructional opportunities on best use and practice of not only Sakai but of how Sakai can be used with other tools and technologies. In some cases for instructors we've had to help them unlearn how processes work in other LMSs to recognize how they are different in Sakai. Sakai has provided greater ROI, where prior to using Sakai about half of our constituents were using an LMS, now more than 80% are doing so. Some of this has come about because of how Sakai works with our SIS, providing a consistent and available course site to every instructor for every course and section offered. It has also allowed us to contract with subject matter experts to create, manage, polish and reuse course structures, designs and content term over term. With the cost-effective storage of 1000s of course sites, we have yet to figure out how to keep tight reign on which courses contain the most up to date content, accessibility modifications and instructor-specific content. Sakai doesn't provide an over-the-top way to manage versions of a course, except by way of term to term or special name designation on course site creation.,Canvas, Jenzabar Internet Campus Solution (JICS), Blackboard Collaborate and Moodle,Jenzabar Internet Campus Solution (JICS), Microsoft Office 2016, CamtasiaHappy in the Sakai universe!Sakai is used by Kentucky Christian University as primary LMS in consortium with several other institutions as part of LAMP. It is used to present online and blended courses and programs and to address administration and management tasks as needed. Group communications are commonly done on Sakai sites and repositories are established for archival and management purposes. At the same time, Sakai, as an open source product, is a very wise choice for financial purposes. We have professional hosting services, for which the costs are shared among the consortium members, and the platform is open source. Consequently, the costs are very low. The budgeting for the product/service makes this option very affordable. The tools and affordances that are made available to participants are broad ranging and accessible to all. There is nothing that can be done on the expensive platforms that cannot be done on Sakai. And because of LTI compliance, the platform is highly customizable with products from Apereo Foundation and other LTI-compliant providers. Trouble-shooting through the hosting service is fast and even extends to writing code for new tools and services.,Customizability--LTI plug-ins allow an organization to shop for the tools which are important for success. There is an increasing number of these tools which are becoming available, from course authoring tools to portfolios to clickers and so on. The community is sensitive and responsive to demands for more of these tools. Skins--Institutions can make the product their own in look and function with skin changes and tool selection. Affordability--As open source, Sakai is supremely affordable. Even with professionally purchased hosting services (totally optional) the low cost is a real strong point. Range of tools--The tool options available, especially when expanded with LTI tools, is truly impressive Participation in the greater Sakai community--Sakai is a community-based tool. Outside of our collaboration at LAMP, we also participate in the world-wide conversation about how Sakai should be developed and how courses can be managed through Sakai.,The coming upgrade will address many issues, the visual presentation of sites and courses The Forums (discussion) tool is not natively integrated into the Gradebook, but needs another step to connect the two. The Wiki tool is awkward and not WYSIWYG. But I understand that is common with wikis in most platforms The Help documentation could use some focus on student needs rather that course developer needs,10,Our Sakai costs are about 10% (ten percent) what it would cost for the big name LMS. For a school with a budget. this is a deciding factor. We can more easily afford more online programs to attract more students. Hard-won resources can go to needy places in the institution rather than to the online infrastructure.,BlackboardSakai review from an instructional developerWe used Sakai as the primary LMS for the college for eLearning students to take online classes.,Separates each type of learning into intuitive areas Allows for flexibility with integrating other systems Easy to set up basic courses,When I used the system a few years ago, there were several small bugs. Most of them we were able to work around, but they were annoying. Again, when I used the system a few years ago, it would have been nice to have an easier way to implement attractive templates.,6,Very positive. The eLearning department grew exponentially during our course of using Sakai.,,WordPress, Asana, MailChimpSakai and its Competitors - Evolution, Online Learning and New PossibilitiesI have used Sakai now at two organizations, American Public University (APUS), an online for profit university and Texas State University, a large campus state university. At American Public University Sakai was the main online Learning Management system. It was utilized across the organization as the main tool and engine for students and faculty as the online learning system for the university. At Texas State, Sakai is used on a more selective and limited scale. Here, it is used for a smaller cohort of online classes but it is also used as a support (resource) system for hybrid courses. Sakai addresses the business problem of 'online classroom' management. Essentially, the system can build an infrastructure for faculty and students for learning. For faculty, it provides an infrastructure system for say a semester 'course' arcs and online learning infrastructures. For students, it is the main online system for receiving assignments, taking tests, dialoguing through forums with other students etc.,Easy to Use Basic Online Learning System: Sakai does the basics for learning online well. Outlining course lecture material uploading, linking for faculty, forums for students Pragmatic Text Based System: Sakai is solid for text based assignments, both student entry and faculty presentation and overview. Familiar Interface: The Interface for Sakai will be more immediately familiar to both faculty teachers and students as the model is well established in interface design.,Lack of Multimedia Features: Sakai is not great for video integration, either uploading or chat based video or integrating new video features into the interface and shell. It is not particularly good for say recording audio or more sophisticated multimedia integration. Lack of Web 2.0 features. Sakai is not great as a Web 2.0 social media learning application. It is definitely from an early but still present model of learning management systems and has remnants of its first generation architecture. Lack of User Experience Design: Sakai is basic in its user interface design. In this way it is approximately a generation back with regards to web 2.0 interface design or higher attention to 'learning' design aesthetics and integrating with online 'learning methodologies.,5,For American Public University System, Sakai seemed an effective tool. As with any technology though, times change and with changing times comes new technological possibilities. At its implementation stage, Sakai had a positive effect in adding to the ROI and is built as a desktop online learning system. Currently, there are many competitors in the market probably worth looking at further if one wishes to push the leading edge with regards to mobile possibilities, multimedia etc. Sakai was useful as a resource system in tying online library resources to the university online curriculum. It allowed for library/university curriculum connections that otherwise would not be possible. We actually won several awards with our Sakai/Online Library/Libguides online curriculum integration. For an online for-profit university in the early days of online learning Sakai was a great tool. For land based universities transitioning to online learning modalities, Sakai is still a fair option in terms of hybrid learning possibilities and enabling an online resource folder for every physical class. Sakai is definitely not leading edge but more proven system stability undergoing versioning processes.,,1800,,Online Learning: Teaching Classes (Main Framework) Archiving Classes: Main Framework Courses and Larger Undergraduate and Graduate Degree Programs,Sakai was used as a framework for a larger faculty MOOC (APUS) Sakai was used as a shell for resources for hybrid physical/online classes (Texas State) Sakai was used for large section introductory university classes (introduction to Research, Freshman experience etc),Expansion of physical classes into online modalities Non traditional workshops Frameworks for learning symposia,5,Adding Forum Comments Setting up Textual Assignments Submitting assignments,Multimedia is challenging in Sakai Web 2.0 collaborative functions are challenging in Sakai Mobile Learning possibilities are challenging in the Sakai interface,6SakaiSakai was used as a the sole learning management system at our university for the purposes of managing learning and research projects. Currently, our university is transitioning away from Sakai toward Canvas.,Organization of content Customization of course navigation and content Small learning curve compared to other systems,Ease of use and customization of ePortfolio Tests and Quizzes ePortfolio,1,Ability to customize the system to meet the needs of faculty and learners Greater cost to the university as a whole than a hosted platform Ability to easily design courses based on pedagogy,Blackboard, D2L and Moodle,Desire2Learn, Weebly, Moodle,30000,50,building community facilitating learning experiences collaborating on research,to create an ongoing community of learners within a subject area,N/A,1,Yes,Price Product Usability,I was not part of this process.,Implemented in-house,Yes,hold outs transitioning material from blackboard,10,10,Yes,I don't know what Apereo is.,Tests/quizzes posting material discussion boards,ePortfolio,No,8
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Sakai
17 Ratings
Score 8.1 out of 101
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Sakai Reviews

Sakai
17 Ratings
Score 8.1 out of 101
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July 14, 2018

Sakai Review: "A flexible LMS that fit our needs and wants"

Score 9 out of 10
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When considering an LMS there are multiple factors to consider, and typically those factors are not co-equal amongst all stakeholders. Some institutions select an LMS based on C-Level directive; others narrow the field based on feedback from the largest constituent user base or as feedback about how the current platform lacks. In any case regardless of these variables, the final word comes down to "fit". Fit for us was best defined by feature set as compared to our (then current) LMS, cost, and ROI over time. Launching multiple online programs and courses over a 5 years and doing so with Sakai allowed us to re-invest the savings from our LMS budget into faculty development, publicizing and developing courses strategically and deliberately and in having a better seat at how we needed the LMS to work rather than being dictated to by our LMS provider. Sakai is not Canvas or Blackboard. In speaking with an ID about Blackboard, "it's just so ugly, and there are things I really have to hodge-podge together" Having used Canvas, it's just sort of 'vanilla' and the interface is confusing (from an educator's standpoint). Sakai as an LMS is nimble, flexible, fully functional, practically unlimited and connected (just like the global community that supports it). A market-share chart may indicate a low number, but that number may have more to do with the solidness, responsiveness an resilience of a platform over time that just keeps working well. Sakai has areas that need to be improved, but I feel we have a say in when, how fast and how much I can spend to make those improvements reality. We're more than satisfied with Sakai, we're elated.
Read Dave Eveland's full review
May 03, 2016

User Review: "Happy in the Sakai universe!"

Score 10 out of 10
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We were for a year or two on WebCT, which has been acquired by Blackboard. It was hard to learn and difficult to administer. Changing to Sakai not only meant a great deal of financial savings, but it was easier to use and more responsive to institutional and consortial needs. We had all the tools and capacity of WebCT in a much easier and more affordable environment.
Read Terry Golightly's full review
May 06, 2016

"Sakai review from an instructional developer"

Score 6 out of 10
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Sakai and Moodle seem to be neck and neck. I much prefer a proper LMS over a WordPress LMS Plugin. Sakai was much more robust than a simple plugin solution.
Read Keira Dooley's full review
September 17, 2015

Review: "Sakai and its Competitors - Evolution, Online Learning and New Possibilities"

Score 5 out of 10
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Sakai is a fair competitor to other online learning systems (i.e. Blackboard, Canvas, Desire-to-Learn). Essentially, Sakai is simply a different flavor of similar models for online learning management systems. It is more different from Moodle and Moodle's social networking possibilities but not quantitatively better or worse. Having said that Sakai does not present a new 'paradigm' for online learning but essentially presents a standard 'learning management system' with a few different bells and whistles. There are areas from a newer generation of LMS systems, say EdX, Coursera, Udemy models that shine brighter in certain respects (collaboration, Web 2.0 possibilities, incorporation of video) and there are areas that other systems do better. It would be beneficial when doing a learning management system comparison to look at the pragmatic goals of your institution and learning program infrastructure and conduct a cost benefit analysis. The other larger point that should be made is that Sakai is an open source application compared to say other vendor hosted or purchased applications with the associated possibilities and challenges therein.
Read Raymond J. Uzwyshyn's full review
February 05, 2016

User Review: "Sakai"

Score 1 out of 10
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I did not personally select Sakai. However, it is fairly easy to use and customize. That being said, this product is being abandoned by developers/universities and should not be adopted by an organization.
Read Samantha J. Blevins's full review
September 21, 2015

Review: "Sakai LMS: real Open Source, configurable, reliable, and here for the long run"

Score 10 out of 10
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Every few years we evaluate LMSs. Each time Sakai comes out ahead due to cost, customizations, and the Sakai community. We like to keep things in house because it allows us an extra amount of reliability and control that you will have to give up when running most other solutions. Sakai is an LMS that is here for the long run. They can not be purchased by anyone and it does not look like it will go away any time in the intermediate future. There is much stability in Sakai.
Read Jason Smith, DPA's full review
September 21, 2015

Sakai Review: "A Few Thoughts from a Faculty Member"

Score 6 out of 10
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I was not part of the selection committee, but I believe the ability to white label Sakai was very significant to the choice being made. In another institution I taught (not the one in which I used Sakai) the decision was made to go with MoodleRooms due to the need for support on customization issues.
Read Andi Sciacca's full review
September 15, 2015

User Review: "Why Sakai? It's a great fit!"

Score 9 out of 10
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Our faculty found Moodle difficult to use-we tried at least two different releases of it with different vendors. It may have changed greatly since we worked with it in 2010-2012, but that was our experience.

Blackboard was what we were familiar with, but some of its tools were difficult to use (Gradebook), it was expensive, proprietary, and at the time we were testing it (Version 9), it was unpredictable.

Read Becky Roehrs's full review
September 15, 2015

User Review: "Sakai = Success"

Score 10 out of 10
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As an adjunct professor, I didn't pick Sakai for the university. I have experience with Moodle, Blackboard, eCollege, iBoard and now Sakai. I would have to say that Sakai is one of my all time favorite LMSs to use as it is very easy to navigate.
Read this authenticated review
September 18, 2015

Review: "Sakai at UD is our workhorse LMS in need of some grooming"

Score 7 out of 10
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Alternatives Considered

  • Canvas
We selected Sakai for our purposes (copyright/IP education) because students were familiar with the interface and the assessments worked just as desired. Though Canvas could serve as an ideal alternative and is used robustly here at UD, we have chosen Sakai for its familiarity to our group--Canvas is a relatively new arrival. Google Sites would not provide us with the functionality required, though I imagine some home-grown system with Google Forms could serve our needs in a pinch.
Read this authenticated review

Feature Scorecard Summary

Course authoring (1)
10
Course catalog or library (1)
5
Learning content (1)
7
Mobile friendly (1)
7
Progress tracking & certifications (1)
7
Assignments (1)
10
Compliance management (1)
6
Learning administration (1)
9
Learning reporting & analytics (1)
10
Social learning (1)
8

About Sakai

Sakai is an open source learning management system provided by the Apero Foundation. The LMS provides what it calls Core and Expanded Features. The Core Features encompass an integrated tool set that is tested by the Sakai community members and is then included with each new release. The tool set can be configured by: instructors, students, research investigators and project leaders. The other set of tools, known as “Contrib Tools” are specific to Sakai tools and innovations that are developed and tested by community members and are then made available for others to use outside of the packaged Sakai product releases.  

Categories:  Learning Management

Sakai Integrations

Sakai Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No