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Contact Information

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Office of the Chief Information Officer
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814

Timothy J. Rapp
Room A2027

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What is Sakai?

Sakai is the USU's Learning Management System (LMS) and is used by a number of courses at USU to provide course information, announcements, syllabi, tests and quizzes, assignments and lessons. Every University student, faculty member and staff can access Sakai through the USU's Single Sign On (SSO) system by username and password.

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Help Team

Sakai Learning Management System Tips

Course and Module Directors can directly add faculty and change the role of people in their course.

To add a new user, click Site Editor and then Add Participant. You will need to enter either the Sakai username or the e-mail used by Sakai for that person in the "Official Email Address or Username" box, then click Continue. On the next screen choose a role in the course. Then click Continue, next determine whether you want to notify the user of the access. Finally, click Finish.

The Sakai Assignments tool provides a number of methods to manage the submission of Assignments. Course and Module Directors routinely ask Sakai Help to allow students to re-submit and reset the due date, this can be done without the intervention of the Sakai staff. While each course and faculty member’s expectations are different long-term use of Assignments in hundreds of courses at USU suggests these recommended settings:

  1. Establish an Accept Until date so that students can submit after the Due Date. All late submissions will be marked late by Sakai and the course director can decides to reduce the awarded points for the late submission.
  2. Allow unlimited resubmissions until the due date. By default Sakai does not allow resubmissions. Allow Resubmissions and choosing unlimited allows a student to make corrections until the Due Date. Set the Resubmission Accept Until date to the same Date/Time as the Due Date.

A Course/Module Director can change the way tools are listed in the left-hand navigation. By default 2.9 sorts these tools alphabetically. Course/Module Directors can arrange the tools by:

  • Click Site Editor
  • Click Page Order
  • DRAG each tool up or down and place it relative to the other tools
  • Click Save

Other capabilities include renaming, hide/disable and delete.

For consistency between sites for students we recommend that you do not change the name.

In some cases hiding or disabling a tool will affect student access.

Before deleting a tool verify that there is no data.

   1. Publish the project in Articulate using TinCan API

   2. Then create a zip file of the content

   3. Upload this to the Resources Tab of your Sakai site

   4. Lessons tab, selected the add content link feature

   5. Then browsed to the html file

The easiest thing to do is to simply Export the pending assessment from the old course and then Import it into the new one. Access the Test & Quizzes section of the course from which you want the test or quiz. Locate the test or quiz in the pending section and use the drop down to select Export. When you do the Export, it will ask you if you want to use "QTI 1.2" or "Content Packaging"; in almost all cases, use the "Content Packaging" option as it tends to be the more reliable / versatile of the two. After that, the Import process is straightforward from the default page of the Tests & Quizzes tool in the course where you want the copy.

Students are automatically added from the Registrar system to each course on Sakai.  Important:  Multi-section courses, Clerkship and Post-Clerkships must be manually done and that is coordinated between the Registrar's Office and Sakaihelp. Any questions about why a student does not have access to a course on Sakai should be directed to the Registrar first.


  • Auditing students can be added to a course in Sakai by request of the Course Director submitted through the ServiceDesk.  AUditors DO NOT receive grades, but Sakai can be configured to allow the auditor to submit assignements or assessments.
  • People who are not enrolled at the USU may be added to a course by the Course Director, who makes a request through Service Desk.
  • SOM Clerkship course directors who operate their course by round must provide a list of student e-mail addresses at least seven business days before the start of each round. Non-round based clerkships students will be automatically added to the course by Sakaihelp ten business days before the start of round one.

There are typically two reasons to lock down a folder in Resources on a Sakai site:

  1. to share content with all roles except students and
  2. to create a student collaboration space.

Locking out students:

  1. Go to Resources in the Sakai course site.
  2. Identify the folder that you want to lockdown and click Actions.
  3. Choose Edit Detail.
  4. Scroll down and click Hide this folder and it contents. All Roles in the course except students will have access to this folder. Visually the folder will be gray on the screen.

The guides below, developed by the Education & Technology Innovation Office, are the Sakai 2.86 version but remain applicable. New guides are under development.

For Faculty

  • Assignments: Provides information for faculty on the use of the Assignments tool.
  • Forums: Guide to faculty use of the Forums tool.
  • Lesson Builder: Guide includes a discussion on design considerations and how to use the tool.
  • Peer Assessments: A new function in Sakai 10 allows peer students to assess one another.
  • Syllabus: Provides information about setting up your Syllabus.
  • Tests & Quizzes: Provides information on using the tests and quizzes tools available within the Sakai Learning Management System.

For Students

For every academic term a School POC identifies the courses to be run on Sakai to the USU Registrar, which established a link between the Registration system (Empower) and Sakai.  Request to add faculty to maintain the course are made by a ServiceDesk ticket to Sakaihelp.  To request access, contact the course owner who should determine your role in the course and then the course owner requests access through Service Desk. Similarly, any change in role must also be approved by the course owner and communicated through Service Desk.

Each course Gradebook can have a different Grade Scale. To set the Grade Scale go to the course Gradebook and then:

  1. Click on the "edit" drop-down box, select "grade scale"
  2. On the right side of the screen there is a drop-down box. name "grade format"
  3. Select the appropriate Grade Scale
  4. Click on "Close"

Sakai is integrated with the University’s Registrar Systems. Course and Module Directors may submit grades* from Sakai to the Registrar. Course and Module Directors must follow the steps below to submit grades:

  1. Go to the Site Editor and review all students and ensure that only students who will receive grades have the role of student. Use the drop down next to the person’s name to change the Role or remove the student by placing a checkmark in the box next to the student’s name. For either action click Update Participants.
  2. Go to the Sakai Gradebook and review the final grades on Sakai. Make adjustments as necessary.
  3. Click Tools and select Begin Final Grades Submission.
  4. The system will display every course for which you have permission to submit grades. Select the appropriate course.
  5. Review the grades. When you are done, click Submit. If any changes are necessary exit out of the browser window and go back to the Gradebook and make the correction and restart the process.
  6. Upon submission OSA (for SOM), all Course and Module Directors and Registrar personnel will receive an e-mail with the grades for verification. The grades will be in Oracle for access in the Registrar.

* Clerkship, Post-Clerkship, Selectives and multi-section courses cannot submit grades from Sakai, grades must be submitted manually.