Have you ever wondered why you are enrolled in some "Project" sites and some "Course" sites? Or have you wondered what the different roles in these sites might mean? I have answers!

  • Project Sites are designed for collaboration. They are simple sites with a limited set of tools and are ideal for use in a group where documents need to be distributed and shared. They are perfect for department documents, advisor/advisee discussions, and small group information sharing. Project sites do not have an associated term assigned to them, so they can be perpetually used from year to year. While they are designed for collaboration, course tools can be added by anyone with the Organizer role and will function just like a course with assignments, assessments, and grading.
    • There are three roles defined in Project sites:
      • Organizer: The Organizer role has full permissions throughout the site, including the ability to publish the site and set its global access. The Organizer role can read, revise, delete, and add both content and participants to a site. 
      • Participant: The Participant role can read content and add content to a site where appropriate.
      • Observer: The Observer role can read content where appropriate.

  • Course Sites are designed for instruction. They include an associated quarter term (ie, SU19) and are limited to a standard naming convention (ie, SE3100: Fundamentals of Systems Engineering (SP19_1_FP)). When we create a course, we use a master template that has a standard set of tools enabled, including, but not limited to: 
  • Tools
    • Resources
    • Discussion Forums
    • Assignments
    • Tests & Quizzes
    • Gradebook
    • Lessons
    • Syllabus
  • Tools
    • Announcements
    • Calendar
    • Messages
    • Roster
    • Library
    • Writing Center
    • Statistics

  • There are six roles defined in Course sites:
    • Instructor: Instructors have full permissions throughout the site, including the ability to publish the site and set its global access. Instructors can read, revise, delete, and add both content and participants to a site.
    • Teaching Assistant: Teaching Assistants can read, add, and revise most content in their sections. 
    • Student: Students can read content, and add content to a site where appropriate.  They cannot see unpublished sites or hidden content.
    • Guest Lecturer: Guest Lecturers have similar permissions throughout the site as instructors, but do not have the ability to edit or delete content created by an instructor. 
    • Course Developer:  Can access all materials and content, including the Assignments and Tests & Quizzes functionality, but cannot modify Site Info or grading, and can't preview assignments or tests. 
    • Observer: Observers have similar permissions as students, but cannot add content, view the grade book, nor submit assignments and assessments..

Good morning Sakai Users!

On March 12, I mentioned that we will be upgrading Sakai from our current version of 12.4 to version 19. I want to bring it up again since it's less than two months away now, and summer break is fast approaching. 

Our plan is still to do the upgrade on Monday of the second week of summer break, June 24th, and we will experience a down time of approximately four hours, until 1200. Just to be clear, during that time there will be NO access to Sakai or DODLearn AT ALL. This includes students, faculty, and us in the CLE admin office. Right now, this is our most likely plan, but things are still in flux. Stay tuned for updates. 

While it seems like an upgrade from version 12 to 19 would be a big leap, the Sakai developers are simply changing the version naming scheme to match the current year, rather than the number of the version. Sakai as we know it will actually change very little, and certainly not as much as it did during the summer of 18, when we jumped from v. 10 to 12. 

In addition to the list of changes and improvements I mentioned on March 12, I have two informational pages I'd like to share with you that go into much more detail.

  • The first is a list of the release notes from the Apereo Foundation, a collection of developers from higher education institutions around the globe who oversee and contribute to the development of Sakai and other open source projects.

  • The second link below is a more in-depth list of the changes to the software, listed in the Sakai Project Wiki, which is a Confluence page (just like the NPS Wiki, though not affiliated) and serves as the community collaboration platform for the Sakai developers and institutional admins alike.

As usual, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out! 831-656-2176 or 2020


Instructors, if you have an NPS Zoom account, you should have received an email last week from Scott Bischoff detailing our cloud storage limitations with the new Zoom web conference tool. Basically, the great resolution and sound quality with Zoom has resulted in larger-than-expected files but not a lot of storage with the Zoom company to contain them. 

If you missed that email, here are your instructions:

  1. Please change to your recording settings from Zoom Cloud to OneDrive or Box.  You each have 5TB available in OneDrive and unlimited storage in Box.  Each allows for direct storage with settings in the Zoom application. You can continue to share with your students with either method.  will step you through the OneDrive setup  for Box setup

2. Additionally, please download and move your existing files from Zoom Cloud when convenient. We do not intend to increase Zoom storage with OneDrive and Box options available.

As always, we are here to help!



So now you know that with your NPS username and email address that you have access to multiple forms of free cloud storage, but what can you do with it? For starters, you can link to it in your file system so that you can save straight to it. We call that "mapping a drive." Here are some basic directions:

Link to OneDrive

  1. Go to and log into NPS webmail with your NPS Credentials. 
  2. Click the applications button in the top left, next to the "Outlook" label, to open it. Then click on OneDrive to open that. 
  3. At the bottom left of the OneDrive window, find "Get the OneDrive apps." 
  4. A new page will open with directions for how to open and access OneDrive. Note: OneDrive is already installed on computers running Windows 10 and just needs to be started. On a Mac, you'll need to download the OneDrive app. 
  5. Once the app is installed, it will appear as a folder or drive in your files. 

Link to Box

  1. Navigate to and click on Continue.
  2. Enter your NPS username and password to authenticate, and click on Login (click here for more information on your Box account)
  3. In the left menu of the Box files page, click on "Synced" or the down-arrow icon. That will direct you to a "Box Sync" download page.
  4. When you click on that link, you will be directed to download for Windows or Mac, depending on your computer type.
  5. Follow the directions to set up the Box Sync app for your operating system
  6. When complete, you'll see Box Sync in your folder list in your computer file list.

Please let us know if you have any questions about this process or your cloud storage!



In Sakai, we use two different tools to display participant information in a course: Site Info and Roster. These two tools are designed for slightly different purposes, but they overlap quite a bit. We find a lot of confusion with what each does and I want to try to answer some frequent questions about them.

Note that the availability of the Roster and Site Info Tool to student view is at the discretion of the instructor.  Site Info is always available for you to view and is hard-coded into your course menu options and can't be removed. However, making it available for student's view is your decision. 


What can we do with Roster? What's it for? 

If available for students, you can view the photos of course participants, as well as view their classmates' usernames, email addresses, and what group they belong to (if any). Of course all of this is contingent on those permissions being set.  


Instructors can view this information in Rosters, and additionally, instructors can view the permissions for how each role views the rosters, and they can download a spreadsheet with the roster information. The one think we don't do in Rosters is add or remove students. There are institutions that use the Roster to manage student enrollment, but here at NPS we use Site Info.  


What can we do with Site Info? What's it for? 

If you have permission to view it, Site Info for students will list the term for the course, the direct-link URL, your instructor's contact information, and any group information that you have in your course.  


Instructors get a different view of Site Info; for you it's the control panel for your course. Not only can you see your course participants, you can add, remove, and deactivate them. In Site Info you can write your Overview page, add and remove tools from the toolbar, Manage Groups, manage publication of your site, and view when and how students were added to the site. Here's a short list of the tools that are most relevant to instructors in Site Info: 

Edit Site Information

This tool lets you write a customized message, in Overview, that your students will see as they log into the course. You can also update the POC info for the course.

Manage Tools

Manage tools allows you to select which tools will be available to your students in the left menu. Select or de-select using the check box as you need. Here you can also enable "Math Jax" and you can enable drop-down subpages to the Lessons tool, if desired.

Tool Order

Tool order lets you rename and reorder tools, and make them invisible to student's view. Here you can also re-link web content tools that are linked to outside web pages.

Add Participants

Instructors can use this tool to add participants to the site. You may think that adding your students to your courses is an automated process, but this is now we do it!

Manage Groups

Here you can create and manage groups.

Manage Access

If you want to "unpublish" your site at the end of the quarter, you can do that here. Choose "Leave as Draft" under Site Status.

Import from Site

This tool allows you to import content from other sites. You have the option to replace or merge your selected data from Assignments, Tests and Quizzes, Lessons, Resources, and more!

User Audit Log

In this tool, you can see when your students were added, and when, and by whom.

Welcome to the new Quarter and welcome to our new students! 

The best thing you can do right now is to know and remember to utilize your resources. Did you know that if you have an NPS network account, you have access to three types of cloud storage? We highly recommend these services to both students and instructors.


Everyone has a GB of storage located in the "Home" area of Sakai. If you are a registered student in Sakai (Not a guest), take a look in your Home, and you'll see a Resources folder. You can store anything you need to there, and it's accessible anywhere you can access Sakai. Just be aware that this storage is not private; all the Sakai admins can access it if we need to.


To access your OneDrive, start by logging into your webmail at from any browser.

In the upper left, click on the MS apps 'waffle.'

Find and click on OneDrive to access your storage space.

Aaaand you're in!

*Note that there is a 15 GB upload size limit.


To access your Box account, go to, and click on Continue.

By signing in with your network credentials, your Box account is automatically generated:


  1. Go to and continue with your Naval Postgraduate School username (not your full email address) and password.

  2. Select your department, team information, and proceed.

  3. Box has an added layer of security and must be accessed with Duo authentication. Please go to the Duo wiki page for more info.

If you’re reading this, you may have done some exploring in the NPS Wiki, so you probably also know that we at the CLE helpdesk have a very extensive set of help pages. But did you know that the Technology Assistance Center also has a great set of useful pages?

They have links to help with

Here are two of the most common issues we hear about with Collaborate:

  1. “I’m on a military network and I can’t connect!” If you are connecting in a secure environment, your settings may have recently been upgraded to block some of the features that Collaborate uses.
    1. We have recently found that using the Firefox browser may let you connect to Collaborate.
    2. If you are able to change the proxy settings on your computer, the following settings may help. 
      1.  For Internet Explorer (will cover Chrome as well)
        1. Open Internet Explorer, then go to: Tools > Internet Options > Connections > LAN Settings > Advanced.
        2. In the Proxy Settings box paste this in the HTTP box:
        3. Paste this in the Secure: box:
        4. Leave everything else the same on the page.
        5. Click OK, ok again, and a third time.
      1.  For Firefox
        1. Open Firefox
        2. Go to Preferences>General>Network Proxy 
        3. Click on Manual proxy configuration
        4. Paste in the HPPT Proxy box
        5. Paste in the SSL Proxy box Ok
      2. More instructions for this are posted HERE
      c. If those don’t work, it may be time to talk to your local IT dept about a waiver to change your security settings.
    2. “When I connect to Collaborate, an Internet Explorer tab opens and just displays garbage!” or “I try to run Collaborate and it won’t run; nothing happens!”
    1. This happens quite often and I’ve posted a fix for this HERE.

Happy Tuesday!

Here is a brief look at what we will see in the Sakai upgrade this Summer. This upgrade will happen in the second week of summer break, the week of June 24-28. More info on the logistics of that upgrade to follow!

  • Optional Email reminder to students 24 hours from due date, goes to students who have not submitted
  • Improved group assignment and assessment selection. Groups can be searched in the drop-down menu
  • In gradebook, you will be able to exclude an individual item from a single students’ grade.
  • Roster Tool: Card Layout has been sped up, they will be scrollable.
  • Rubrics: Integrated with Assignments, Gradebook, T&Q, and forums
  • Test &Quizzes -
    • Interface changes
    • Working copy will be Draft, published are published
    • Filter by all, draft, published, active, inactive
    • Filter by group
    • Easier to select groups for assigning
  • JSF Upgrade –  Javaserver faces – makes future improvements easier
    • Chat
    • Test
    • Forums


March 5, 2019

Gradebook Classic Discontinuation and Replacement

The Sakai developers, including our support vendor, Longsight, are discontinuing the Gradebook Classic tool in our next upgrade, likely happening during our break this June (more info on this upgrade coming soon).  

More information here!

  • What that means for Instructors:
    • As we create your courses for Sp19 and Su19, we will be adding the new Gradebook tool to your course menu.
    • Initially it will be invisible to students, to avoid confusion. You may make it visible whenever you’re comfortable doing so
  • What that means for Students:
    • As your instructors become more familiar with the new tool, you’ll begin to see it replace “Gradebook Classic” in courses where a gradebook is used.
    • Be on the lookout for Gradebook instead of Gradebook Classic


As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns - 831-656-2020

Feb 26, 2019

Let's start with some basics:

  1. How to get a hold of us:
    1. We man the phones from 0700-1700 Monday through Friday Pacific time - 831-656-2020 
    2. Or send an email to us at – this will create a ticket for us 
  2. What we do:
    1. Sakai Support
      1. Instructor and student orientation and training
      2. Create Courses
      3. Update course rosters
      4. Troubleshooting and maintenance.
    2. Collaborate Support
      1. Troubleshoot issues
      2. Instructor and student orientation and training
    3. Zoom Support
      1. Troubleshoot issues
      2. Instructor Orientation and training
  3. More information on the NPS Wiki 

Stay tuned for more information dropping every Tuesday