Blog from May, 2021

To all NPS Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Are you mystified by Teams? Do you need to be able to use it but it's just too overwhelming (or underwhelming)? I would LOVE to get you up and running with confidence to ensure that you know all that it can do and how to use it. Amaze your colleagues with all that you know!

If you give me 15 minutes I will tell you:

  • The difference between the Teams app and the Teams tool
  • How to know if you need a Team or just a chat group
  • How to create a chat group and what all they can do
  • How to create a meeting and invite attendees
  • What you can do in a Teams meeting
  • How to collaborate with others on documents 
  • All about Channels
  • And MORE!

If you're interested in for yourself or for your group, please send me an email at and we'll get that done!

As you know, when we create a course, often times we make duplicates of a prior quarter's course. It's an easy way to retain all of the content and structure that you created going from one quarter to the next. However, it is really inefficient and creates copies of copies of copies. We now are faced with a TON of redundant data, our servers are bloated, and we need to go on a Sakai diet.

So here's my question (if you've been reading my blog you may have seen this before...): Do you have old courses that we can delete? We actually have old Sakai course sites dating back to 2009!! If you have sites that you want to get rid of, but you want to retain the content in Resources, let us know and we can help you with that!

Here are the steps I recommend:

  1. First, go to your Home, then to Membership. If any of those sites have a check box to the left, you can remove yourself from that site on your own. 
  2. Go up one menu item to Preferences, then Sites. This will list EVERYTHING you're are enrolled in. (If they are checked, you've hidden them from your Sites block)
  3. Note the name and term of the sites you want us to delete. We will verify that you are the only instructor in it and delete it. (See step #5 to remove yourself if you aren't the only instructor in a course that you don't need.) 
  4. Send that list to us at
  5. You can also remove yourself from any course where you are not the only instructor. Go to the Site Info and Manage Participants. Check the box to the far right of your name and then click on Update Participants. That will remove you. 

Again, if you want help with downloading your content, please let us know!

I've been talking about this for a couple of months, but we will be upgrading our Sakai instance to the latest version, which is 21. The upgrade will require that Sakai be completely down for a few hours in the early morning, but after that, Sakai will be back up and running for the rest of the day. 

This is going to be a very subtle upgrade with most improvements aimed at the background administrative level. For instructors, here are some things you can look for:

  • Lessons improvements, such as revamped Add/Edit Dialog, new Add Layout template options, improved Reorder and Date Release Indicators, and more color and formatting options for headings, buttons, and borders.
  • Gradebook enhancements for exporting category averages and messaging students from the gradebook
  • Rubrics are now searchable and can contain weighted criteria
  • Dashboard - new organizational tool you can add to your course in Site Info>Manage Tools
  • Dark Mode - Coming Soon!

Anyone who has an NPS account can log in at If you find that you aren't added to any courses there, let me know and I'll add you to a demo course. Also, please note that changes to the development server will not translate over to our production server. This server is strictly for demonstration.