Sakai, Course Textbooks and Materials, and New Software

Creating consistency for students in teaching and learning

Common Use of Sakai

Faculty should maintain a course site in Sakai for each course section taught in Spring 2021. More consistent uses of Sakai course sites will create consistency across students’ experiences, an important scaffold during this ongoing, unusual time. Sakai also helps us better support inclusivity for students due to the accessibility supports built into the system. Staff in the Center for Faculty Excellence and Teaching and Learning with Technology can help faculty develop interactive and well-organized course shells. Students have indicated a strong preference for clear expectations from their faculty, so organizing the course site and adding as much content as possible early in the semester is recommended. These resources could include upcoming weeks’ content resources, assignments, activities, and assessments.

Textbooks and Course Materials

Spring 2021 textbook and course materials adoptions were due to Akademos in November. It is important, even if you do not require textbooks, that you visit the Akademos site and confirm that no materials are required for purchase. If you have not submitted your order, or you have recently been reassigned to a different course, please visit the site, which is accessible via the lower section of the apps.ithaca.edu page.

As part of our collaboration with Akademos, the vendor has provided the College with vouchers to support students who are experiencing hardship purchasing course materials. If you know of a student who is struggling to buy their books, please encourage them to apply for support via the IC student emergency relief fund, linked here, where the value of the vouchers will be distributed to support students. Students will need to submit a list of items they need and to provide an estimated cost.

Please note that the Library is still unable to place physical copies of texts on reserves this semester as they observe safety protocols related to circulation, but they are supporting Leganto for purposes of e-reserves. Leganto provides the flexibility to break readings into weeks and sections and to add different types of resources to course lists. The library will scan reasonable portions, based on Fair Use guidelines, for posting in Sakai. Contact reserve@ithaca.edu with any questions about reserve materials. 

Other questions about the Library’s spring 2021 operations are available on their webpage, linked here. The Library will continue to offer curbside services in spring, and the physical space will be open for patrons beginning February 8th with modified hours. They have also creatively developed short video tutorials to introduce members of the IC community to the new ways we’ll access their services this semester.

Use of New Software

The College hosts many tools to enhance in-person and electronically delivered instruction, and you can find more information about these tools through the Summer 2020 Summer Institute Sakai site (remains open for any faculty or staff member to join; see Intercom notice).

As faculty encourage or require (as part of course materials) subscriptions to particular NEW (non-campus-subscribed) services to enhance the online learning experience we encourage you to consider the following:

  • Privacy safeguards and protections against data sharing
  • Accessibility to all students

If you are unsure if the platforms you are asking students to use as part of your course are secure and want to know more about how to evaluate these resources before adopting/using them (or are curious about alternatives for which we might have a site license), please reach out to the staff in Teaching and Learning with Technology.