With innovative new functionality and a beautiful new responsive design.

Features of Sakai


Responsive User Interface

The user interface in Sakai has been completely redesigned in order to provide powerful new capabilities and a clean, modern design. The new interface, code-named Morpheus, features a number of functional enhancements framed by a responsive, iframe-less tool structure. This new design provides an optimized user experience on any device, from desktop computers to smartphones. And thanks to improved style sheets, developers can easily modify the Sakai interface to create their own customized skins. Features include:

  • Mobile-ready navigation

  • Responsive design optimized for desktop, tablet, and mobile screens

  • Functional enhancements, including a breadcrumb navigation bar and a simplified process for managing favorites sites

  • Improved accessibility and screen-reader compatibility

  • Interface controlled by SASS (Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets)

  • Incorporates Bootstrap and Font Awesome libraries, making it easier than ever to develop new tools and customize them with well-known libraries.


New Gradebook

Designed to provide faster, easier grade-entry capabilities, the Sakai Gradebook is centered around a new spreadsheet-style interface. Fully compatible with legacy Gradebook content, the new Gradebook tool provides a number of functional enhancements, including:

  • Spreadsheet-style grade entry

  • Automatic saving / score validation

  • Individual student Grade Summary screens, with integrated Student Review Mode

  • Simplified and consolidated Import/Export process

  • Enhanced statistics for graded items

  • Flexible display options for final course grades (letter grade, percentage, points)

  • Improved accessibility

  • Simplified settings screen


Lessons Tool Enhancements

Thanks to an improved tool interface and a number of functional enhancements, the Lessons tool in Sakai is more powerful and flexible than ever before. Content authoring/presentation is greatly enhanced by the inclusion of new, multi-column layouts. And with a host of additional features, it is easier than ever to develop innovative content, especially student-generated content. These include:

  • Simplified menu bar with categorized menu items

  • More concise instruction on the Lessons landing page

  • New functionality: section breaks and column breaks

  • New page layout design possibilities (breaking content items into multiple sections and columns)

  • Multiple ways to add content items on the page

  • Style settings for column content areas

  • Enhancements to forum topics

  • Enhanced student content areas and peer review rubrics  

  • Responsive design

PA System

PA System

The PA System provides Sakai administrators with the ability to deliver timely alert banners and popups system-wide or to targeted sets of users within their Sakai instance. From simple banners at the top of the interface to fully customizable popup notifications, this system provides system admins with new and powerful ways to keep their users informed. Features include:

  • Banner alerts, with three different levels of severity:

    • Low - blue (permanently dismissible)

    • Medium - yellow (temporarily dismissible)

    • High - red (not dismissible)

  • Rich-text popup notifications controlled by customizable css templates

  • Ability to release banners to all users or to targeted server nodes

  • Ability to release popups to all users or to targeted sets of users

  • Timed release options for all PA System alerts


Improved Assessments

Online assessments are one of the core features of a learning management system, and in Sakai, the Tests & Quizzes tool benefits from a number of enhancements. Using funds raised from the 2014 Sakai Virtual Conference, the Samigo Tests & Quizzes Enhancements Project (STEP) produced a number of new features and improvements, including:

  • Section, group, and individual-specific delivery settings (e.g., due date, length of time to complete the assessment, etc.)

  • New question type: Hot Spot

  • Improved reporting capabilities, including the ability to see all assessment submissions for a student

  • New side panel that allows students to track question progress in an assessment

  • Over 30 other enhancements

Contact Us

Intelligent Feedback

The Contact Us tool provides powerful feedback functionality for every course/project site. By offering up to four different contact pathways within a single form, users can quickly and easily direct their questions/feedback to the correct individual/group. And with one click, the Contact Us tool can send an email to an institution’s helpdesk, with all relevant info automatically included (e.g., site URL, username, browser and version, plugins installed, etc.). Contact pathways include:

  • "Problem with content?" - sends an email to the site contact or site “maintainer”

  • "How do I do this?" - sends an email to a specific email address

  • "I've hit a bug / technical issue" - sends an email to the same specific email address

  • "Feature suggestion" - sends user to a specific web page


Mathematical Notation

Designed to present mathematics natively, Sakai can display LaTeX equations as mathematical notation on most pages. Using new LaTeX options, user can simply write LaTeX in an enabled tool and the resulting equation will be displayed beautifully. LaTeX updates include:

  • Identical output for all browsers and platforms

  • No images or special browser plugins required

  • Accessible, with screen-reader compatibility

  • Scalable font for different text sizes and zoom levels

Core Features

Rich functionality, standard.

With a wide-ranging set of core features, Sakai provides the versatility and powerful functionality required by modern forms of online learning. Developed by leading academic institutions and commercial affiliates, the tools and features in Sakai are constantly evolving to meet the needs of higher education and beyond.

View Sakai's Standard (Core) Features

Expanded functionality, freely available

In addition to the standard (Core) functionality in Sakai, adopters have access to Contrib Tools, Sakai-specific tools and innovations developed and tested by community members and then released for others to use. These tools, which are available separately from the packaged Sakai release, are freely available for anyone to use. Some offer unique functionality to augment Sakai's capabilities, while others provide alternatives to standard tools.

View Sakai's Contrib Tools

Seamless integrations

Sakai strives to comply with industry standards in order to extend the functionality of the learning management system. Amongst these is the IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard, which provides seamless, secure integrations between Sakai and third-party applications/tools. LTI v2 builds upon the widely adopted LTI v1 standard by providing a more sophisticated and extensible platform to enable deeper integrations and greater support for services and events. LTI v2 also provides enhanced outcomes reporting and a full extensions architecture allowing additional services to be added gradually using REST and JSON-LD to deliver this new functionality.

Sakai helped drive the development of the IMS LTI specification, and is the first learning and collaboration environment to support the second version of the specification (IMS LTI v 2) fully.

Industry standards available in Sakai include:

  • Experience API (also called xAPI or Tin Can API), a specification that collects data about a person’s learning experiences and activities from many technologies to provide a rich picture of a person’s learning path. Need analytics support? xAPI is an underlying standard used by the Apereo Open Learning Analytics Platform. This platform is already being used at scale to support analytics based early alerts and more.

  • IMS Common Cartridge, used for organizing and distributing digital learning content.

  • IMS Learning Information Services (LIS) Specification, used for sharing information about people, groups, memberships, courses and outcomes within the education context.

  • IMS Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI), used for easy integration between applications, systems and mash-ups.

  • IMS Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) Specification, used for sharing test data and results between systems, applications and learning tools.

  • IMS Content Packaging, used for exporting content from one learning content management system or digital repository to another.

  • Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM), a set of standards and specifications used to define information about learning objects and content so that they can be packaged and transferred between learning management systems For more information about supported versions of each standard, please refer to documentation about the latest release of Sakai and its compliance with industry standards.

Available in your language

From its inception, the Sakai project has been envisioned and designed for global use. To accommodate the needs of a global community, complete or majority-complete translations of Sakai are available in more than 20 languages.

Learn more about language translations available in Sakai