Duke Sakai Appropriate Use Policy
Sakai is open-source collaboration and learning environment intended to support the teaching, learning and scholarship of Duke University faculty, staff and students. Duke University faculty and staff may use Sakai for:
- courses they teach (including courses in which non-Duke students are enrolled)
- committees engaged in scholarly endeavors
- scholarly groups of which they are a member
- non-profit, educational community groups
- other uses as described in the terms and conditions for using and creating Sakai project sites
Access to Duke Sakai
Access to Duke Sakai, materials and affiliated online tools will be granted as follows:
- Duke faculty, students and staff: free to access Sakai using Duke NetID credentials. Duke users may change their NetID passwords by going to http://www.duke.edu/online.
- Duke affiliates: can access Sakai with sponsor-provided Duke NetID credentials. Access to courses and/or project sites as provided by Duke faculty, staff and/or student site owners.
- Duke guests and non-Duke users: Non-Duke users must use a provided/sponsored Duke NetID or be added to Sakai by an authorized Duke user using an OpenID email account: Google, Yahoo or AOL. For more information, see Add Participants.
Available user roles include the following:
- Course sites: Student, Instructor, Teaching Assistant, Course Builder, and Visitor.
- Project sites: Maintain, Access, and Visitor.
- More details on user roles
Sakai will allow an individual not enrolled in a particular course or project site as Visitor to gain access to specific areas of course sites, not including course rosters, user tools (e.g., user directory), or communication tools.
Student access and course enrollment:
Students who are registered for classes with a Sakai course site will be automatically added to that course site when the site is created, or when registration data becomes available to Sakai, whichever is later. Course sites are not available to students when created, however, and making them available is at the discretion of the course instructor. Instructors may provide full access to their course site(s) to currently enrolled Duke students who are not yet registered for the course (for example, those serving as TAs or auditing a course) by adding those students to the course site manually.
As students add courses during the add/drop period, they will be automatically added to the appropriate Sakai rosters, typically within 3-6 hours. Students who drop courses will have their enrollment within the Sakai site disabled to prevent unauthorized access to course materials. Through the end of the add/drop period at the beginning of the semester, both the officially registered students and those on the Registrar’s wait list are enrolled in the course site. At the end of the add/drop period, students still on the wait list, but not officially registered for the course, will have their enrollments in the Sakai course site disabled.
Length of access to course sites:
Student access to course materials is at the discretion of the course instructor(s) or programs. Students wanting to retain access to provided course content should save such content prior to the end of a course. Students should always retain personal and/or local copies of their own work (assignments, papers, responses to discussions, etc) they submit to systems such as Sakai. At the end of a given semester, instructors are encouraged to make their course sites unavailable to students, in the reverse of the process they used to make the courses available at the start of the semester.
Students who graduate retain access to the Sakai system for as long as their NetID remains active (currently 1 year after graduation). After this time, all of the former student’s access to Sakai, as well as the student’s records within Sakai, will be automatically disabled. Graduating students should plan to backup or copy any materials loaded to their personal My Workspace or Sakai project sites they created prior to the end of the year after they graduate. Access to previous course sites is at the discretion of the course instructor.
Communications and Technical Administration of Sakai
Standard maintenance window:
Routine maintenance and rolling restarts occur every Sunday between 1am-6am. During this time, Sakai may still be accessible, but may exhibit some brief slowness or instability. Users on the system should save frequently and refrain from taking high stakes tests or uploading critical assignments during this time.
Sakai planned outages will take place during the standing Sakai outage window (Sundays, 1:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.) whenever possible. Planned outages will be announced at least one week in advance in most circumstances. Outages will be announced in several places: the main page of the Sakai support site , on the ‘Message of the Day’ module within Sakai (for logged-in users), to subscribers of email@example.com, and on the OIT Service Updates page.
Sakai unplanned or emergency outages will be posted on the places listed above (if possible).
System administrator access to Sakai sites:
Sakai system administrators may access Sakai sites to solve technical support tickets or in response to help queries from faculty or staff, and may temporarily add a test account (student or other role) to help troubleshoot. System administrators may access sites as part of system testing and maintenance with no advance permission from instructors or project site owners. System administrators will not extract data about system usage for faculty or students, except when deemed necessary to troubleshoot a system problem. Any information or data discovered about a course site or user during the course of system testing or investigations will not be shared with any other faculty or user.
Saving course materials (aka ‘archiving’ courses):
At the end of each semester, faculty should consider downloading any content created or added in the Resources section and downloading a copy of the course gradebook, if used for quick reference in the event of a grade dispute.These files should be retained by the faculty member, outside of the Sakai system, according to the storage guidelines of their department.
Course size limitations:
At this time, there is no limitation on the size of individual course sites.
Transferring course sites:
Instructors who wish to use the course site developed by another instructor need to receive written permission from the original instructor first, and forward that permission to CIT (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Creating a Sakai course site:
Sakai offers faculty and instructors the opportunity to create sites for any course they’re teaching in a given semester. Faculty and instructors can also create course sites that combine enrollments (or sections, if available). For example, you can create a lecture course site and add all of the lab enrollments to the same site. Duke faculty, staff and students can also create project sites.
The Sakai Gradebook is a tool designed for the convenience of students and faculty. Thus, it is not an official record of student grades, nor should it be considered a legally binding record of student scores. Faculty are strongly encouraged to periodically export/save a copy of the online Gradebook, and to print a final copy for their records after the semester ends. In addition, faculty are strongly encouraged to post student grades in Sakai only in the secure Sakai Gradebook or the alternate Sakai Post ‘Em tool. Final grades are to be entered into the student information system (PeopleSoft) as the gradebook of record.
The Sakai user database is fed directly from the Duke enterprise directory system, thus allowing users to login with their Duke netID and password. The security of these accounts is crucial for maintaining a reliable and trusted resource for online instructional materials and tools.
Controlling access to student information:
Duke University has an established Data Classification Standard, which defines Sensitive Data as including FERPA-protected student data. As with other Sensitive university records, the privacy and security of student information (including but not limited to: grades, test scores, usernames and ID numbers) must closely guarded. As noted in the gradebook information section above, grades should not be posted so that students may see scores belonging to other class members (for example, do not post grades in a spreadsheet uploaded to the course site).
Privacy settings for student identities from the enterprise directory are brought into Sakai. Duke users wishing to change their privacy flags should do so in the enterprise directory.
Copyright and Fair Use
Posting copyrighted materials:
Copyright law and Fair Use Guidelines allow faculty to provide access to copyrighted materials using the Sakai system, as long as the guidelines are followed and copyrighted materials are accessible only to enrolled members of the course. Instructors are advised to consider the use of Duke Library’s e-reserves system to avoid infringement.
Linking to external sites from Sakai:
The Sakai software provides an easy-to-use interface for integrating links to other websites into course materials. Instructors are encouraged to link to other sites, rather than attempting to integrate the desired materials directly into the Sakai course site. This alleviates copyright concerns and also retains the integrity of the materials and associated links in their original environment. It is the responsibility of the instructor to confirm that links from Sakai to external sites are viable.
Linking to Sakai from external sites:
It is possible to link to a Sakai course site directly from websites external to Sakai. Users may, however, be prompted to log in when they first attempt such access.
System management data:
Information regarding Sakai system performance or usage is considered the property of Duke University. Information regarding specific Sakai sites or individual accounts will be held in confidence, although data may be gathered and presented in aggregated form by university staff members (e.g., CIT, OIT, Library) for professional development activities, such as conference presentations and scholarly/industry publications, as well as for reporting on system performance or use.
Use of Sakai sites, by both students and faculty, are governed by the Office of Information Technology’s Computer Policies and Guidelines, which include:
- Computing and Networking: Acceptable Use — appropriately access only the information for which you are authorized
- Group E-Mail Policy — the Sakai e-mail tool(s) should be used only for course-related communication
Sakai Course Site Retention Policy
Purpose of Policy
This policy defines how long a course site will be retained in the centrally-managed Sakai Learning Management system before it is deleted. It also describes ways instructors can obtain a copy of the contents of a Sakai site before it is deleted.
Sakai course sites will be retained for four years and then deleted. Instructors will have an option to retain older courses if they wish. This policy is effective beginning with Fall 2011 Sakai course sites and applies to all course sites created after Fall 2011.
- The primary purpose of Sakai is to provide a method for delivering content and tools that are used to enhance the teaching and learning environment for a class during a given academic period.
- A convenience of Sakai is the ability to copy materials from older course sites to newer course sites.
- Sakai is not the archival record of a course. There are other university systems which serve as the archival record of course enrollments, grades, etc.
- The rationale for a Sakai Course Site Retention Policy will likely apply to retention policies for other academic tools used by the institution.
- The older a Sakai course site is, the less likely it is to function properly in the Sakai system, particularly as upgrades are applied to the Sakai software.
- To comply with any University policies related to course material retention.
- To retain centrally-stored Sakai course sites and materials for a period of time that is helpful to instructors and students.
- To guide instructors in developing their own procedures for long-term storage of their Sakai materials.
- To optimize the performance of the Sakai system.
- To ensure that online storage space provided for Sakai is used efficiently and to minimize the financial and technical impact of constantly increasing disk use.
What Gets Deleted from a Sakai Course Site?
Deleting a Sakai course site permanently removes it from the Sakai system so that it is no longer accessible. When a Sakai course site is deleted it is automatically removed from a user’s course list.
All materials stored in the Sakai course site are deleted. This includes all files, grades, assignments, quizzes, surveys, links and anything else associated with the course site that is stored in the Sakai database and file system areas.
Content stored outside of Sakai and linked from within the Sakai course web site is not deleted. Rather, the links are deleted, because that is what is stored in the Sakai database. The retention of materials outside of the Sakai system is subject to the terms and conditions of those other systems, whether they are departmental servers and systems, OIT centrally-supported systems, or non-Duke external systems.
How Do I Retain a Copy of the Content Before the Course is Deleted?
- Instructors can use materials from older courses in newer courses by reusing or importing material from the older sites to newer sites.
- Instructors may also access and download materials stored in Resources (individually or using WebDAV), export Tests&Quizzes question banks, and export Gradebooks as necessary. Other tools (such as the Forums tool) may also offer alternate methods such as printing.
Scope of Policy
This policy covers course sites and materials stored the Sakai collaborative learning environment for Fall 2011 and later course sites. Summer 2011 and earlier courses will be retained until further notice. This policy does not cover materials stored in an individual’s home directory, personal Web space, centrally-supported OIT services, school-based media servers or departmental/school-based file storage space.
Review of Policy
This policy has been reviewed by the CIT Director, Senior Administrators, ITAC, and the Sakai Advisory Group. The policy may be reviewed and changed as needed.
Issues to be Further Considered
Content stored in other campus tools can often be linked from within Sakai. These other tools may have their own retention policies. Therefore the ability to access these materials is independent of the Sakai system.
Older courses may not function properly as we upgrade to newer versions of Sakai.
Periodic updates of Sakai are required to keep Duke’s Sakai system current with the rest Sakai community and typically include new and enhanced features that are of value to instructors and students.
Sakai CLE is an open-source, community-developed system. According to the Sakai Foundation:
“Our goal is to meet all of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A and AA Success Criteria and to use emerging standards and best practice design techniques (such as the WAI-ARIA Suite) that support existing and emerging adaptive technologies.”
Even though Sakai core tools may be fully accessible and compliant, instructors should be aware that many add-ons, integrated tools, and even their own content (videos, PowerPoints, etc) might not be immediately compliant and may require special attention. Students and instructors should contact Duke Disability Management System for more information and assistance, including information on assistive technologies and equipment.
For those interested in learning more about Sakai (and tool-specific accessibility), see the following Sakai community resources.
- Sakai 2.9 (current version) accessibility documentation
- Sakai current accessibility reports
- Sakai community Accessibility Working Group pages (The Sakai Accessibility Working Group (WG) is responsible for ensuring that the Sakai framework and its tools are accessible to persons with disabilities)