A Solid CMS at a Great "Price"
March 08, 2021

A Solid CMS at a Great "Price"

Sarah Daggett | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Sakai

Sakai is used by our university to both teach classes and to organize/deliver committee materials. Sakai's use by faculty varies by preference; some use it heavily, others don't use it all. It could be used to augment a fully F2F class or can be used to deliver a fully online class. For committees, they use the folders to keep track of past documents and, paired with alerts, to let committee members know when new, significant documents have been added.
  • Sakai is pretty flexible. Within its framework, you can create whatever kind of folder structure you want/need and can turn on or off options easily.
  • Sakai is fairly simple/straightforward in design. I haven't heard many issues from students in using it.
  • I would say Sakai is OK to navigate through. Depending on how many folders you have and how deep they go, it's nice to be able to click back on a root folder, but I also find their navigation a little clunky.
  • Sakai doesn't fully integrate with our SIS. Consequently, faculty will call us saying a student is still on their roster in Sakai when the student actually dropped. This means the faculty member needs to manage their own Sakai roster. Students will be added to the roster automatically, but not dropped.
  • This may not be a Sakai problem, but faculty seem to get really confused about how Sakai relates to our SIS. We've had faculty tell students their grades were "posted," only to find out they just meant they were updated in the Gradebook of Sakai. They hadn't actually posted the grades in our SIS. We've tried to explain this a variety of ways, but there's something about Sakai that makes them think that somehow it's part of our SIS - when they look totally different!
  • Sakai's navigation can be flat/clunky. They rely on a root navigation system like Windows Explorer that kind of works, but also can be frustrating, depending on how meandering the documents/files for a class goes. The menu on the left is straightforward, though, and can be customized, which is very nice.
  • Sakai has supported the institution in providing a platform for offering more hybrid/blended and online course options.
  • Sakai has given students a "third space" where they can communicate with the instructor and their classmates about course content.
Before using Sakai, we used Blackboard. Ultimately, I think moving to Sakai was a financial decision (it was cheaper), but I believe it ended up being better accepted by faculty and students as well. At the time (this was several years ago), Blackboard's UI wasn't as user-friendly and there were issues with administrating it. I don't think most of campus used it, actually. We changed to Sakai and haven't looked back.

Do you think Sakai delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with Sakai's feature set?


Did Sakai live up to sales and marketing promises?

I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process

Did implementation of Sakai go as expected?

I wasn't involved with the implementation phase

Would you buy Sakai again?


I've used Sakai to supplement my Public Speaking class. Public Speaking is very much a F2F type course, so I didn't use Sakai much for course content delivery. However, I did use it to post my syllabus, post my lecture slides, communicate any class announcements, and to conduct a final exam for the class. Building the final exam was very simple and I was easily able to swap out questions to vary it from term to term.

Before I was a staff member and lecturer, I used Sakai as a student. My instructor used Sakai to varying degrees. I really appreciated it being the one-stop-receptacle for all-things class related. If I somehow lost an assignment instruction sheet, I could rely on it being posted there. For multimedia work it was lacking, at that time, but I know Sakai has been updated over time and I hope that part of it has improved.

If I was ever frustrated by Sakai, it was because faculty used it in a piecemeal way. It's fine not to want to use the gradebook, but don't enter some grades and not others. It's wonderful to upload class documents to it; but don't do some and not others. Whatever way you're going to use Sakai, commit to it and use it well. Your students will thank you.

Sakai Feature Ratings

Course authoring
Course catalog or library
Learning content
Mobile friendly
Progress tracking & certifications
Compliance management
Learning administration
Learning reporting & analytics
Social learning