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Sessions at Open Apereo 2013 Conference (Jasig & Sakai) about Sakai CLE on Wednesday 5th June Main Sessions, Showcase Demos

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  • Beyond Putting Lipstick on the Pig

    by Francesca Socolick

    At its core, usability practices are implemented to gain a better understanding of a user's behaviors, rather than preferences, within an application. This presentation will focus on what user experience is, some easy low-cost methods to gather and analyze data, and how solid UX practices make for good design. Participants will see a glimpse of data gathered during research, wireframes, and the reasoning behind NYU's decisions behind skin and user interface updates/changes within Sakai CLE 2.8. After this session, attendees will have a better understanding of how engaging their users may lead to better and more meaningful design choices for their institutions.

    This presentation is for anyone who supports an open source platform within his or her institution and would like to have a better understanding of how an application is used in terms of providing 1) better documentation 2) better training 3) better redesigns.

    At 9:00am to 9:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond I, The Westin San Diego

  • BOF: Upgrading Sakai CLE from 2.6+ to 2.9 without going insane

    by Charles Hasegawa, Aaron Zeckoski and Lydia Li

    Stanford just upgraded from Sakai CLE 2.6 to 2.9. We also migrated hundreds of local customizations including new features, locally built tools, UX improvements and tweaks, and SIS integrations. We'll discuss our experiences and pain points. Hopefully it will be an opportunity for all to learn how to do an upgrade while managing a massive number of local customizations.

    At 9:00am to 9:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Gaslamp, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage slide deck

  • Sakai and Google Integrations

    by John Johnston

    In 2012 the University of Michigan signed a 10-year contract with Google to provide Google Apps for Education to the academy. As a result, there has been significant interest among faculty, students, and campus leadership for integrations between the CLE and various Google tools. This sessions will discuss what we have been doing to meet those expectations. Specifically we will cover the following developments:

    • Setting the Groundwork: Provisioning Google course groups with our student information system
    • Baby Steps: Our initial (somewhat superficial) integrations
    • Google Calendar: Full integration of the Google Calendar interface into Sakai, leveraging the FullCalendar javascript library
    • Dynamic Links: Integrated links with dynamic "badges" which provide a visual representation of new notifications in Google Mail, Drive, Calendar, and Google+
    • Future Integrations: Provisioning Google Drive folders for course sites. Automating assignment postings in Google Calendar. Google Hangouts in Sakai.

    Presentation Slides: https://docs.google.com/a/umich....

    At 9:00am to 9:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond II, The Westin San Diego

  • Sakai CLE Governance & Future Direction

    by Megan May and Anthony Whyte

    It's been a decade since the founding of the Sakai Project and nine years since the release of version 1.0 of the Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment (CLE). During this time the governance structure that supports the CLE product has evolved. Come learn how the Sakai CLE TCC (Technical Coordination Committee) group oversees, evolves and provides strategy for the Sakai CLE product. Additionally, this session will provide a year in review and an in-depth look at how the 2.9 release came to be, what it is and where Sakai is going in the future.

    Come prepare to engage in discussion, give feedback and ask questions.

    At 9:00am to 9:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Topaz, The Westin San Diego

  • TWSIA Winner: Introduction to Communication Science: MOOC on the Sakai Platform

    by Arie den Boon

    The MOOC Introduction to Communication Science of the University of Amsterdam was built on the Sakai platform because we had quite a lot of experience with WebKlassen, a small scale version of online education. The Sakai platform was a good choice; it provided almost all we wanted in our first MOOC. The costs of the extra development were negligible compared to building a dedicated new platform. The students were very happy with the MOOC: 95% agreed the course fulfilled its promise, 92% enjoyed the course, 95% thought the course was interesting and 70% found the exam challenging, certainly not too easy. And 97% replied that the UvA should provide more MOOC?s (n=717). The experiment with our MOOC has fired up the internal and external discussions about online education. The results challenge the traditional wisdom of the quality of education in workgroups and in hall lectures. The didactical model behind a MOOC should be very different from traditional forms to be effective and efficient. But MOOC?s have some challenges too. But we are only at the beginning. MOOC?s are here to stay and MOOC?s are here to change.

    At 9:00am to 9:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Crystal II, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage video

  • Gradebook 2 - Local Modifications and Feature Enhancements

    by Yuanhua Qu, Chris Schauer and Jimmy Rico

    This presentation will showcase a number of features and improvements made to the gradebook2 tool at Texas State University ? San Marcos to address faculty concerns regarding the adoption of the gradebook2 tool and the phasing out of the original gradebook tool.

    Features that will be discussed include the ability to enter a score above the maximum points, calculation of a student's total points, a display for category averages per student, importing a custom file format, additions to the student summary page, printing an individual students grades, and various UI improvements made throughout the tool.

    At 10:00am to 10:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Topaz, The Westin San Diego

  • Implementing Sakai at Your Institution

    by Reba-Anna Lee

    Transition in a higher education institutes is never easy. But transitioning from a vendor model to an open-source or community-source solution, particularly at small and mid-size institution, presents unique challenges. With institutions currently facing the decisions on upgrading to a new version of a vendor product, there is a growing interest in understanding what is involved in implementing Sakai at your institution. In addition, many smaller institutions that have gone without course management systems are beginning to realize the central role this technology is and will increasingly play in the teaching and learning process online and on-campus. These questions and related issues will be answered and addressed during this session. This session will focus on Marist College and its smooth transition to Sakai.

    At 10:00am to 10:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond II, The Westin San Diego

  • BOF: The Technical Side of Sakai at a Mid-Sized University

    by Paul Dagnall and David Bauer

    The purpose of this session is to create a forum for discussing the technical side of installing and maintaining Sakai at a mid-sized university. The University of Dayton (7,500 undergraduates) will give a brief overview of their journey implementing Sakai with a staff of 2 developers and 3 E-Learning Specialists, and will discuss some of the challenges they have faced since Sakai's adoption. The floor will then open for an exchange of ideas about technical practices and strategies related to Sakai.

    The discussion will be broken into two main areas, Infrastructure and Development Practices. Topics will include (but are not limited to):

    Infrastructure.

    • Diagnosing and reporting on performance issues related to inadequate hardware
    • Expanding from a single application server to a VMware cluster
    • Moving binary content out of a database and onto a file server
    • Offsite DR

    Development Practices

    • Upgrading with several local customs
    • Applying individual community patches vs. upgrading

    At 11:00am to 11:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Gaslamp, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage slide deck

  • Lessons Update

    by Charles Hedrick

    This presentation will cover the Lessons tool. This is a tool for presenting structured content in Sakai CLE. The session will cover the current status and future plans for the tool.

    At 11:00am to 11:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Crystal II, The Westin San Diego

  • Practical Monitoring, Tuning and Troubleshooting of Sakai CLE

    by Michael DeSimone and Brooke Biltimier

    Supporting a Sakai CLE instance in production is a mixture between theoretical and empirical data gathering. Often it is only under production loads that certain application behaviors exhibit themselves.

    When complaints start coming in about slow performance, error reports, and other undesirable outcomes, what should you do first? We will look at several areas that have been very useful in identifying and resolving these issues.

    rSmart supports several dozen clients in their hosting environment in Phoenix, AZ running at various loads, configurations and integrations. This varied environment has provided fertile ground in which to hone the craft of application monitoring, problem analysis and remediation.

    We will review some of the techniques used in our day to day operations to support the expanding resource needs of Sakai as more and more students and faculty log on. How to triage, what metrics to analyze and what tools are available for this will be presented.

    At 11:00am to 11:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond I, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage video

  • What's New in Kaltura CLE?

    by Robert Long and Aaron Zeckoski

    Managing media (video, audio, images, etc.) for a campus is a complex task. Kaltura provides a solution for encoding and storage of media content which integrates with many popular platforms like Sakai. Come see a demo of the new features in the Sakai Kaltura integration for CLE. We will also discuss new and upcoming features in Kaltura and the Sakai integrations and finally see how schools are currently using Kaltura with Sakai and discuss what needs the community might have.

    At 11:00am to 11:45am, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond II, The Westin San Diego

  • CLE Team Update

    by Sam Ottenhoff and Aaron Zeckoski

    Find out what the Sakai CLE team has been up to over the past year. We will cover changes to the release process (especially around the 2.9 release), technical improvements, areas of focus for the team, and some fun JIRA stats. We especially welcome anyone interested in joining and contributing to the CLE team (including QA, Documentors, Developers, SVN admins, JIRA review, etc.)

    At 2:45pm to 3:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Topaz, The Westin San Diego

  • Swap the Engine without Stopping the Car: A Sakai CLE Infrastructure Replacement Project

    by Jeff Cousineau and Beth Kirschner

    During the academic year spanning 2011 and 2012, the Sakai-based "CTools" service at the University of Michigan underwent an infrastructure overhaul - a complete rebuild of the service platform from the ground up. Recognizing the importance and priority of the Teaching & Learning suite of services in support of the academic and research missions of the university, a monumental effort was required to bring the CTools infrastructure in line with strategic technical and organizational directions for IT at the University of Michigan. An 18-month timeline was required from initial project proposal to completion of post-deployment stabilization tasks.

    This presentation will cover a high-level overview of a number of topics including:

    • Service background & history
    • Rationale for changes
    • Architecture decisions
    • Implementation overview
    • Communications planning & scheduling
    • Development impact
    • Capacity & performance testing
    • DRBC
    • Deployment
    • Successes and challenges
    • Stabilization
    • Where we are now
    • Lessons learned
    • Monitoring & Diagnostic Tools

    At 2:45pm to 3:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond II, The Westin San Diego

  • Using Sakai with Multiple Locales

    by Cris Holdorph and Phillip Ball

    Sakai is now in use all over the world. Many institutions use Sakai in a language other then English. Sakai is very configurable and able to support localization in a variety of different locales. There are still challenges, however, if you try to support multiple locales in the same Sakai server at the same time.

    This session will quickly introduce the topic of localization in Sakai to those who might not be familiar with how it is done. The session will then turn its focus on the problems that come up when you try to support multiple locales in the same Sakai system at the same time.

    Some of the topics that will be covered:

    • Date / Time problems
    • Grading Scales
    • Non-property file localization (.xml, .html)
    • Roles
    • Site Types

    At 2:45pm to 3:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond I, The Westin San Diego

  • ElasticSearch: You know, for Search

    by John Bush

    Elasticsearch is an Open Source (Apache 2), Distributed, RESTful, Search Engine built on top of Apache Lucene. Its was designed from the ground up to be cloud friendly. This session will explore the migration of Sakai's search system to an embedded ElasticSearch solution. The fundamentals of deploying and using ElasticSearch will be discussed in a way that is useful for any project that might need its capabilities.

    Elasticsearch is designed to scale out horizontally. As such its being used in production on top of huge datasets. Our experiences tuning the system for typical data sets experienced with Sakai will be presented.

    At 3:45pm to 4:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Diamond I, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage video

  • Integration at Enterprise Scale - Student, Library, Learning and Research Systems

    by Robert McDonald and Michael Winkler

    Partners from the Kuali Open Library Environment (OLE) will talk about the ongoing development process for their enterprise level library management system and the potential that they see for an aligned integration framework that would offer concierge level services to their enterprise institutional system partners (Student Information Systems, Learning Management Systems, Research Administration Systems). Features of Kuali OLE that make it unique include a "format-agnostic" document store (Apache Jackrabbit) that can include structured descriptive content (e.g. XML, Dublin Core) and unstructured content (e.g. PDF files, PPT, Word docs); workflow tools based on the latest version of Kuali RICE (2.1.2) and featuring the Kuali Rapid Application Development (KRAD) Toolkit (e.g. action lists, batch-processing tools); and integration tools.
    As more enterprise level systems become aligned for use in cloud-based SaaS and IaaS deployment, we will see the abstraction capability necessary to align these systems using a services oriented framework. Kuali OLE is working towards this capability now and can envision a time when many of our currently siloed systems should and could work together for better information management of the enterprise. Kuali OLE can envision many opportunities for integration across the enterprise but what will it take in terms of middleware integration and standards adoption to make this happen? What are the appropriate roles for data management across the enterprise once this does occur to best capitalize on the rich data store and functional expertise of our various application support personnel. Can libraries best manage the docstore repositories that support much of our current business workflow and then apply archival specific management plans to that content for long-term born-digital document management? Can research administration systems supply the best researcher profile information that can then be used to enhance library-based institutional repositories for capturing the open access content of the researcher? Can student systems interact with library management systems at a level to best supply the library-financed econtent to support their current courses?

    At 3:45pm to 4:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Opal, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage video

  • Performance of SAKAI in managing large class enrollments for a fully online teaching model

    by Francette Myburgh

    In 2013 UNISA is piloting a new curriculum model that would lead to its goal of offering all tuition online only by 2015. Six modules were chosen to map the way forward. The first student intakes in 2013 is moderate, i.e. below 35 000.

    Performance of SAKAI tools is an issue in the management of large class enrollments. Several tools, e.g. Site Info Participant list, Gradebook, Blogs, etc become difficult to use and their layout unwieldy when large numbers of students participate in online activity. For these reasons, and in support of focussed online mentoring, UNISA took a significant departure from previous teaching methods, and divided students in these pilot modules into groups of 30, each with their own auto-populated copy of the master site. This presentation will highlight the challenges faced by this project and the modifications made to SAKAI in providing a stable technical environment.

    At 3:45pm to 4:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Pearl, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage video

  • TWSIA Winner: Piecing Together the Research Puzzle: A blended learning course

    by Cheryl Brown and Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams

    Our course reflects both innovative pedagogical and technological strategies. Pedagogically we endeavored to "decipher" the process of research design and engage students' interest by creating the metaphor of "telling a story about a puzzle that you intend to solve." The storyline enabled students to develop a concise, jargon-free way to describe the components of their proposed research.
    Technologically we used the Lesson Builder in Sakai to structure an electronic course organizer that followed the same 11 pieces of the puzzle and linked these internally to presentations by experts who came to tell their "research stories"; Opencast recordings; online readings; summaries of class activities and key questions as well as artifacts (e.g. photos of group activities, diagrams on the Panaboard). External links included those to Google Docs which contained our typed lecture notes on which students were invited to comment; and specific research design websites, amongst other things.
    Each element was developed as the course progressed to avoid overwhelming students with a complex site and many readings and so we literally "pieced together the puzzle" as we went along.

    At 3:45pm to 4:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Crystal II, The Westin San Diego

  • EDUlib: a MOOC Platform Using SAKAI

    by Jean Talbot

    In November 2012, HEC Montreal successfully launched a MOOC using Sakai CLE 2.8. The platform called EDUlib can be accessed at edulib.hec.ca. The course, Introduction to marketing, was taught in French and attracted over 4000 participants of whom 458 completed the 6-week course successfully. The material was made available through web pages stored in Resources and the following tools were used extensively during the course: Announcements, Tests & Quizzes, Forums, Profile 2, Gradebook 2. Overall, the Sakai platform performed quite well. As a result, we will be continuing our MOOC experience. A second course, Understanding financial statements, is scheduled to start in March with over 5 000 participants and two more courses are plannned for the near future.

    After reviewing briefly the results and the main features of the first two EDUlib courses, the presentation will focus on the pros and cons of Sakai as a MOOC platform and conclude with a list of features that should be incorporated in Sakai in order to deliver MOOCs sucessfully.

    At 4:45pm to 5:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Topaz, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage video

  • Sakai CLE at the Crossroads: Proposals for Change

    by Anthony Whyte and Seth Theriault

    As the Sakai CLE prepares to enter a second decade of service, the emergence of highly scalable, cloud-based SAAS alternatives coupled with increasing demand for analytics-based learning platforms raise questions about the CLE's development roadmap. Can Sakai's community source model deliver new and innovative capabilities at a pace fast enough to keep up with competitors? Is the CLE governance model adequate for the ongoing logistical, technical and functional challenges the community faces? Can longstanding barriers to participation and investment be overcome and sufficient energy harnessed to reinvigorate project fundamentals? Seth Theriault and Anthony Whyte consider these and other questions confronting the Sakai CLE and offer in response a set of actionable proposals for change.

    At 4:45pm to 5:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Opal, The Westin San Diego

    Coverage video

  • Self-paced learning and certificates with Sakai and Drupal

    by Nicola Monat-Jacobs

    Sakai was originally developed as a tool for traditional higher education institutions where the students are guided through the course by a professor or instructor (often an accompaniment to an in-person course). However, Sakai use is expanding into other learning organizations and often folks want to use it for other kinds of learning needs. These types of courses include totally online and/or self-paced courses, professional development and recertification, and personal enrichment. This presentation will cover some of the challenges of accommodating these uses in Sakai and a high-level overview of one approach Longsight has taken to integrate Sakai with Drupal to accommodate next-gen learning challenges like self-registration, payment, badges and certificates.

    At 4:45pm to 5:30pm, Wednesday 5th June

    In Pearl, The Westin San Diego