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Tips and Tricks organized by Tool. Feel free to edit this page to include any additional Tips and Tricks you have found to be beneficial.

  • The numbers following the title is the Sakai CLE version on which this tip was created. Most tips can be utilized in future versions but some options or functionality may have changed.


How to Import  into Lessons 

  1. Go to your course in Sakai and Click “Lessons” on the left side menu
  2. At the top of the page, click on  “More Tools” and select “Import CC/CP” 
  3. Click “Choose file
  4. From the Finder window that pops up find the exported zip file on your computer
  5. Click “Import”
  6. The imported modules will appear in the left side menu
  7. Any text from the “Description/Overview or Objectives,” will not be imported into Lessons


How can I copy select content from Resources from one site to another? 

If you don't want to bring ALL Resources from one site to another, you can move or copy select content into a site to which you have write access by:

  1. Go to the Sakai site in which you would like to copy TO
  2. In the home of the Resources area, at the bottom of the list use the "Copy Content from My Other Sites" link to display all of the sites in which you are enrolled
  3. Use the checkbox to the left of the files/folders you would like to copy and select the "Copy" option at the top of the checkbox column
  4. Paste icons should appear to the right of each folder's title (just to the left of the Add drop down box)
  5. Select the icon next to where you want to copy the folders/files into and click "Paste"

If you do not see the copied content immediately, please wait a minute, if there is a lot of content it may take a few minutes time to complete the copy.

Can I copy materials from Resources in Sakai to MS Teams?

You can use the WebDAV feature to move or copy content from Sakai to Microsoft Teams

WebDav (Upload/download multiple resources) issues

  • When a user attempts to map a drive (in Windows) to a Sakai site's Resources area, as part of the process, the user copy/pastes the URL from the Upload/Download multiple Resources page.  In many cases an extra space is pasted at the end of the URL which needs to be removed before the connection can be successfully made. If having difficulty establishing a connection, please remove that extra space.
  • The text "ERN/" should NOT proceed the username in the login field.
  • It is normal for a user to have to log in twice the first time this is done. When this is done a second time he/she should only need to login once.
  • 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.
  • Valid special characters include: @, ., _, and -.
  • If you are not able to establish a WebDav connection with a Sakai site using Windows Map Network Drive try using a 3rd party WebDav client such as Cyberduck (
  • If your file transfer is slow using Windows and you have a fast Internet connection, try the Microsoft Knowledgebase article at

How do I include a file in the resources tool which cannot be browsed by students?

  • Go to the folder in the Resources area you would like to limit
  • Under the Actions drop down, choose Edit Details
  • Select "Hide this folder and its contents" 
  • Select the Update Button


What tools utilize the group functionality? -

  • Messages – emails can be sent to just one group of people
  • Resources - Only group members can view and access folders
  • Forums – give permissions based on group enrollment
  • Announcements - set to display to particular group members
  • Calendar – events can be displayed to particular group members
  • Assignments
  • Tests & Quizzes
  • Roster - List by group membership
  • Gradebook - Filter results by group

How can I setup Group (Student) Collaboration

There are several tools available that allow students to collaborate, they differ in permissions (can students outside the group see group work?) and in how information is exchanged (files, text, etc.).  All of these options rely on first creating groups within your course.


Collaboration folders can be created anywhere within the Resources area. 

1. if you would like only a specific group to have access to a specific folder:

  • Go to the folder in the Resources area you would like to limit
  • Under the Actions drop down, choose Edit Details
  • Select "Display this folder and its contents to selected groups only." and put checkboxes next to the group that should have access
  • Select the Update Button

2. if you would like a specific group (or all students - ignore step 1 above) to be able to contribute to/edit content in a folder:

  • Go to the folder in the Resources area you would like to limit
  • Under the Actions drop down, choose Edit Folder Permissions
  • Give desired permissions by using the checkboxes in the Students column (own - only documents that student has posted, any - any document in that folder)


Forums can be limited to specific groups.  

For Forums when creating or changing Forum Settings select the group or role and choose a permissions template (Author, Contributor, None, ...) or create custom settings.

  • Changing permissions applies to the role or group currently highlighted
  • Permissions are additive so if a user is in a role and a group they will get the least restrictive (i.e. for group forums increase group permissions and reduce student permission)


The Sakai Wiki tool is wide open to everyone and does not utilize groups, but is a great collaboration mechanism. 

  • Users can not store/share files within the wiki but can provide links to external files. 
  • The wiki or page(s) within the wiki can not be limited for contribution and viewing for specific students and groups.

Tests & Quizzes

How do I share a question pool with another instructor? -

Question pools are tied to the user. Within a course site an instructor can share a pool with another instructor which allows both users access to that pool. 

  1. Go to the Test & Quizzes tool in any course you are an instructor
  2. Click Question Pools tab
  3. Click Share below the title of the question pool you wish to share
  4. To the right on the instructor's name click Grant access
  5. Click Update

What do all the Assessment settings in Tests & Quizzes do? -

To access assessment settings for Tests & quizzes go to Tests & Quizzes > Actions > Settings

  • About this Assessment
    • Assessment Type : information on the assessment template. This can only be edited by editing the template.
    • Creator: Who created the assessment
    • Description/Intro : specify introductory information.
    • Honor pledge:  Check the box to Require students to agree to honor pledge before beginning assessment
    • Attachments: Click Add Attachments to add an attachment to the test from the Resources tool or your computer
      • Metadata: enter metadata for your assessment and allow the recording of metadata for questions.
        • Keywords
        • Objectives
        • Rubrics
        • Record Metadata for - Check the box that is appropriate
  • Availability and Submissions
    • Assessment Released To: allow anyone in the world to take your assessment anonymously (when provided with the assessment URL), restrict access to only site participants, or restrict access to specific groups within your site (Note: this functionality will work only if you have set up groups in Site Info > Manage Groups).
    • The number of submissions allowed : control the number of times an assessment can be submitted
    • It is available: The date/time when this assessment will become available to students
    • It is due: The date/time when this assessment will no longer be available to students and how long they have to take the test
    • Late submissions accepted? : The date/time when late submissions will be accepted until
    • Email Notification: How or if you want the students to be notified via e-mail
    • Question Scores: Show/not show the students the point value of each question
      • Ensure students take the exam from a specific location: security features for your assessment.
        • Allow only specified IP Addresses access to your assessment
        • Create a secondary password which participants must provide in order to access the assessment.
      • Add message that students will see after submission
        • Enter a message  participants will see upon submitting their assessment.
        • Enter a URL participants will see upon submitting their assessment.
  • Exceptions to Time Limit and Delivery Date
    • Add New Exception: Add exceptions for the availability and due date for an assessment for a specific student or group. Note: group functionality will work only if you have set up groups in Site Info > Manage Groups).
  • Grading and Feedback:
    • Grading: Which score will be recorded (if multiple submission are allowed) and anonymous grading options
    • Feedback: set the type of feedback for assessment questions and the time (if applicable) participants will be able to see the feedback. 
      • Set how feedback will be authored: Whether the students will get feedback for every questions or for every section. Note: this might not apply to an assessment if you opt for no feedback or don't have your test organized in sections
      • Set the type of feedback students receive:  Set type of feedback and when the students get it. Disallowing participant access to feedback can be useful if feedback will be used for grading purposes (for example, for TA reference when grading). Note: if Immediate Feedback is selected, participants will be able to see the feedback as they are answering the questions, before they submit their final answers. Immediate Feedback can be useful for practice questions/quizzes, so participants can get hints for the questions as they are going along. Allowing participants to see correct answers immediately in a graded assessment is not recommended, as this allows them to change their answers before submission.
      • Set Advanced feedback options
        • Student Response - Shows the student their answer.
        • Correct Response - Shows the student the correct answer.
        • Question-Level Feedback - Shows the student any "Correct Answer Feedback" or "Incorrect Answer Feedback" you may have provided in the individual questions.
        • Selection-Level Feedback - When selected in Feedback Authoring, this shows the student feedback on any answer selection they make in Matching and Multiple Choice questions.
        • Grader's Comments - Shows the student any feedback provided by the instructor after the test has been evaluated.
        • Student's Question and Part Scores - Shows How many points the student received on each question and part of the test.
        • Student's Assessment Scores - Shows the student their total point score for the assessment.
        • Statistics and Histograms: Shows the student the statistics for the assessment.
  • Layout and Appearance:
    • Navigation: choose between linear or random access
    • Question Layout: Pick how the questions are displayed
    • Numbering: Continuous numbering or by section 
    • Mark for Review: Allow a mark for review buttons so students can return to a question later
    • Background: give your assessment a background color or background image. Click to choose a background color from a palette. Enter the URL for your image for a background image.

If you are using a template, some of your settings have default values already, and some you may not be able to edit. If you did not specify a template when creating your assessment, all of the settings are available to be changed. Even if you are using a template, it is a good idea to double check your settings and be sure everything is correct.

Modifying Published Assessments -

Once an assessment is published, you can make changes to the published copy only to the following settings with out retracting it:

  • Under "About this Assessment": Title, Author(s), Description/Intro, and Attachments
  • Under "Availability and Submissions": Available Date, Due Date, and Late submissions
  • Under "Exceptions to Time Limit and Delivery Date","Grading and Feedback" and "Layout and Appearance": All 

Note: Editing the content of a published assessment will retract it from the students. To make a retracted assessment available to students, click "Edit" under Select Action, click "Edit" again, then select the appropriate republish option.

Reviewing Assessment Type Settings -

To review assessment type settings from Sakai:

  • From your Sakai course, go into the Test and Quizzes tool
  • Choose Assessment Types from the sub-menu
  • Select the Assessment Type you would like to review
  • Select the Open link to display all assessment settings for that type

How can I put one or more extra credit questions in a test? -

To have an extra credit question(s) in an assessment:

  • When setting up the assessment, set the points possible for the extra credit question(s) to be 0.
  • After students have taken the assessment you will need to go back into each student's completed assessment and assign a point value to the question based on their response. i.e. a student with the correct answer would receive 3 out of 0 points.  To do this:
    • Grade the assessment
    • Select the student's name
    • Input desired points into the extra credit question(s)
    • Select the Update button to save your changes

Multiple Choice Question Scoring? -

Multiple choice questions with multiple answers gives partial credit, and takes credit away for errors made.

e.g. if A and B are the correct answers these would be the outcomes

  • Select A only (or B only):  50%
  • Select A, B, C: 50% (two correct but one wrong)
  • Select A, C, D: 0%
  • Select A, B, C, D: 0%

How does the "Mark for Review" feature work in assessments -

If the Mark for Review feature is enabled in an assessment students taking the assessment can mark specific questions for review and then will see which questions they have marked for view by viewing the Table of Contents.  The marked questions will not be displayed before submitting the assessment.  Students must select an answer before checking the Mark for Review box.  More information on this feature.

How do I export a single assessment from one course to another? -  NOTE: This will only work for the DRAFT of a test - Published tests can't be copied or exported AT ALL!!

  • Go into the Tests & Quizzes area in the course you want to copy the assessment from
  • In the DRAFT version of the test you want to copy, click on the Actions menu to drop it down
  • Select the Export option
  • Typically choose QTI format and select the Export button.  use the Content Packaging if you have images and/or files which need to go along with the assessment. 
  • Another window will open and choose the Download button
  • Once the small window refreshes, you should see the assessment xml code in the window
  • In your browser's toolbar, choose File > Save File As (or Save Page as)
  • Save the page as exportAssessment.xml (you have the option to select a different name at this point) to somewhere on your local computer
  • Go into the Tests & Quizzes area of the site you want to copy the assessment into
  • In the top area, choose the Import option
  • Use the Browse button to find the exportAssessment.xml and ensure the "Export from this (or other Sakai) system" is selected
  • Select the Import button
  • Once the page is refreshed, the assessment should appear on the list of Pending assessments.

How do I allow a student to re-take an assessment ?

To allow a student to re-take an assessment:

  • Go into your Course site's Tests & Quizzes area
  • Go to the Published version of the test
  • In the Actions menu to the right of test select Settings
  • In the secondary navigation select the Exceptions to Time Limit and Delivery Date
  • Fill out the information and then click Add an Exception


Editing Assignments after Due Date has passed -

Once an assignment due date has passed an instructor can not successfully edit the Due Date or Accept Until Date. If this is attempted it will seem as if the date has been changed but students will not be able to submit or re-submit the assignment. To accept additional submissions Instructors can Duplicate the assignment, change the associated dates and Post.

Assignment Availability Logic -

  • Available Date - The date/time students can begin accessing the assignment.
  • Due Date - The date/time the students see the assignment as due.
  • Except Until (date) - The date/time after which the students can not access the assignment.  Assignments submitted between the Due Date and Except Until (date) will have display "Late" text on the submission.

If the Allow Resubmission option is checked, the date specified should be after the Available until date.  

Rich Text Editor

How Can I Display Math Equations in My Course -

Method 1 - For simple math symbols

There are many special characters available with the Rich Text Editor including Superscript and Subscript.  Additionally any HTML Entities can be utilized by inputting ASCII code into the Source view of the Rich Text Editor.

Method 2 - For inserting Latex

Follow the instructions located here

Why is there extra codes in my text? -

When pasting text from MS Word, a Web Browser or another editor, it's highly recommended to use the Paste as Plain Text  in the Rich Text Editor toolbar to transfer the text only and not any html codes.

New Paragraph vs. line break -

When editing content in the rich text editor:

  • Enter key = new paragraph (html:</p> <p>)
  • Shift-Enter = new line (html:<br>)

I have found this trick to work in various other html editing tools, including the this wiki.

Chat Room

How can I disable chats from being published on the home page -

Each chat room has Options that control how much chat message history is displayed and whether students can change that amount. 
If set to Recent Chat History is set to "Show no message history" and the "Allow chat participants to change the chat display settings for their own chat window" is unchecked, chat items will not appear.  If a person leaves the chat room, all previous chat items will not be visible.
All chat item are being retained and the instructor can re-enable visibility at any time.


Discussion and Private Messages has been discontinued and replaced by Forums - 12.1

  • The hierarchy for Forums is Forums at the top level, >then Topic, >then Conversation. 
  • By default, students can ONLY create a new Conversation, not Topics or Forums, but that can be modified in the settings. 
  • Also by default, a Forum is not available to students until a Topic is added.
  • Forums has very granular permissions options based on groups and roles.  Permissions are additive so a user will gain permissions from their group and role. 


What's the difference between a course site and a project site? -

Course sites are quarter specific.  The site can be accessed outside of the quarter but they retain the quarter designation.

Project sites are ongoing (not designated by a specific quarter)

Checking your course site for links which students can not access -

CED3 has developed a link checker which will check links within your course site and let you know if they are relative or absolute link.  Absolute links in a course site will continue to point to the original course site when the course is copied.
The link checker can be run by:

We have created an online information page about Absolute vs. Relative Links for your use.

How do I Hide older courses to which I no longer want access? -

You can hide old courses by:

  1. Go to Home > Preferences > Sites
  2. Check desired course(s) you would like to hide
  3. Click Update Preferences

Hidden sites will not appear to you in Quicklinks nor under My Active Sites. The only way to access them again is to uncheck them and Update Preferences

How do I add a left navigation menu item which displays a file in my Resources area?

  1. Get the URL for the file you would like to display
    1. Go to your site's Resources area
    2. To the right of the file you would like to display, choose Actions > Edit Details
    3. Under File Details click Copy URL to clipboard 
  2. Go to Site Info > Manage Tools
  3. Place a check in the box next to Web Content toward the bottom of the page
  4. Select the Continue button
  5. In the Title field input your desired title for the new left navigation item
  6. In the Source field remove the existing "http://" and paste your copied text
  7. Select the Continue button
  8. On the next page select the Finish button

Your newly created item should now be available, second from the bottom of your left navigation just above Help.

You can re-arrange your left navigation items by going to Site Info > Tool Order.


Additional Resources for Wiki formatting

Two documents are available for from another school which detail how to apply advanced formatting to your wiki pages.  All of this formatting is done through the Wiki Markup area of your pages.

Detailed Wiki formatting (html) and a more instructional guide (.pdf) to using the Sakai Wiki


How to display a Sakai Poll in the same course's HTML page -

  • Create a poll in that site's Polls tool
  • Get the Poll number by hovering over the Poll URL and look at the bottom of your browser to view the link's URL. The poll number will be following the "id="
  • Put this at the top of the web page in the Source area:
<script type="text/javascript" id="templateScript"src=""></script>

Additional information about the .js file referenced is available at

  • Also in the Source area, put the paragraph below where you want the poll to go replacing the XXX in this example with your poll number:
<div style="width: 29%; margin-right: 0px" class="calloutBox floatR">
<h2 style="padding-bottom: 4px; background-color: rgb(57,129,191); padding-left: 4px; padding-right: 4px; color: rgb(255,255,255); padding-top: 4px">Poll</h2>
<div id="pollXXX" class="poll">poll loading</div>

Feel free to modify the styles listed above to match your web page.

Media (Audio and Video)

Embedding Videos in a Web Content Area

Videos available on the Internet can be embedded into any web content area by using their provided Embed codes.  When editing a web content area, go to the Source of the content and paste the supplied embed code where you would like the video to appear.

If the video is in your or another course site, if the video is in another Course, Project or your Home site, make sure the students have access to that video by making it public or enrolling the students into that other site (not available for your Home site) and follow these directions:

1. Go to Resources

2. Click the ACTIONS button next to OS3680: Naval Tactical Analysis (FA19_51_KL) Resources (EXAMPLE COURSE)


4. Go to the file you uploaded in resources and press the ACTIONS button next to it and choose EDIT DETAILS

5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click FILE DETAILS

6. Copy the entire URL of the file.  (Example: the syllabus file URL is:

7. Go to section of Sakai site where embed code needs to be placed (I'll use OVERVIEW as the example)

8. In OVERVIEW, select EDIT

9. Within the Text Editor, select SOURCE

10. Paste this embed code within SOURCE:

<video controls="" width="100%"><source src="" type="video/mp4" /></video>

11.  The text highlighted in red needs to be the video file URL you need to embed

12. Once proper embed code has been added, click UPDATE OPTIONS

13. Video player should appear within OVERVIEW

Additional Tools

Additional tools which can be added by instructors from Site Info > Manage Tools > External Tools Home

Profile Picture

Every DL student should submit an electronic version of a passport-style color photograph taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance. That means that the photograph should be taken in full-face view directly facing the camera without a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline. Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless required for medical reasons. Photographs should be taken in normal street attire, or in uniform.

Your photo can not be larger than 2MB as a .jpg, .png or .gif file type and should be submitted within the first week of class.

You may take such a photo yourself or, for around $10 you can have a passport photo taken at Costco, CVS, Walgreens, Kinkos, UPS, or the Post Office. These businesses will provide you with a printed photo. You would then need to scan and upload that photo to Sakai.

If you have a webcam and Flash installed on your computer, you can go here: and take your photo.

To upload your photo

  1. Go to
  2. Login with your NPS username and password
  3. Click on “Profile” on the left navigation
  4. Click on “Pictures”
  5. Scroll down to the Picture area and browse for your photo OR
  6. Under Add new picture to the gallery Click on “Choose file”
  7. Click Upload chosen file
    Please note: Your photo will remain with your Sakai profile as long as you’re enrolled at NPS.