Happy in the Sakai universe!
May 03, 2016

Happy in the Sakai universe!

Terry Golightly | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Sakai

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
  • 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.
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.
Sakai works well in higher education in all sizes and nationalities of institutions. It also works well in businesses for training and communication purposes. LAMP has documented is usability in missionary and religious outreach institutions. Flexibility is such that it should work well in primary and secondary education, depending on how specific programs and courses are designed.

There are probably better applications for medical and clinical settings.