Many organizations are considering a change to their learning platforms. How can you evaluate if Sakai is right for you?
Recommendation One:Acknowledge the need for a new process
The traditional processes for evaluating vendor software generally do not work well with Sakai, or with any community-source system. Begin the evaluation process with an assessment of your organization’s goals and a review of the process to ensure that it will not create obstacles in your ability to get the right information for sound decision-making.
Recommendation Two:Try Sakai
Anyone can try Sakai. The commercial affiliates offer hosted versions of Sakai that are openly available. You may download Sakai and run a pilot version for your campus. You may peruse the supplementary tools and known issues. Your access to the software and the information about the software is a significant advantage in making the best decision for your institution.
Recommendation Three:Involve the community in your process
Hundreds of institutions have evaluated and adopted Sakai in the past year. Each institution has done a review of the options available and determined that Sakai is the best fit. Each institution also realistically identified risks, short-comings and challenges with Sakai. As you begin your evaluation, solicit input from Sakai community members. This can easily be done through the Sakai email lists or at community events.
Recommendation Four:Be realistic and share your experiences
We are not aware of a model for adopting Sakai that includes paying a license fee. As such, there is not funding to support the scope of RFP responses, on-site demos, and sales shenanigans that accompany most procurement processes. All of us benefit from focusing our limited resources on enhancing Sakai rather than on marketing programs. Please seek to streamline the complexity of your process so that we, as a community, can assist you in finding the information you need. As you finish your process, please share it with others to assist them in learning from your experience.
Recommendation Five:Review the engagement suggestions with your community
We have created recommendations for your users, system administrators and technical contributors to engage with Sakai. Please share these suggestions broadly with your community.