What: Sakai Lessons Tool
When: Thursday, Feb 10, 1200–1300
Where: Teams online at: Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
Calendar invite here (click to download and open with Outlook)

The Sakai Lessons tool allows you to organize your course content, link to other tools in your Sakai site, and more all in one place. Lessons is fully customizable to meet the needs of your specific course. During this session we will discuss how lessons can be used in your course, unique features of the tool, and examples of Lessons pages in Sakai courses.

Be sure to join the Technology Users Group Team in advance to access chat and file sharing capabilities during the meeting. Once joined, you’ll have access to the Brown Bag Series channel to view these and other upcoming sessions.

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. 

If you got a message from Zoom for Government that indicates that you need to change your password, please do! To be extra sure that you don't accidentally click on a malicious link, log into your account at and go to "Sign-in Password" in your Profile.  There you can click on Edit and change your password.

When we had Zoom early last year, you may or may not remember that storage space was a huge issue. We didn't realize that our meetings and lectures would be so large and that the space that Zoom gave us wouldn't work. We had to scramble to have people delete their old sessions, we told people to STOP recording to the cloud and it was a huge mess. Now with Zoom for Government, we have unlimited, I'll say it again...unlimited storage. Not only that, but sharing from the Zoom cloud is very easy. At least, much easier than downloading and uploading to OneDrive or Box, or Sakai and worrying that you won't have enough space. If you're interested in saving and sharing your lectures and meetings from the Zoom for Government cloud, I have an instruction wiki below. 

Sharing your Recordings from the Zoom for Government Cloud

As always, let me know your questions, comments, and concerns.


For next week: Summer Upgrade to Sakai version 21!

Professors: Don't forget to request your SP21 courses!

Students: Don't forget to check your devices and accounts! 

All: Let the CLE helpdesk know if you need any help with Teams, Zoom, or Sakai!

Students, there are some things that you need to burn into your brains about taking tests in Sakai. I have a list of rules that you may have seen in the Overview area of your Sakai Home. It's a link, outlined in yellow that says "Important - Avoiding Issues in Sakai Tests." We've been seeing a rise in issues and incidents that go back to these rules, so please review!

Instructors, please remember to review these with your students!

 Rules for Test-Taking in Sakai

  1. Only have ONE browser tab, the Sakai test, open in one browser at a time. If you need to have another internet window open for reference, use another browser. In other words, if you're taking the test in Chrome, have your reference page open in Firefox or Internet Explorer.

  2. Sakai automatically logs you out after 60 minutes of inactivity, and it doesn't count test entries as activity, so save your work often!

  3. It's not a good idea to let the timer submit for you, if your test is timed.  We have seen a rise in problems that result from this. 

  4. For essay questions, it's a good idea to write your questions out in Word or NotePad and copy/paste into the test text box.

New and Improved! Ha! Got your attention now, didn't I! Please take a look at the new under-construction pages for Sakai, ZfG, and Teams! We've retooled the entire shebang and made it easier to find the information you're looking for. When completed, these three pages will link out from the current main Sakai CLE - Zoom - Teams page, which will also be really streamlined. 

Sakai Collaborative Learning Environment

Zoom for Government (ZfG)

Microsoft Teams at NPS

Please let me know what's missing or any other feedback!


Instructors, did you know that you can give an exception to a student who may not be able to take a test at the same time as the rest of the class? The following instructions will tell you how to create an exception for a single student or for a group to access, take, and turn in a test at a different time than the rest of the class. 

Students: If you need an date and time exception to a test, point your professors in this direction!

Click here for instructions!

As per our usual exciting June activities, we at the CLE Helpdesk will be upgrading to Sakai version 21. I just got a preview of it from Longsight, so I'm attaching a link here for your viewing pleasure and edification. 

What's New in Sakai 21

Happy Groundhog Day! On such an auspicious day, I thought I'd share links with you for the latest instructional videos I've created. 

  1. Teams TUG Talks - I did two sets of workshops for an overview of both normal staff-type Teams and for Class-type Teams. Here is the link to that page. Please note that you must be an NPS network account holder to view:

Zoom Login Info for TUG Tech Talks - Microsoft Teams Types Demo

2. We had a rash of folks who had trouble accessing their meetings in their Zoom app, so if that ever happens to you, you can start a Zoom meeting from the ZfG website:

Start a Zoom Meeting without Logging into the Zoom App

3. Sakai Tests & Quizzes Tool - Two videos here outlining the tool and another for the steps to create a test

Assessments (Tests & Quizzes)

4. Finally, I was asked about how to add an assignment to a Gradebook category in Sakai, so here is that. 

Adding Assignments to a Gradebook Category

Since so many people have asked (looking at you Ana), I'm bringing my immensely popular CLE Blog back! 

First: If you've ever wanted to know more about Teams for the Classroom, I'm doing a brownbag introduction tomorrow, Jan 27, at noon pacific. Here is the link for that.

Second: I'm going to start doing small bite-sized video instructions for anything and everything! Suggestions welcome!

Third: Gratuitous plug for the wiki. Please check it out!

Fourth: Please check out the Microsoft Learning Pathways site. They have accumulated trainings based on our tools. Log in here with your NPS credentials: 

  1. Things are changing minute-to-minute, so stay tuned! Please comment below with updates of your own if you want to.

2. Get your Sakai course requests in to us at We are working to get students populated so let us know of any discrepancies. 

3. Dan is probably going to start working from home tomorrow. I'll hold out until they kick me out the door.

4. Zoom training is in Reed 101 and online at today at 1200-1300 . I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I'll at the very least have it online. Stay tuned.

5. Teams training, lead by D'Marie Bartolf from the TLC, will be in Reed 102 - Please go here for more info and updates -

6. We are trying to limit Zoom licenses to faculty until we get more (Zoom is understandably hard to get a hold of right now), so if you still need to request a license and your position as faculty isn't immediately obvious, be prepared for us to encourage you to use Teams instead.

7. Links to the recordings from Zoom brownbags will be posted here as soon as I see which ones aren't terrible.