Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Course Creation

What's the process for requesting a course?

You are welcome to email us directly at

How will students be added to my course?

Course enrollment isn't an automated process. When we create your course, we will add your students based on the enrollment information in Python at that time. If there aren't any students on your roster when we create the course, we will go back and fill them in a week before classes begin. PLEASE NOTE that we aren't updated on course's add and drops, so we depend on faculty to let us know that you have roster changes, or to update your roster yourself. 

How can I get Instructional Design help in setting up my course?

Contact NPS NEC at for Instructional Design assistance.

Can I change the title of my course?

Sakai system administrators can change the course title but we have developed a convention for course names and would prefer not to deviate from that.  If you would like to course title changed contact

What if my course has two sections?

You could have two courses or a single course with two sections or groups defined.

Two courses - Announcements and Calendar items can be shared between courses, but Assignments, Assessments, Discussion Forums, etc. would need to be duplicated and set-up in each course.

One course - Groups or Sections can be created allowing group aware tools (Assignments, Assessments, Discussion Forums, Announcements, Calendar items, etc.) to have items that are available to only particular groups.  A full list of group aware tools is on the tips and tricks page.

Managing Course Content

How do I copy content from another Sakai course?

This FAQ item was getting extensive so we decided to give it its own page .

How do I put files into my course for students to download?

You can use the Resources tool to store and distribute files in Sakai to students. You can upload files to the Resources area of your course; through the web interface and through Drag and Drop (WebDav) or CyberDuck.

Web Interface

From the resources area within your course

  • Choose the folder where you want to store the content
  • Use the Actions dropdown and choose Upload Files
  • Browse to the file you would like to upload
  • Click Continue to upload the file

Drag and Drop (WebDav) 

From the resources area within your course

  • Follow the directions within the Transfer Files tabs to connect to your course's Resources area
  • With that folder open, you can drag-and-drop content (individual files or entire folders) into, out of and re-arrange the content into your course
  • All changes with this interface will be reflected in the Sakai web interface after a web page refresh

If drag-and-drop does not work you may need to copy and paste files/folders.  Files with special characters (&, ", #, ', (, ), ?) in the title may not transfer.  To upload these to your site you can change the name of the file removing the special characters or upload the files using the Web Interface.

What types of files can be distributed using Sakai?

No file type limitations have been identified for the Resources area.

How are different versions of a document handled by Sakai?

New version of a file can be uploaded with either the web interface, WebDav or CyberDuck and all links to that file will remain intact.

Web Interface

Once the updated version has been created on your local computer

  • In your course Resources Area
  • Choose Upload New Version from the Actions drop down next to the file you would like to update
  • Browse to find the file and choose Upload New Version Now

The file will retain the existing name

How do I make a file available to just specific students in my course?

Student Groups must first be defined.  To do this go to Site Info > Manage Groups > Create New Group.

You can make files or entire folders (and all files within that folder) to specific groups by:

  • Select Edit Details from the Action drop down next to the file or folder you would like to modify
  • Under Availability and Access choose "Display this folder and its contents to selected groups only"
  • Select the group(s) you would like to have access to this file/folder

Additional group collaboration suggestions are on the Tips and Tricks page.

How can I add a CED3 tool (Sign-up Sheet, Post and Assess, Group Assignment Wiki, LMA, etc.) to my course site?

To add one of these tools:

  • First copy the desired URL from the CED3 Apps page
  • Go into the Site Info > Manage Tools of the site to which you would like the tool added
  • Check the box next to Web Content Tool and select the Continue button at the bottom of the page
  • On the next page input your desired title in the first field, paste the URL copied earlier in the second field and select the Continue button
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the Finish button

Your new item should now appear as the last item in your left navigation.

Student Management

When do new students get Sakai Accounts?

New students will get Sakai accounts when their NPS accounts are created.

How do I add additional students to my course?

Instructors can add NPS students to their course by:

  • Go to Site Info in your course
  • Choose Add Participants
  • Input a list of students NPS usernames in the top box titled Official Email Address or Username, each username on it's own line
  • The next steps will allow you to
    • confirm the student(s) name
    • allow you to choose their course role (student, TA, instructor, etc.)
    • decide if you would like to send them an email
    • display a final confirmation page

WARNING - if you input an or personal email address for the student into the bottom box, a Sakai Guest Account will be created and the user will get an email providing instructions on how to login with their Sakai Guest Account.  It's highly recommended to only enroll NPS students with their NPS username or full email address into your course.

What username will my students have?

All student usernames will match their NPS usernames.

How do I Create Groups in my Sakai course?

To create a groups within a Sakai course, once in your course:

  • Go to Site Info
  • Choose Manage Groups
  • Create New Group option to create a new group
  • Input a Title and optional Description
  • highlight the student(s) or role(s) you would like in your group and use the right arrow key to add them.
  • When done, use the Add button to create the group

You can also create "Joinable" groups to allow students to self-enroll.

Students can be multiple groups at the same time.

PLEASE NOTE: As soon as you add a group to an Assignment or a Test/Quiz, the group will lock, and no other students can be added or join.

Course Access

Can I give another NPS user access to my course?

Instructors can add other NPS users to their course by:

  • Go to your course's Site Info
  • Choose Add Participants
  • Input a list of students NPS usernames in the first box titled Official Email Address or Username, each username on it's own line
  • The next steps will allow you to
    • confirm the student(s) name
    • allow you to choose their course role (student, TA, instructor, etc.)
    • decide if you would like to send them an email
    • display a final confirmation page

Can I give a non-NPS person access to my course?

Instructors can add non-NPS users to their course by:

  • Go to your course's Site Info
  • Choose Add Participants
  • Input a list of non-NPS users Email addresses in the second box titled Email Address of Non-official Participant , each email address on it's own line
    • If you want to specify the person's name, you can include their last name and first name separated by commas following their email address on the same line; i.e., Smith, John
    • Adding a first and last name will only work if this action creates a new guest account, if there is an existing account inputting an first and last name will prevent the person from being enrolled.
  • The next steps will allow you to
    • allow you to choose their course role (student, TA, instructor, etc.)
    • decide if you would like to send them an email - highly recommended to send an Email
    • display a final confirmation page

A Sakai Guest Access Overview is available on the Internet for your invited guests.

My students are enrolled in my course but they are unable to access it?

There are several reasons why a student could not get into a course:

  1. The course is unpublished - all courses are unpublished by default. To publish your course, click the Publish Now button in the yellow banner at the top of the site.
  2. The student is not enrolled or is inactive - To confirm a student is enrolled in your course go to the front page of your course's Site Info > Manage Participants , this page shows which users are in your course, their role and status (Active/Inactive).  From here you can change their role, status or unenroll them from your course.
  3. The student can not find the course - Students can access all of their courses by clicking on the Sites grid in the top right.  They can make your course a quick link by clicking the star next to the course in the Sites grid 

       Sites grid  = Sites Grid     

Can I get a student account so I can view my course as a student?

You can create your own student account by utilizing a personal Email address.  Use the instructions for giving a non-NPS user access to your course and use your personal Email address.  Don't forget to send an Email so you get an Email with your student account's password.

How do I remove a person/student from my course?

Go to your course's Site Info > Manage Participants and you should see all of the users associated with your course.  You can deactivate them from just your course (not allowing them to access your course) or remove them completely from your course which will remove any of their content from your course.

  • To deactivate them use the Active dropdown next to the person's name OR
  • To completely remove them, select the checkbox in the Remove colum next to their name

Select the Update Participants button below the participants list to make any changes selected.

Why can't I see one of my courses in Sakai?

At the top right of the screen click on the Sites Grid, this should show a drop down menu that lists all the courses that you are enrolled in. To make the course appear on the top navigation bar of Sakai, click on the star next to the course. If the star is yellow and filled in, you should see the course in the top navigation bar.

Sometimes courses are hidden, and will not appear in the drop down menu.  In that case you will need to click on Preferences from the Sites drop down menu ( You can also access Preferences from your home screen ). Once you reach the Preference menu, you will see several tabs at the top of the screen (Notifications, Time Zone, Language, Sites, Editor). Click on Sites. If a course or a term has a blue checkmark to the right of it, it is hidden. Click the check mark to unhide it.

Course Cleanup

What happens to my course after a quarter ends?

We recommend you make your course unpublished after the quarter ends.  By doing this you will still have access to your course but your former students will not.  To do this, use Site Info > Manage Access > check Leave as Draft > choose Update button.  The Unpublished logo should appear towards the top of your course pages.

Can I recycle my course?

Sakai courses can not be Recycled, new courses will be created based on courses in Python and instructors can copy content from a previous course to their new course. To do this see the FAQ How do I copy content from a previous course?

When are Sakai accounts deleted?

Students can no longer log into Sakai when their NPS system access is removed, typically at graduation or when they separate from NPS.

Assessments and Grades

If I create a survey, will it really be anonymous?

Sakai surveys are created using the Tests and Quizzes tool.  A survey is just an assessment with the settings under Grading > Student Identities > set to Anonymous Grading Only. 

Can I make changes to my assessment once it's been taken?

You can edit a published assessment and when you do it gets retracted (unavailable to students) and needs to be re-published.  When you re-publish you will have two options; re-publish and regrade and re-publish as well as allow the students to re-take the assessment with the changes.  Assessment settings can be modified without retracting and re-publishing.

How can I allow students to check their grades?

Students can check their grades with the Gradbook tool.

All gradebook items will be visible to students if the "Release this item to Students" checkbox in the column properties is checked.

Assignments must have their grades released; when grading the assignment there is a link towards the upper right of the page allowing all student grades to be released to the gradebook, which then uses the gradebook settings whether to release the grades to the students or not.

Assessments (Tests & Quizzes) if grades are sent to gradebook in the assessment settings they will use the gradebook column property setting to release the grades to students or not.

Can I copy a quiz from one course to another?

Pending assessments can be exported and brought into another course.  Export the quiz in QTI format, in your other course you can import the assessment.  This is a good way to share assessments with other instructors.

If you are doing this often you may want to consider creating a question pool from the assessment.  You can copy parts of an assessment to a question pool and, because pools are user specific vs. course specific, you can use these questions in several of your courses.  To copy a assessment to a pool edit the assessment and use the "copy to pool" link on the right side of the page.

Can I import grades into the Gradebook using an Excel spreadsheet?


Can NPS users change their email address in Sakai?

NPS users can NOT change the email address to which correspondence is sent from Sakai. All Sakai correspondence will go to their official Email address on record. To change your official email address please contact the NPS Registrar.  

When editing your profile the system allows you to input a different Email address, but the change will not be saved.