Sakai Project

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File:Sakai logo reg mark hi res.jpg
Stable release 2.6.1 / October 15, 2009; 355856185 ago
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Course Management System
License Educational Community License

This page is about the software project, for other meanings, see Sakai.

Sakai is a community of academic institutions, commercial organizations and individuals who work together to develop a common Collaboration and Learning Environment (CLE). The Sakai CLE is a free, community source, educational software platform distributed under the Educational Community License (a type of open source license). The Sakai CLE is used for teaching, research and collaboration. Systems of this type are also known as Course Management Systems (CMS), Learning Management Systems (LMS), or Virtual Learning Environments (VLE).

Sakai is a Java-based, service-oriented application suite that is designed to be scalable, reliable, interoperable and extensible. Version 1.0 was released in March 2005.

As of July 2007, Sakai is in production at over 150 institutions and being piloted by over 100 more. A map showing many of these is available.



The development of the Sakai CLE was originally funded by a grant from the Mellon Foundation as the Sakai Project. The early versions of the software were based on existing tools created by the founding institutions, with the largest piece coming from the University of Michigan's "CHEF" course management system. Sakai, in a play on the word “chef,”[citation needed] refers to Iron Chef Hiroyuki Sakai.

The original institutions started meeting in February 2004. Each institution had built a custom course management system:

In 2005 Indiana University moved all of its legacy systems to the Sakai implementation OnCourse. On October 5, 2007, the University of Virginia announced that it will be implementing Sakai throughout the university instead of the ToolKit.

Once the first version of Sakai became publicly available, the original five institutions invited other institutions to join through the "Sakai Partners Program". The partner institutions contributed to the program financially and by submitting code to the project. Blackboard is beginning to experience Sakai as a serious competitor, according the The Chronicle.

As the project phase neared completion in 2005, the Sakai Project set up a foundation to oversee the continued work on Sakai. In 2006 the Sakai Foundation named Dr. Charles Severance, who previously had served as Chief Architect, as its first Executive Director. On July 24, 2007 Dr. Severance stepped down as Executive Director, and Michael Korcuska was selected by the Sakai Foundation to fill the role. Development work is currently supported by community members (resources provided by academic institutions and commercial affiliates as well as individual volunteers) and the Sakai Foundation. The number of organizations involved is now well over 100.

Software features

The Sakai software includes many of the features common to course management systems, including document distribution, a gradebook, discussion, live chat, assignment uploads, and online testing.

In addition to the course management features, Sakai is intended as a collaborative tool for research and group projects. To support this function, Sakai includes the ability to change the settings of all the tools based on roles, changing what the system permits different users to do with each tool. It also includes a wiki, mailing list distribution and archiving, and an RSS reader. The core tools can be augmented with tools designed for a particular application of Sakai. Examples might include sites for collaborative projects, teaching and portfolios.

My Workspace tools

  • Preferences - allows setting of preferences
  • Message Of The Day

Generic collaboration tools

  • Announcements - used to inform site participants about current items of interest
  • Drop Box - allows instructors and students to share documents within a private folder for each participant
  • Email Archive - all messages sent to a site's email address are stored in the Email Archive
  • Resources - share many kinds of material securely with members of your site, or make them available to the public
  • Chat Room - for real-time, unstructured conversations among site participants who are signed on to the site at the same time
  • Forums - communication tool that instructors or site leaders can use to create an unlimited number of discussion forums
  • Message Center - a communication tool that allows site participants to communicate using internal course mail
  • News / RSS - uses RSS to bring dynamic news to your worksite
  • Poll tool - allows users to set up an online vote for site participants
  • Presentation - allows you to present a set of slides to many viewers
  • Profile / Roster - view the names, photos, and profiles of site participants
  • Repository Search - search content created by tools within a worksite or course
  • Schedule - allows instructors or site organizers to post items in a calendar format

Teaching tools

  • Assignments
  • Grade book
  • Module Editor
  • QTI Authoring
  • QTI Assessment
  • Section Management
  • Syllabus

Portfolio tools

  • Forms
  • Evaluations
  • Glossary
  • Matrices
  • Layouts
  • Templates
  • Reports
  • Wizards
  • Search
  • Web Content
  • WebDAV
  • Wiki
  • Site Setup
  • MySakai Widgets

Sakai Community and Foundation

The Sakai community is an international alliance of universities, colleges and commercial affiliates working with standards organizations and other open-source software initiatives to develop and freely distribute enterprise software applications using Sakai's community-source approach. Many institutions in the Sakai community are members of the Foundation, but joining the Sakai Foundation is not required to use the software or participate in the community.

The Sakai Foundation is a member-based, non-profit corporation. It encourages community-building between individuals, academic institutions, non-profits and commercial organizations and provides its members with an institutional framework for their projects. The Foundation also works to promote the wider adoption of community-source and open standards approaches to software solutions within the education and research communities.

The Sakai Foundation currently organizes two conferences each year.

See also


External links

fr:Sakai (formation en ligne) nl:Sakai Project no:Sakai (LMS) ja:Sakai Project pl:Sakai Project vi:Dự án Sakai

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