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Project Sites

Students, instructors, and staff can take advantage of a project site to collaborate effectively. Project sites are not associated with a student roster or a semester. Sites can be created for both long-term and short-term projects, and have access to the same features and tools as course sites. Above all, the project site is a place to store information for all participants to access. Communicating deadlines and working on documents together is also well-supported by project sites. Some examples of activities which could benefit from a project site are a faculty search committee, researchers from Duke and other universities working together, or a student club needing an organizational tool.

1. Personalize the project site

The Overview page, the site landing page is a good location for a banner and information relevant to the site/group. To add or edit the content of this page, click Edit on the top of the tool.


2. Add participants and set their roles in the site

A project site can either be set up as a private workspace for select participants or can be open to anyone with a Duke log-in to join. There are three roles available to users of a project site: maintain (allows editing), access (reading and contributing) or visitor (read only). These roles are given as participants are added and can be edited later individually.

Create an open site

If you would like to advertise your project site to the Duke community at large, you’ll need to make the site “joinable.” (pick the settings “Publish site” and “Allow any Sakai user to join”) This means Sakai users can browse to the site under Membership in Home and add themselves. This is different than publish site only (which makes the site visible to registered users). Both of these settings are found in Site Info, Manage Access.

public_joinable project

Add participants to a private site

To add participants manually to your site, you will need to use Toolkits. This system allows you to search for users by name or NetIDs, batch add users, and invite users outside of Duke.


The option within Toolkits to add guests with a Gmail or Yahoo email address makes it easy to work with colleagues at other universities.

3. Inform participants of events, deadlines, and meetings

The Calendar tool is an effective way to post meeting times and deadlines. These items will appear in a calendar on the homepage of the project site and also in the participants’ consolidated calendar in Home.

Announcements and Email allow for one-to-many broadcasting within Sakai.

4. Store and create files like research plans, meeting notes, and other shared materials

The Resources tool is the place to post materials in Sakai project sites. You can upload, copy, delete, create, and organize many kinds of documents. Watch the tutorial now.

To edit a simple documents together (such as meeting notes or comments about a candidate’s application materials), add the Wiki tool to the site. For more complex collaboration, consider linking to a DukeWiki from within Sakai.



In Resources (and many other tools) you can designate files as public to allow for read-only access outside of Sakai.

5. Add essential websites to the project homepage

You can add a menu link to URLs that are vital to your project site using the Web Content tool. Participants will be able to refer easily to relevant websites or documents in Resources as they work in Sakai.

View examples from current Duke project sites.

6. Track visits to the site and see how participants are accessing materials

It may be useful for some project sites to analyze the number of visits and popularity of certain resources. In Statistics, administrators can also create individualized reports about usage.