Sakai Courseware Management: The Official Guide

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  • Set up, maintain and run Sakai in your learning institution
  • Explore the underlying technologies involved and use them to their best effect.
  • Discover what tools exist and how to employ them effectively
  • Design a great online learning experience
  • Use web services to connect to other systems
  • Understand how Sakai can scale to support hundreds of thousands of students
  • Learn best practices to avoid common pitfalls

This book is the officially endorsed Sakai guide. From setting up and running Sakai for the first time to creatively using its tools, this book delivers everything you need to know.

Written by Alan Berg, Senior developer at the IC ( and a Sakai fellow and Michael Korcuska, the executive director of the Sakai Foundation, and with significant contributions from the Sakai community, this book is a comprehensive study of how Sakai should be used, managed and maintained.

Sakai represents a Collaboration and Learning environment that provides the means of managing users, courses, instructors, and facilities, as well as a spectrum of tools including assessment, grading, and messaging.

Sakai is loaded with many handy software tools, which help you in online collaboration. You can improve your coursework using features that supplement and enhance teaching and learning. You can use tools that will help you organize your communication and collaborative work.

The book opens with an overview that explains Sakai, its history and how to set up a demonstration version. The underlying structures within Sakai are described and you can then start working on Sakai and create your first course or project site using the concepts explained in this book. You will then structure online courses for teaching and collaboration between groups of students. Soon after mastering the Administration Workspace section you will realize that there is a vast difference between the knowledge that is required for running a demonstration version of Sakai and that needed for maintaining production systems. You will then strengthen your concepts by going through the ten real-world situations given in this book.

The book also discusses courses that have won awards, displays a rogue's gallery of 30 active members of the community, and describes what motivates management at the University of Amsterdam to buy into Sakai. Finally, the executive director of the Sakai Foundation looks towards the future.

  • Covers working with Sakai tools, the administration workspace, and more
  • Includes lots of ideas and best practices for teachers and trainers on using Sakai effectively
  • Create instructional materials and design students' activities
  • A step-by-step approach with practical examples, ample screenshots, and comprehensive content for a wide target audience
Page Count 504
Course Length 15 hours 7 minutes
ISBN 9781847199409
Date Of Publication 9 Jun 2009


Alan Mark Berg

Alan Mark Berg, BSc, MSc, PGCE, has been the lead developer at Central Computer Services at the University of Amsterdam since 1998. He is currently working in an Innovation Work Group that accelerates the creation of new and exciting services. In his famously scarce spare time, he writes. Alan has a bachelor's degree, two master's degrees, a teaching qualification, and quality assurance certifications. He has also coauthored two Packt Publishing books about Sakai , a highly successful open source learning management platform used by millions of students around the world. He has won a couple of awards, including the Sakai Fellowship and Teaching With Sakai Innovation Award (TWSIA). Alan enjoys working with talent; this forces him to improve his own competencies. This motivation is why Alan enjoys working in energetic, open source communities of interest.

At the time of writing, he is on the board of directors of the Apereo Foundation and is the community officer for its Learning Analytics Initiative.In previous incarnations, Alan was a QA director, a technical writer, an Internet/Linux course writer, a product line development officer, and a teacher. He likes to get his hands dirty with building, gluing systems, exploring data, and turning it into actionable information. He remains agile by ruining various development and acceptance environments and generally rampaging through the green fields of technological opportunity.

Michael Korcuska

Michael Korcuska is the Executive Director of the Sakai foundation and has nearly 20 years of experience in technology-enabled education and training. Prior to joining Sakai, Michael served as Chief Operating Officer for ELT, Inc., a leading compliance-training provider. He has also held leadership positions at DigitalThink (now Convergys Learning Solutions) and Cognitive Arts, an award winning custom e-learning developer. Michael got his start in technology-based learning at Stanford University's Courseware Authoring Tools Lab and Apple Computer's Multimedia Lab in the late 1980s. He holds an M.S. in Computer Science from Northwestern University (where he studied and worked at the Institute for the Learning Sciences) and B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University. He usually lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and two children although his writing for this book was done during a year living in Paris, France.