Sakai is an open source learning system, an online collaboration to support teaching, learning and research collaboration. Many of the developers come from the organizations that are using Sakai; an ongoing development of new tools is just one of the advantages of this community. It should be noted that academic institutions have had a major influence in the development of Sakai teaching software, thus tailoring it to specific needs and situations and giving it an edge over other educational programs. |
A set of generic collaboration tools forms the core of this program, augmented with tools designed for particular applications.
Discussions can be a big part of learning and Sakai provides forum discussion and private messaging. It also includes a message center that lets instructors set up moderated discussions where posts are screened before appearing to other students. Forums can be made visible or be locked whenever the instructor decides, students can choose to have email notification of new posts or replies and there are unlimited forums and categories. Students and teachers can also "watch" topics rather than repeatedly checking the discussion for reactions. Instructors can restrict access to certain groups or have discussions open to everyone. These features are a distinct advantage over other major educational software.
Sakai knows convenience is important, providing drop boxes for student assignments and providing for inline inclusion or attachments using the Assignments tool. Students can create their own project sites and allow other students access, putting all Sakai tools (discussion, chat, calendar, file sharing, etc.) in reach of student groups to facilitate group activities.
Overall, Sakai caters to the needs of both instructors and students with a plethora of user-friendly tools and features.