Sakai 11

(83)
3.7 out of 5 stars

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 11 Reviews

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Sakai review by <span>Daniel M.</span>
Daniel M.
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Verified Current User
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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 <span>Kim B.</span>
Kim B.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"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 <span>Nameer M.</span>
Nameer M.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"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 <span>Amanda H.</span>
Amanda H.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"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 Administrator in Higher Education
Administrator in Higher Education
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"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
Administrator
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"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.

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