Sakai 11

3.8
(89)

The Sakai Environment provides a flexible and feature-rich environment for teaching, learning, research and other collaboration. As an open source software suite developed by its adopter community, Sakai continually evolves in step with the needs of the students, faculty members and organizations it serves.

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Sakai review by Daniel M.
Daniel M.
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"Great java-based community-managed open source LMS "

What do you like best?

Our users are very happy with Sakai. Their evolution the last years has been awesome, specially the UX/UI improvements in Sakai 11 with the responsive design and the Lessons tool new features.

I am not a real developer, but when I have done a development (a patch for a bug, a small feature...) the community has helped me, reviewing the code and guiding me to follow the best practices. And my code has been finally merged into the repository, becoming part of the product and being available for others. I think this is not possible in other open-source LMS, and of course neither in the propietary alternatives.

What do you dislike?

The lack of contribution of many adopters. Open source needs resources to survive, no matter if work or money. And about money, with a little investment of a small percentage of the cost of other propietary solutions, Sakai would be really awesome.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Is the LMS / collaborative work environment of my university (1000 employees / 9000 students)

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Sakai review by Kim B.
Kim B.
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"Sakai is useful for grading and assigning work, but needs to be more mobile friendly"

What do you like best?

The discussion board and forums tools work extremely well, and students are familiar with the view from going on forums of other websites. There are a lot of options for setting up dates to release and reveal assignments to students, as well as when to close it out. The grading and balancing of a grade book is fairly simple, and takes a bit of playing with to get used to. Once it's set up, attaching assignments and the weight of those assignments becomes easier.

What do you dislike?

From a visual standpoint, it is not aesthetically pleasing. It is rather bland, which isn't terrible, but it is hard to highlight something for students. Overall, it is getting better, though. It also doesn't seem to be mobile friendly, which is becoming increasingly important in today's world. It would be helpful to have notifications and reminders standout a bit more when it comes to upcoming assignments that are going to be due. Students have complained about how many emails they'll get in terms of notifications from Sakai, and how the subject line is too cluttered to know what all the emails are for. They end up deleting them instead of weeding through them all. If there were a way for emails going out to students being a bit more organized and clear, it would be helpful.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If you want complex features, I would personally look elsewhere.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Extremely secure in terms of user privacy. Makes you log in again if you have been off for awhile. This is important when it comes to student confidentiality.

What Learning Management System (LMS) solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Sakai review by User
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"Sakai Review"

What do you like best?

The best feature is the organization of the website. I like how there is a favorites tab that has your favorites appear in the top. Also, the ability to go back to previous classes was very nice and helpful.

What do you dislike?

The user interface was a little buggy. To organize favorites, it was difficult, but once organized, it was ready to go.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Haven't used any other programs other than Sakai during my time at school, but there wasn't anything to complain about while using this program. The only problem that occured whilst using this program was when the Rutgers University's network got hacked into, and the website couldn't be reached. Other than that, the ability to view previous classes and all the workload involved was a huge plus. The gradebook, dropbox, assignments, resources, and all those miscellaneous tabs that came with every class was very useful. The announcements feature that they had to add to the extra awareness on top of emails being sent by the professors were a huge plus.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Organization and ability to go back to previous work.

Sakai review by Nameer M.
Nameer M.
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"Hard to learn, easy to use"

What do you like best?

Sakai has the most tools when it comes to learning management. The features it offers in terms of lessons, interactivity with others, announcements, polls, tests and quizzes, etc are just too good to not take an advantage of. It is also customization and easy to use. The documents are easily accessible and you can also plan, manage and distribute courses among students in a more effective manner.

What do you dislike?

Setting up this software can be quite complicated and can even even take a lot of time.

Recommendations to others considering the product

This software is for businesses and not for individuals who run their own businesses. Sakai LMS makes your business run smoother, efficient and cost effective. Even though the entire software is quite expensive, the worth and value of this software is totally realized with the usage of this software.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Sakai has been a blessing for me. I can do a host of different things with the help of Sakai. Previously, I used to send out notifications and announcements for students to read. Now, I just have to post in on Sakai thus saving me time, paper and resources. Polls can be taken regarding the opening up of new sections and tests/ quizzes resources are even uploaded directly for students to go through themselves

Sakai review by Amanda H.
Amanda H.
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"Sakai is Beautifully Set Up"

What do you like best?

Sakai is an awesome tool for teachers and students alike. The discussion boards and forums work very well and are easily accessible. The format of individual courses and assignments are easy to figure out/understand and are organized very well. Sakai provides a multitude of options to be able to set up release and end dates and assignments. Another amazing feature is the simplistic set up for the grade book, making it easy to return students' assignments upon completion. The flexibility to students to submit their work in a submission box or attach an individual, separate assignment are awesome!

What do you dislike?

Although there is a lot to like about Sakai, it does have it's flaws. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of using Sakai as a student and, now, as a teacher. The format and design has changed very little, if at all. It can be quite boring to see the same thing and not be updated with the times. While it is easy to access each individual course, there could be a better way to organize them so that they are all seen, rather than in a drop down menu. In addition, the accessibility on a mobile device could certainly use some improvement. There are times when I am on the go and need to grade assignments... it is extremely difficult to do so on my mobile device.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Sakai has been a consistent and useful tool for many years. If you are a fan of consistency and an avoidance of change, then this is the program for you. If you need continual updates and things organized a bit differently visually speaking, then you might want to try another program. I enjoy this for what it is worth. Personally, I don't have a choice in what program I use to run my courses; however, I have no complaints with Sakai. They have been top notch for me.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

From the time I started using Sakai, back in 2009-present day, Sakai has been fantastic with their security features. When you haven't been using it for a certain amount of time, it will log you out and make you sign back in again. This is extremely handy, as it protects a user's privacy and prevents any issues with other computer users.

Sakai review by User in Pharmaceuticals
User in Pharmaceuticals
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"Sakai is useful to organize content and provide an easy to navigate interface for users"

What do you like best?

What I like best about Sakai is that courses are separated and you can favorite courses that will display on your main dashboard. I also like how there is separated tabs within each course that details what that tab is and has those resources organized within

What do you dislike?

What I dislike is that it is not as easy to use as a LMS like Canvas. The interface can often times be slow. Another thing is that going back to the home page by clicking the back button will often just take you back to the beginning of the tab, it is a bit hard to navigate at times

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I use Sakai as an LMS in college. Professors post their resources on Sakai as well as tests and quizzes. It makes grading much easier as it has an automatic grading feature.

Sakai review by Administrator in Higher Education
Administrator in Higher Education
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"Administrator"

What do you like best?

Clean interface, easy for all users to use most feratures and learn quickly.

What do you dislike?

Lack of sophistication in the software and scarcity of options available for the different tools (like Assignments). The Tests / Quizzes feature needs improvement. Things like making the syllabus go live (clicking on the light bulb) are odd and not obvious to an instructor (this is not intuitive and needs to be more obvious to an everyday user)

Recommendations to others considering the product

Consider all alternatives like Blackboard and Canvas. Weigh all factors using a weighted decision matrix (like support, functionality, ease of use) and choose the best LMS for your school's needs.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We use it as a LMS for our school. It centralizes and facilities the flow of communication between instructors and students. All assignments can be submitted via Sakai, and saved for future use. Posting syllabi and all assignments on Sakai also contributes to the university's sustainability initiative. Less paper and more e-docs are used via this LMS (saves money via other departments).

Sakai review by Administrator
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"Open Source with Active Development"

What do you like best?

Sakai is open source and actively being developed. As an open-source solution, Sakai offers academic institutions an opportunity to design their future. Community-driven enhancements, whether from direct development or in partnership with commercial affiliates, allow schools and universities to improve the platform and create innovative approaches to teaching and learning needs. The platform is built on standards and integrates with other tools, especially via LTI. The platform offers many tools. My favorite tool in the platform is Lessons; I love how it allows me as an instructor to sequence content, embed media, ask questions, conditionally release pages and content, and more. I also like the revised Gradebook as of Sakai 11.

What do you dislike?

Since it was originally a patchwork of tools from different systems from multiple universities, there can be some user interface differences from tool to tool. Starting with Sakai 10 and continuing with 11 and 12, the community is actively working together to standardize interface names/features to improve consistency across the platform. So, past review feedback about user friendliness has been addressed and continues to improve in each release.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If considering Sakai, consider attending a community event like the annual North American conference. Meet with other institutions using the platform to learn the good, the bad, the upcoming. From there, consider working with a Sakai commercial affiliate on a pilot so you can evaluate the platform in full. You'll find that the Sakai community is incredibly helpful, so use the community discussion lists and attend events.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Sakai provide a solid learning management system that can enable the "next generation digital learning environment" (NGDLE) through the use of standards, integrations, and LTI. It's provided a reliable foundation for lesson content, grades, student feedback, class collaboration, and more. Since you can integrate with different student information systems (SIS), you can auto-create class sites for each academic term which makes course management a breeze. With project sites, you can also enable departmental collaboration.

Sakai review by Meagan P.
Meagan P.
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"Not Intuitive at All "

What do you like best?

I like the streamlined look of the new Sakai. The new set up is beautiful and easy to look at, much less cluttered looking than the older versions.

What do you dislike?

It is so hard to find and figure out how to do anything. Even the help function gives confusing directions. Importing information from a previous site, integrating information from my computer and uploading information is all much more difficulty and harder to navigate than it needs to be.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I think it definitely allows my students better access and in general is easier for them to use. I like the grading functions and how those work to make it easier for both students and instructors.

Sakai review by Administrator in Higher Education
Administrator in Higher Education
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"One of the better classroom management tools"

What do you like best?

We've used several versions of Sakai over the years and the most recent one has made some big improvements. Overall it's fairly easy to use and students seem to be able to navigate it well. If you take the time to customize a page with thoughtful navigation tabs, students can easily find what they are looking for on their course pages. It does take some time and thought to do the initial setup, which can be seen as a drawback for faculty members. But our university has taken the time to offer free Sakai training to faculty and staff which has greatly improved uptake of Sakai by the university community.

What do you dislike?

Not all of the navigation is intuitive, which is a particular problem for our ESL students. Sometimes when modifying page text with HTML tags it can cause issues with how the page appears but that seems to have been fixed for the most part with 11.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I would do some test cases with real courses and the faculty that teach them first to make sure Sakai meets your user needs before switching.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Having a one-stop shop for students to find everything they need on their courses. Using Sakai has cut back a lot on the back and forth emails we used to have to do with students when they wanted to find the code of conduct booklet, syllabi, etc.

Sakai review by Haylie L.
Haylie L.
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"Sakai Review"

What do you like best?

I like that professors can post homework and you can do homework online and have all of your resources in one place. You can take quizzes online and submit papers and assignments to professors.

What do you dislike?

Sometimes it crashes and loses all of your work when you are taking tests/ doing homework.

Recommendations to others considering the product

This product is good for bringing classrooms together and working on projects online. It's an easy way to do homework and submit projects online instead of printing them out.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

One problem we solve with Sakai is replacing printed homework and papers with digital copies. This helps the environmental impact of our classroom.

Sakai review by Becky R.
Becky R.
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"Sakai Administrator/Instructor Review"

What do you like best?

Why do I like Sakai?

Sakai is open source, free (no strings), reliable, easy to use, and has an excellent user community. I like it that a vendor isn't telling us what tools we can use, we're not stuck with tools we don't like, nor is one person or a few telling us what we can do. The Sakai user community decides on the direction of the LMS and what tools will be updated and how. Our college heavily uses the Gradebook, Assignments, Tests & Quizzes, Discussion Forms and Lessons (for organizing content). We also provide project sites for all of our advisers. We have over 5,000 credit students; 85% of our credit instructors are using Sakai, about 20% of our courses are online, another 15% are hybrid.

What do I like about the new features in Sakai 11+?

Our college is using Sakai 2.9 and upgrading to Sakai 11.2 soon-I've been one of the Administrators and an online instructor for 4 years. The latest release, Sakai 11+, has been updated with responsive design, is mobile-ready, accessible, has a new Gradebook that works like an Excel spreadsheet, and most of the core tools have been streamlined and updated to be even easier to use, such as Lessons, and Tests & Quizzes.

Create Organized Online/hybrid/supplemental classes:

In my online classes, I can easily import a course where I've added weekly Lessons subpages. If instructors use Lessons, they can create a very organized class for students-students can find all of their weekly materials in one location.

On each weekly Lessons subpage I can display:

YouTube videos or EDpuzzles or PlayPosit videos embedded with questions; display images/diagrams, link to Office Mixes (narrated PowerPoints) and/or documents, and I provide links directly to the weekly discussion, assignment, and/or quiz. I also add links to screencasts I've made to my assignment instructions.

Other Sakai/integrated tools I like to use:

I also provide web conferencing with BigBlueButton (an open source web conferencing tool), provide surveys to get updates from my students on how the class is going, provide blog posts for variety, and allow students to post in the Chat Room for quick questions/answers. I post all of the due dates in the Calendar. At any time, I can make the class grades visible to students in the Gradebook (this is a simple Gradebook setting, that displays weighted grades, and has been updated to also display points or percentages as well).

What do other Sakai instructors use?

Some of our instructors like to use Lessons Student Pages, where students can create their own "project sites" and post videos, images, links to documents, and links to web sites. Other instructors like to create groups-most of the Sakai tools are group aware, including Assignments, Tests & Quizzes, Forums, and our web conferencing tool BigBlueButton, Assignments and now Lessons Student Pages also allow peer review/grading for collaborative assignments. Other instructors like to use Turnitin, the plagiarism checker tool, as well as Turnitin's Grademark tool.

As a Sakai Administrator,:

It's easy to set up classes and projects. We've automated the site creation and instructor/student enrollment between our Colleague registration system and Sakai. We use Active Directory authentication, and Sakai is just one of many systems our students access with the same userid/password. We do have a Sakai vendor and a vendor for BigBlueButton, who keeps our system up 100% and provides excellent customer service. We also use LTI to link to various tools (such as links to textbook publishers).

I highly recommend Sakai, and would be glad to discuss our experience with others.

What do you dislike?

This is a community of users, so like any open source community, you need time, money and resources available to make updates. Luckily, the money and resources usually do appear when we need them!

The Test & Quizzes tool has been updated (simplified settings), but it will become more streamlined as money/resources become available.

Of the tools, the Forums/Topic tool is clunky; I'd like to see a replacement. Since different people created different tools-some don't work like the others-this is one of those tools.

I'd like to see the Blog integrated with the Gradebook, and I like how simple it is..but there are two blog tools and we have to pick one to support.

The community has looked at a replacement for the wiki tool, but nothing open-source has really caught our eye.

Lessons in Sakai 11+ has been seriously upgraded-now you can create columns, sections, colored backgrounds, and is streamlined, so it looks excellent.

Recommendations to others considering the product

* Free, Open Source (really open-source)

* Has an active educational community donating new Sakai tools, updates, training, and support

*These are tools we use with Sakai in addition to the core and contrib tools: BigBlueButton, (an open source web conferencing tool), WIRIS, a math tool, Softchalk, YouTube, Turnitin (investigating Vericite),

* Small organizations to large (100,000 students) use Sakai

* Actively working towards meeting W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A and AA Success Criteria, IMS Common Course Cartridge

* Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI v2) standard to integrate with third party learning tools and other systems

* Other tools Sakai integrates with: Adobe Connect, BigBlueButton, Kaltura (video/multimedia), Open Meetings (Conference tool), RSS Feeds, SCORM Player

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We had to upgrade 4 years ago, and at the time, our users didn't want Blackboard or Moodle. It would have been easier to go with one of those two LMS's since most of our state's Community Colleges use them. But we really like Sakai.

It's reliable, which is extremely important. Sakai meets our instructors teaching and learning needs and our students rarely have issues other than resetting their passwords. With the added collaboration abilities available for group/peer assignments in Assignments and in Lessons Student Pages/Content tools, it meets the growing needs of our online/hybrid instructors and students. We'll now have responsive, as well as accessible content for our users, and the latest version has a professional look and feel.

Sakai review by User
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"Very nice software"

What do you like best?

Lot, lots of functions and extremely easy to learn how to use! I thought I would need to take a training course but could figure everything by myself. Create assignments, upload files, get in touch with students

What do you dislike?

the class roster seems quite useless. Also it doesn't incorporate basic info like meeting time & place for classes.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Give yourself enough time to explore and "play" with it. There are a lot of useful functions that you can discover just by spending some time on it.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Grading papers online directly through the software, and being able to connect the grading to the Turnitin software, which checks for potential plagiarism in minutes.

Sakai review by Kaylee A.
Kaylee A.
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"Dependable Class/Project Page Program"

What do you like best?

I like that I can customize the sidebars to make the sites fit the needs of my classes and projects. I also like that the platform makes communication with groups and individuals easy.

What do you dislike?

I don't like that I cannot create my own, custom resources and that the permissions for users and administrators of each site are difficult to customize.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Know in advance the customization limitations of this software so that you can come up with creative solutions to make the preexisting fields/sections suit your class/project's needs.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I use Sakai to create project and class resources pages for my students to access. With Sakai, I have been able to streamline communication with my students and the sharing of resources with project collaborators.

Sakai review by User in Higher Education
User in Higher Education
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"Great Course Management Software"

What do you like best?

One of the most useful features of the software is the ability to make random quizzes and upload all course work in a secure place for only students in the course to acquire.

What do you dislike?

Adding in html markup into posts to add emphasis can be trying at times as it doesn't always work properly.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Course resource management and online grading. This has allowed the university to get coursework online without having our professors each develop their own website. This has freed up time for our professors to have more face to face time with our students as opposed to sitting at a computer trying to figure out their own individual website.

Sakai review by Chaitanya Kumar C.
Chaitanya Kumar C.
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"Great LMS software with many tools and beautiful community"

What do you like best?

It's the best LMS tool available.

It has great set of tools like lessons, assignments, announcments, test and quizzes, forums, chat and many.

Supports integration with basic lti, big blue button, kaltura etc.

It got beautiful community who are always there to help you out.

A true open source tool, You can voice your opinion on anything(feature, bug) in the community.

Help content is very well documented.

You can rely on this lms because it is used by lot of top universities in the world(https://sakaiproject.org/community).

Lot of customization can be achieved simply by setting properties .

What do you dislike?

First time Installation is tricky.

Documentation for developers is not so great so mostly you have to rely on the community.

Lessons tool should be improved to create class room kind of environment.

Developers need to know many technologies to customize the software.

Attendance tool is missing which should be provided.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Sakai is best If you need a scalable LMS software for many users.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are providing LMS software for education institutions as well as branded web sites for individual trainers.

Sakai review by User in Education Management
User in Education Management
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"Effective Communications Tool"

What do you like best?

I liked the ease of use and the ability to allow subordinates to contribute and maintain course pages.

What do you dislike?

Because I was a third party vendor, gaining access to the software was difficult.

Recommendations to others considering the product

For implementation outside of an academic setting, the software was still useful. Considering the scope of the program and the tenure of employees, it was rather easy to add and remove them from the course pages. It was also an effective way to ensure that employees were enrolled in the institution; which was a requirement of the position.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

In a previous position, I was able to utilize Sakai to build course pages for the program I managed. The program was a student job affiliated with the institution, and we found that the pages were an effective tool to communicate with current employees and to recruit new employees.

Sakai review by Daybelis G.
Daybelis G.
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"Sakai for Students"

What do you like best?

What I like about Sakai is how simple it is to use and the exam format is simple.

What do you dislike?

The layout could be nicer. There's also an issue with the lesson plans. When you click on a lesson, you can't see the other sections, so you have to go through each one if you're trying to jump from one to the next.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Make the navigation a little bit easier and the format a little bit nicer to look at.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I use it for my synchronized classes to go through lessons, turn in assignments, and sometimes take exams.

Sakai review by Martin R.
Martin R.
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"Sakai works well for 20+ institutions that share a single instance"

What do you like best?

Sakai is an open source LMS, which means that there are many, many people who care about its quality and functionality -- people who work in higher education. The people who build Sakai are the people who use Sakai. (Contrast this with commercial LMS where the system is build by programmers in a back room somewhere for profit.)

That said, Sakai has a wonderful open architecture that is pedagogically neutral. Instructional designers and instructors can place whatever tools are appropriate for their teaching, and, more importantly, for their students' learning, into a course. The tool pallet for Sakai is extensive, with tools for communication, administration, collaboration, and more. Sakai excels most of all, perhaps, in its ability to build collaborative working and learning models.

What do you dislike?

In an open source world, one has to get used to a rather broad range of opinions about what the system should look like. There may be less of a cohesive design strategy. That said, however, I've seen an awful lot of commercial products (and some open source ones as well) that have just as much, even more, lack of cohesiveness. Consider a certain commercial product that seems to enjoy acquiring (and suing) competitive products and then "integrating" them into its architecture. The design strategy of acquisition and stitching together ends up with more of a patchwork quilt than a consistent design. Sakai certainly does NOT have that problem.

Recommendations to others considering the product

We have nothing to sell -- in fact, you can't buy Sakai. You can download it for free. But if you want to discuss the ins and outs of Sakai from a Consortium of people who have been using it for ten year, contact me. I'd be glad to tell you everything about it and even invite you to consider joining our Consortium.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Sakai has been outstanding for us. Our consortium started with just a few members who pooled our resources to host, support, and train around an open source LMS in order to save costs. Clearly we met a need, because we're up to 21 member institutions now. We're international and, in 2008, we won the Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration. We've been able to extend the Sakai architecture and tightly integrate additional tools such as systems for plagiarism detection, live video conferencing, lecture capture and playback, media storage and real-time streaming, and more. If Sakai were not the robust, well-designed platform that it is, none of that would have been possible.

(Note: to define our "company size" I'm estimating the number of employees across all of our member institutions.) Check us out at www.lampschools.org.

Sakai review by Terry G.
Terry G.
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"How the little guy can play with the big players"

What do you like best?

Sakai allows for so much flexibility. More is given besides course sites. Project sites can retain and manage information for administrative needs and accreditation boards. Creativity can allow for designs for committees and projects way beyond the classroom.

I like that there are design options that can be explored. I especially like the conversation. Participants from all levels and all institutions can freely talk about their innovations and experiences within Sakai to learn from each other.

What do you dislike?

There is still a need for development with the aesthetic. The real functionality can be hidden in a plain wrapper. I have to remind myself that many of its graphic limitations are limitations of any website and this is not a dedicated authoring tool, but a platform for presenting instructional and administrative content. Also, there is not complete harmony in how the tools work. Different entities develop different tools at different paces. But there is real, observable development that is exciting to watch.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I know that many, many highly successful universities and businesses are using Sakai at every level of user participation. I know someone who was a trainer in the biggest commercial LMS who said Sakai has every functionality of the Big Guy and more with operating costs that were a fraction of participating in the commercial product. Training products are free and are becoming more and more available.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Our campus has around 550-600 FTE. This is a small campus that needs to work with other small campuses to have a presence in the online community. We also have few resources to invest in online development. We have been able to work collaboratively with several other institutions to share resources and group governance within our experience of Sakai. This is one of the many examples of flexibility that Sakai enjoys. Our small institution could not afford to have a commercial LMS, but Sakai is available to be maximally effective for any size or configuration of implementation. We have a top-notch LMS tool with a very affordable investment in a hosting service and a collaboration with others. That is allowing us to develop new programs and to help students who need the online component to complete their education

Sakai review by Adam M.
Adam M.
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"Sakai works very well for us at The University of Oxford"

What do you like best?

The open and non-restrictive nature of Sakai is a perfect fit for a research-led institution such as Oxford. It is easy to open us access to course sites to students who are not officially members of that degree programme. The open nature of Sakai allows cross-fertilisation of ideas between diverse disciplines and offers students the opportunity to step outside of traditional course boundaries.

Sakai has all the tools you'd expect of an enterprise learning management system and the next release (due at the end of 2015) makes a giant leap forward by offering a fully responsive system that works equally well on a mobile phone or traditional desktop. One of the most useful features is the simple way that staff (faculty) can use the Lessons tool in conjunction with the WYSIWYG HTML editor to hand-craft fully-accessible web pages offering simple pathways through complex learning material.

Sakai is open source software which means there are no licence fees but more importantly means that Sakai can be customised to mirror the way that a particular institution operates. Sakai development follows the community source model which means that anybody who has implemented a good idea has every chance of being able to get their work into future releases of the software. This approach is both more dynamic and more democratic that insisting that all code modifications must pass through an over-worked central development team.

The Sakai user and developer community is excellent, it has weekly virtual meetings and is very good at offering support to both new and established users. Being part of the larger Apereo community is important as this provides good governance and allows the Sakai community to benefit from the experiences of other Apereo projects such as Xerte, uPortal, Apereo OAE and CAS.

Apereo is like the Apache Foundation for educational open source software and appears to be going from strength to strength.

What do you dislike?

Sakai is quite complicated to set up which means that staff members cannot easily experiment on their own - generally the system will have to be deployed and configured by a central IT team.

The fact that it is written in Java is a double edged sword: it provides the infrastructure to allow Sakai to be used as an Enterprise system with tens of thousands of concurrent users but it does put a larger overhead on code development than (say) a system written in PHP or Python. Having said that, Sakai's excellent support of IMS LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) means it is simple to plug in external educational tools which of course can be written in any language.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Please get in touch with The University of Oxford if you want more information. There are a number of commercial partners offering hosted instances of Sakai and even more large and small companies who are able to do small and large scale development. Some of these companies charge extremely competitive rates.

I would also say it is vital to evaluate the upcoming Sakai 11 release as it is very different indeed to the current Sakai 10 release.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Oxford needs to deliver learning materials to its student and researcher population. This material cannot be constrained by course boundaries as it needs to be accessed by university members from other disciplines. This is simple to do is Sakai and will be even easier in the next major release - Sakai 11.

Sakai is used as a 'learning hub' - a central location from which other resources can be accessed. For example, we have spent time creating tools to allow past exam papers to be located and downloaded, to allow researchers to locate and book on 'skills training' courses and to open up learning materials to any member of the University of Oxford.

The teaching model in use at the University of Oxford is fairly non-standard and it is absolutely vital that any learning management system must complement the teaching rather than getting in the way. To address this, we have made many local modifications to Sakai at Oxford, a good many of which have made it back into the core code-based.

One of the main benefits of Sakai is the very low total cost of ownership. Compared to most of the other enterprise systems at use at the University of Oxford, Sakai is incredibly cheap. That has allowed the University to spend some of the money saved in licensing fees and so on to be spent on employing developers to further customise the code-base to allow it to fit in with the education processes in use at Oxford - this is a far better way of operating than trying to change the way the university operates to fit in with the learning management system.

Sakai review by Quinn A.
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"Student User of Sakai (Netbadge)"

What do you like best?

I love how intuitive it is to access my grades; I also enjoy how I can view my class schedule in a block style format, so I can visualize long open spaces of time that would be best to fill in with more credits. It's also quite easy to contact my teachers and access any documents I need to complete my assignments that they have posted online.

What do you dislike?

I dislike how when you log out of Netbadge, sometimes it says you haven't, and you have to restart your computer to log in properly and get access back into your account.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Sakai reduces the occurrence of miscommunication between student and professor. Assignments, grades, forums, emails, and announcements are all located in the same vicinity, so there really is no excuse to have any confusion about what work is due for class or how will you did on a certain test. Sakai is a great class management tool that gives students to reach their full potential if they're willing to put the work in.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I am not solving business problems, but Netbadge has allowed me to keep up with my class expectations in one easy place. Most of my assignments are posted there, as well as the required readings, all in respected folders that are easy to access. Their system makes it easy for me to access my grades, professor contact information, class schedules, and weekly announcements all within one site.

Sakai review by Joe S.
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"Sakai Is pretty good"

What do you like best?

I appreciate the ease of setup. We've had students even populate the space before

What do you dislike?

I'm not sure I have a dislike at this moment. I'm still a fairly new user, but I haven't encountered anything too terrible

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It provides an easily accessible space for our professors and their students

Sakai review by Dave E.
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"Growing with Sakai"

What do you like best?

Some of the best features in Sakai as a platform involve the sense of community that intentionally attempts to bring together those who use Sakai with those who develop it. Being able to reach out and directly influence how the platform continues to grow is a direct result of the Open Source movement. Being able to speak directly to and with developers, helps to provide a much more clear outcome for what educators want from an LMS.

Open Source does not mean free, and while Sakai is open source, the ROI is significant. Anyone can contribute to the improvement, betterment and effectiveness of the platform. The proximity of faculty, administrators, students, IT, and others to developers makes the platform responsive - it's really rewarding when a suggestion you make to the global community is accepted and adopted as an improvement in the platform. You feel as if you have and can make a difference in making something better for not only your own institution, but for the wider global community.

Without a doubt though, Sakai isn't just about leveraging a technology that's less expensive than the rest. As one of the projects adopted by Apereo, the community is also about connecting the technology with it's intended use - teaching and learning. Sakai is feature rich - including many tools that would cost 'extra' in other platforms - allowing faculty and course designers to develop traditional, fully online and hybrid courses at their institutions.

Of the features in Sakai, the Lessons area is the best. It brings together content and places it in context for students to access. Some faculty have even found it to be a great organizational tool for their traditional courses. Lessons brings together the ability sequence and organize instructional content in a way that 'makes sense'.

What do you dislike?

Every product, platform or service has it's 'areas to improve', and Sakai is no different. If Sakai was perfect, it would likely cost a lot more to implement, use and maintain.

One area I can see Sakai improving is in the syntax/terminology used throughout the user interface. In some cases (as happens with some open source content) it's difficult to insure continuity and uniformity throughout a product - with so many contributors to a platform it's not always easy to make sure everyone agrees just on how a particular feature should look or function.

Another area of improvement would be in how student progress is tracked. Sakai can functionally provide feedback on page views, assessment scores and engagement in a course, but it's tough to quantify all of that into a summary that provides a quick overview of individual student progress - this is especially critical in online courses.

Another area of improvement would be in authentication - providing a second level of authentication the way many banking institutions do. Our current implementation leverages enterprise level username and password encryption technologies, but any more having a second level of authentication is not only common but in some cases expected by federal guidelines or standards for authenticating student identity.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Do an honest comparison for ROI - regardless of what LMS you adopt. Also recognize the need to leverage a platform that helps to accomplish your overall institutional objectives. Just because Sakai is open source - it doesn't mean transitioning to it (or any other platform) will be free or cheap.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

There have been three primary problems we've been able to address with implementing Sakai:

1. Lower cost - Sakai has cost the institution as a whole, less and we've been able to get more from the platform/product than we did with another platform. We spent at least $60,000 annually for our previous LMS - for the minimum set of features - and did not have nearly enough faculty use or even want to use it. We currently spend about 1/3 of that on Sakai's annual budget and have far more faculty using Sakai in all their courses.

2. Better adoption - Sakai has been simple enough to allow just about any faculty or student to acclimate to using it. Sakai has provided us with a level of consistent course structure and flow that has made it easier for our faculty and students to deal with content and less with the technology that houses it.

3. We've been able to scale - Sakai was a critical choice for us because we were getting ready to launch several fully online programs and degrees. We've been able to do that with Sakai. With an institution of only 1200, and only 2 staff to support the online programs and degrees, it's been a testament to how adept and easy to use Sakai is. As we continue to grow and develop even more programs and courses over the coming years, I'm confident we'll strive in step with Sakai's improvements and new features w/o having to worry about sky-rocketing cost or functional ability.

Sakai review by Clay P.
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"Sakai was, has been and continues to be a shining light fir my MACR program."

What do you like best?

I like best Sakai's user friendliness and ability to create and launch a new course - from the ground up in under a day. I also like Sakai's flexibility with design, course assignment and exam structure. Lastly, I like the student experience. Students of all ages and demographics adapt to Sakai within minutes, which ultimately contributes to their success.

What do you dislike?

There are a few things I would add to/change about Sakai if I could. First, I would like to see more roles available for the administrator without having to use delegated access. It would be helpful to have an additional classroom roles successful as "administrator" so "instructor" isn't the role with the highest level of authority and the same as the administrator. Instructors (faculty) do not need the same authority or abilities as the administrator.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Try it and let an experienced administrator consult with you so you don't miss anything Sakai cab do for you.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Student adaptation and fluidity are the primary benefits that each contribute to the students' success. When students focus less on the anxiety of understanding an LMS and more on learning, we all succeed.

Sakai review by Emily R.
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"An easy, organized way to store all the information you need for your institution."

What do you like best?

The organized structure to the design and ability to easily access different subject tabs. It is also nice to be able to have a site that contains every subject for my institution so that I don't get confused and disorganized storing all of my information in different places. I also like the visual appeal of the site, as I feel that it is aesthetically appealing and comprehensive. One of the nicest aspects is also being easily able to communicate with others in my institution.

What do you dislike?

Only certain tabs can appear with subjects at the top of the page at a time. In addition, I feel that the dashboard was being worked on throughout the entire school year so I was unable to access it although sometimes I wished that I could. Also, it would be nice to have a search bar so that I can look up key words and find information more quickly and easily. Also, the "news" option tab does not seem to be functioning, and I get a red alert saying that the service is unavailable. Fixing glitches such as this would help make the site better as well.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Use on a regular basis to stay updated!

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Keeping information stored in one place helps keep me organized and on task. I have realized that having one website that contains all of the information I need for my university classes is the best way to stay up to date on professor announcements and assignments.

Sakai review by Hillary K.
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"Sakai accessible and easy to use for students and professors!"

What do you like best?

Sakai is very user-friendly and accessible, and allows everything to be accessed from one single source. It made my life as a student very easy to organize, as every material I needed, for multiple classes, was available through this site. I also appreciated the features I did not readily associate with my class, such as feedback and media, were available to me and my professors. As an administrator for a class, I always had an easy time setting up a Sakai site.

What do you dislike?

I wish there was a more seamless transition between active and inactive sites, and a way to organize inactive sites that are still being used from the completely irrelevant ones. I appreciate that the material on each site remains available to the user, but wish that was a little more accessible.

Another issue I ran into was simply communication via Sakai--some would post in forums, message boards, etc., but not everyone would. I don't know how, but it would be nice to find a way to get all users on the same page about interacting through the site.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Go in with an understanding of the primary uses your organization has for Sakai, so that you go in with a basic understanding of how/when to use it. There are many options, and it is easy to get lost in all that you don't need, so familiarize yourself with the tools and usages that are relevant to your particular organization.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Organization; access to information, scheduling, resources; a way to communicate among peers and professors.

Sakai review by Francesca D.
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"Consolidated School and Community Resources"

What do you like best?

Everything is in one place, and I can find everything I need for my classes. CTools puts grades, announcements, assignments - everything I need - in one place. It also allows for different types of assignments: forums, discussions, and short-answer assignments are available through the site. It is also nice that it is the only place I turn in essays and papers; rather than using TurnItIn or e-mail, I can send all my essays through CTools, and then receive feedback in the same place.

What do you dislike?

The format of the page could be better. It isn't as intuitive as I'd like.

It also seems impossible to remove myself or turn off notifications for pages/groups that I am in. For example, I am no longer interested in healthcare and yet I continue to receive 5+ emails a day from announcements from their CTools group page.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It is a very useful tool to students, teachers, and those in the business world. It has made keeping on top of my coursework much easier. Without it, I think it would be very difficult to be aware of my teachers' expectations. With CTools, I get updates and announcements immediately, and I can reference syllabi whenever I need. It is also easy to view past assignments and their feedback (assuming they were turned in through the site); this is very useful in determining what I need to improve upon when completing an assignment.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It's helped me keep track of all my schoolwork.

Sakai review by Laura K.
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"Easy, Simple, and in One Place"

What do you like best?

I love that all of your classes can be accessed through the same site. It's great that students can go to one spot to see announcements, download powerpoints and other notes, and submit homework all on the same site. Plus the chat feature is extremely helpful when you need to ask a quick question.

What do you dislike?

The interface could be updated to be slightly more modern. It would also be great to have access to all prior classes, not just the site but the content that was provided when each class.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

This a great site for campuses, or larger organizations that need to communicate with mass groups of people. The benefit of having all of your resources in one place increases the success rate for the individuals using it. It can minimize unnecessary questions being asked if the individual can locate the answers on their own based on the site content.

Sakai review by Nicki H.
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"Sakai Review"

What do you like best?

Online resources for courses and customized course/site creation per client. I like that we are able to host many different types of sites and that a student can be a part of many of these different types of class sites per term.

What do you dislike?

Lack of integration with our present course offerings through Ellucian Colleague application. We could have it integrated with active directory, but it would be great if it worked with WebAdvisor as well.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I would not implement this particular program without the Active Directory component being set up as well. It is time consuming to edit usernames, email addresses and passwords manually for 1,500+ users.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Online exams, quizzes, resources & discussions are handled through Sakai presently. We need this to reach the folks who are distanced learners or who are having trouble making the commute to campus each day of the week.

Sakai review by Rachel F.
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"Saki allows for easy communication "

What do you like best?

I like that I can go to CTools (the Saki website used by the University of Michigan) and have most everything I need for a class at the click of a mouse. Professors can easily communicate with students and post assignments. I also like that there is an option to receive an e-mail notification when an announcement has been added by a Professor.

What do you dislike?

The tab system at the top of the page used to navigate from class to class was a bit confusing for me at first. A bit of searching was required to find certain things uploaded by Professors.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I would definitely recommend this product to anyone looking for an easy way to communicate to a large group of people.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The University of Michigan uses Saki as a tool to better connect professors to their students. As a student, I find the biggest benefit of using Saki to be its ease of access. I can log onto the website at any time of day either on my computer or my phone, which is very convenient when I am on the go.

Sakai review by Morgan J.
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"Sakai is an awesome site that allows students to stay connected with all of their classes."

What do you like best?

I love that it has all of your classes on one sight. There is no need to go to multiple sites for different classes. All of the information is right where you need it and is easily accessible. It is also really cool that you still have access to the classes you have previously took and all of the assignments associated with it. Also, Sakai offers drop box which is a really convenient way to upload papers rather than printing them out and wasting paper. Overall, I love the program and find it crucial to my time at UMich.

What do you dislike?

Honestly, there really is not much that I dislike about Sakai. Although, I do believe that a cool feature that should be available is the option to communicate with your teachers through the program rather than having to email them separately.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Sakai is pretty self explanatory. Thus, there are not really any recommendations that I have for others.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Sakai has been re-branded for the University of Michigan. The university calls it C-Tools and is critical for a student's success. We can view all of our classes, previous and current, and see assignments and grades.

Sakai review by vijaykumar c.
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"Best LMS for the educational organizations and any domain which needs to educate the people"

What do you like best?

I have gone through the all the tools which are exist in Sakai LMS, and each tool has its own priority to reduce the problem of Mentor and Mentee. I have taken the classed to the students by using even other LMS tools but which are not user friendly as Sakai tools. I like mostly Lesson tool and Test and Quizzes most and these two are important to any domain who transfer the education one among to other.

What do you dislike?

As an end user as soon as he comes to Sakai pages, giving guidelines how to use the courses, but few screens are confusing to the end user. Need to provide end user to give his/her own names for the courses. This is bit confusing to the end user.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are solving the problems which are facing to educate the people in each and every domain,

Sakai review by User in Higher Education
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"Strong possibilities"

What do you like best?

SAKAI is continually expanding its functionality. The potential for the product expands as the developers refine the tools. For example, the gradebook feature is more sophisticated than when the product first launched. Also, more textbook publishers are creating products that work directly with SAKAI.

What do you dislike?

There are less customization options for the "home page" of each class. It would be exciting to be able to establish a "brand image" for my classes so that students who take more than one class become familiar with the set up of the class more easily.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Try out the new tools as they are implemented. There are many new features that make online learning and collaboration fun.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We use SAKAI for online classes at our college. The tool is handy to keep students informed for in person classes, too. However, the tool would work for coordination of committees and work groups. There is a wiki tool that could be used for asynchronous collaboration and idea generation.

Sakai review by Katrina W.
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"Gets the job done."

What do you like best?

Sakai is a solid management system for educational/instructional content. I used this platform during an internship in 2013 at a private company. I haven't used the most recent version, but the version that I did use was easy to pick up and very customizable.

What do you dislike?

Sakai's weaknesses were the same as the weaknesses that most LMS/CMS platforms face. Nothing in particular stood out to me while I used it during an internship in 2013.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It all depends on you/your institution's needs. Consider it, look at what Sakai has to offer, but don't forget to compare it to other tools that may be able to give you more options or more of what you're looking for.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The company I worked for provided graduate-level, focused certification pathways for educators in the K-12 environment.

Sakai review by Leah K.
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"Easy to use, all inclusive"

What do you like best?

I like that the website (collab) has virtually every feature possible. There is resource attachment, grading, tests/quizzes, discussion forums, etc. It is an all inclusive website so that there is only need to visit one place for almost all academic arenas.

What do you dislike?

While there is many features, none are very advanced. The test/quiz option only allows for simple fill in the blank or multiple choice. There is not an option for E-learning, especially an interactive style. Another good resource that is not available is grade calculation for students. I wish there was an excel style spreadsheet that professors can create (with the different weights each component of a class holds) and students could fill in hypothetical grades for assignments not yet completed.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

N/A

Sakai review by Gregory H.
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"Reveiw of Sakai"

What do you like best?

Customizable power combined with intuitive interface.

What do you dislike?

Some options are difficult to find. User should be able to customize his/her own default settings. Lake of attendance module. Does not communicate with Jenzabar, which means course shells must be created individually. This wastes time and creates innacuracies in roll sheets when students drop/add courses. Assignment resubmissions are complicated. If students miss deadlines, Sakai does not easily let give teachers the ability to accept late work. Vericite interface needs a lot of work. More options for users, like search sensitivity, quotation exclusion, and bibliography exclusion.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Special training available at Sakai conference is valuable. Sakai's own help module is easy to navigate and well-written. Support staff is available and knowledgeable.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Course managment & grades.

Sakai review by User
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"Review on Sakai"

What do you like best?

I use it for college and the best part about it is that all of my classes have pages on the site so all of the assignments, grades, and announcements are centralized into one place. It's easy to use and has a nice design to the site as well. Another great aspect is that it saves all of the classes that I've taken from previous semesters. So I get to see the content of my classes from before. This is great because as a premed student I need to look back on classes I've taken to study for the MCAT.

What do you dislike?

I don't know if this is a problem for my college or for Sakai itself, but during high usage times such as midterms or finals, the site runs pretty slowly which is frustrating. Also, I've written assignments on the site and they don't save where I've left off. So, I can't come back to an assignment, I have to write something in one go. One time my whole essay got deleted and I had to start all over which was a hassle but a save option would be nice on the site. Something I've noticed that would have been useful on the site was a calendar for each class. Therefore, I would be able to see when assignments are due and when tests take place.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Would definitely recommend as a product to use.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Seeing that I'm a student, I don't think this question applies to me.

Sakai review by User
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"Used for university purposes"

What do you like best?

it has a very organized format and it's easy to locate grades, resources, etc. i also liked that it took relatively little time for grades to show once the professors inputted them. i took several courses online using Sakai and had a very easy time adjusting to the website because of its simplicity. i also liked the format of the discussion boards and the forums because of the ability to change the format and font among other things. it was easy to navigate through the discussion boards because everything was dated and in chronological order.

What do you dislike?

sometimes there were too many tabs i.e. gradebook and gradebook 2 - what is the difference? this made it somewhat confusing at times because i would be looking for my grades under both tabs. also i thought that there really was no need for both the discussion board and a forum section. im not really sure what the difference between the two were...i utilized the discussion board all the time whereas i only used the forum once or twice in my four years of using Sakai.

Recommendations to others considering the product

sakai is definitely easier to use than other e-learning websites such as eCollege. it is so organized and easy to use. i think the best part was being able to locate all of the necessary files in one place. in addition, technical support was very timely and helpful.

i do think, however, that sometimes we had to click on too many links just to access a particular resources. it was kind of time consuming

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

i only used this on a personal basis to manage my university grades and resources. i did take a few online courses where all of the work was done on and submitted via Sakai..this was extremely convenient for me and I really did not experience any issues with it.

Sakai review by Administrator in Higher Education
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"Great tool for classroom learning!"

What do you like best?

As a student, I like the ability to keep track of my work, the ease with which I can navigate different classes, the opportunity to discuss various topics with my classmates, etc. As an instructor, I love the multiple options, such as Gradebook and Gradebook 2, depending on how much power I want when it comes to grades and weights. I also love the opportunity for bulk download when it comes to large classes (has saved me HOURS in grading), as well as the multiple opportunities for giving students feedback in various ways.

What do you dislike?

Sometimes, Sakai would load slowly when switching between students, and it would often offer me a comparable "saved" version of feedback that was the exact same version as what I had just written. It took extra time to click cancel and save instead of just saving it.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I would look at all the various options like Blackboard, etc. My university has subscriptions to both Blackboard as well as Sakai so that professors are able to have more flexibility and autonomy in how they would like to conduct their classes. That being said, most do use Sakai and it helps students be on the same page if they are using a similar system for many of their classes. It is a great and easy to use system.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

An easier way to handle large classes, more options of how to interact with students, etc.

Sakai review by Internal Consultant in Higher Education
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"Sakai 10"

What do you like best?

It is very flexible and easy to learn and use. We have a third party maintaining our use so we do not have to maintain it internally - since we don't have the technical staff to support it. I appreciate the addition of new tools as necessary (Lessons). One of the main reasons we purchased Sakai was because of its integration with Turning Technologies.

What do you dislike?

The Blog and Wiki tools leave a lot be be desired. There are much better third party tools, which is probably why they lack functionality. The same function (save) has a different name across different tools. Understandable for open source, but aggravating (for those of us who do training) nonetheless. The gradebook is definitely antiquated and it is next to impossible to import grades from another system (Peason's MyXXXlab products).

Recommendations to others considering the product

Not necessarily a recommendation but a consideration. With IU having been one of the critical developers switching to Canvas, what does that mean for the future growth of the product?

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We switched from Bb to Sakai about 5 years ago. It has served our needs. Although I am interested in something that is a little more mobile friendly and more of a Web 3.0 tool. The tools within Sakai are a bit antiquated.

Sakai review by User in Internet
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"Used Ctools, based on Sakai, at the University of Michigan"

What do you like best?

CTools is the LMS at the University of Michigan and was built on Sakai's open source infrastructure. What I liked best was being able to see all my assignments and class documents online as well as the ability to submit papers through the site. Some features like the chatrooms for classes was also a nice idea, though I did not see this utilized often, and when I did the participation in them varied.

What do you dislike?

CTools was not great from a usability standpoint. It was often pretty slow and the interface seems a bit outdated and clunky, despite the update the university made a couple years ago. I also didn't find it to be the most intuitive of interfaces. It was often hard to find where certain settings were located, and the flow of using it was not particularly smooth.

How useful it is is also very dependent upon the teachers using it. Some professors took time to figure Ctools out and use it to its full potential, while others used it very sparsely, or not at all.

Furthermore, and this may be more do to my university rather than the tool itself, it seemed as though system maintenance occured at the worst possible times, often around midterms and finals when users were heavily dependent on it to complete essays or access study material.

Recommendations to others considering the product

From a student's perspective, how useful Sakai is and how easy it is to use is highly dependent on a lot of outside forces. Since it's open source, how the school or organization sets it up will make a load of difference in how well it works. Furthermore, how much you use it is going to depend how engaged your professors are with it.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I was using the tool to keep up with my classes and access documents and assignments. It was great for eliminating the need for paper assignments and keeping things organized in a single place. It was also nice to be able to see your current grades, however this was very dependent on the professor and how often they updated information within the system.

Sakai review by Administrator in Higher Education
Administrator in Higher Education
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"A tool for great collaboration"

What do you like best?

I use Sakai everyday even when I am not doing assignment as it gives me access to my resource. I use a lot of features for example submitting work online later, review work of my students and see who is online.

What do you dislike?

It's too complicated and Cumbersome at the beginning but gives easy later. I'm

Recommendations to others considering the product

Good

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Collaborate with others. Easy to do that.

Sakai review by User in Architecture & Planning
User in Architecture & Planning
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"CTools is helpful, but could use a facelift"

What do you like best?

CTools is very helpful and easy to use. I like the multiple uses and organizational structure. I believe the uses for it are very relevant to schools and colleges. I believe that while it doesn't look the best, the uses are still very real. I've never had any huge problems with CTools, I trust it to work.

What do you dislike?

I dislike the look, it needs to look better. Also more collaborative options like MBox or Google Drive. That would've really helped during capstone classes. I would like easier options for uploading submissions. In addition, the forums are good, but need to be improved by being easier to access - maybe with arrows to have them be accessible instead of going to a new page. I really don't like how when I try to right click something to bring it in a new tab, it doesn't show up right and isn't helpful. Like - if I am right clicking on an article my professor posted, the actual article won't open in the new tab it will just take me to an uglier page of the one I was originally trying to click on. Hopefully in newer versions, CTools will update and look better.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It is ideal for school uses.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

One project using CTools was with studying, using slides, reading, and learning. I think CTools does a great job helping me work on what I need to do as a student.

Sakai review by Rachel D.
Rachel D.
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"A clunky antiquated education software"

What do you like best?

My favorite part would have to be the notifications that were sent directly to my email.

What do you dislike?

The software felt old and antiquated. It lacked a visual and practical sophistication that would have been expected of a program that has current updates.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I would be aware that the program is and feels older that it is.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

This program worked well enough for my college courses

Sakai review by Industry Analyst / Tech Writer
Industry Analyst / Tech Writer
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"My Sakai experience: both as user and developer"

What do you like best?

I think it is as complete as an online platform can be for providing all the requirements associated to the education process. It is also adaptable to many external tools and it always keeps evolving. There's a great community that can help you to solve to every problem you face.

What do you dislike?

Maybe the learning curve is quite big for new developers and also probably there's a lack of information about the possibilities of the product to the general user.

Recommendations to others considering the product

First of all: don't be scared! The Sakai community is very lively and will respond to any questions you have. Sakai is a very robust work and offers a good deal of tools for your educational needs.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We're trying to solve all the needs of our clients (students, teachers, administrators...) and enforce the Sakai product with new functionalities.

Sakai review by Maggie S.
Maggie S.
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"Overall user friendly and straightforward (cTools)"

What do you like best?

It's nice to have access to things like grades and lecture slides, and the test center is really nice for online homework. Everything is all in one place

What do you dislike?

I'm not sure if this is just a setting determined by professors, but I wish the gradebook function would calculate our grades as we go. I have used another product that allowed me to see what my grade is at any point in time as well as enter in possible future grades to get an idea of where I'm at.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I'm not really solving any problems by using the program, because I just use it for classes.

Sakai review by User in Higher Education
User in Higher Education
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"Sakai Review"

What do you like best?

Sakai is a better-than most learning management system platform that I have used for years for college instruction. The tools are relatively easy to use and straightforward.

What do you dislike?

Canvas has a lot more options and bells and whistles for students and faculty to use, but that can also be overwhelming at times.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Teaching college courses.

Sakai review by User in Religious Institutions
User in Religious Institutions
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"Teaching/Learning Collaboration Suite"

What do you like best?

Intuitive and accessible platform, great for professors to post, grade, and comment on assignments, and for students to upload assignments. Easy to access and track grades.

What do you dislike?

I'd like to see a mobile app that would increase mobile functionality. It'd be great for students to be able to post/upload/view grades on an app and for instructors to manage, post, etc.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Sakai is used by many of the nation's best institutions of higher learning, and there's a reason for that. It's a high quality product unparalleled in its field.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Collaboration, course assignments, and teacher-student communication.

Sakai review by Brie R.
Brie R.
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content

"Good but not best solution"

What do you like best?

Has some features that work good like forums and and discussions. Fairly simple to use.

What do you dislike?

Not the best looking layout and could use additional mobile functionality.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Good tool but it could use additional features or upgrades to make more modern and user friendly.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Easy for students and teachers to connect. Great tool for collaborating.

Kate from G2

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