Getting Started

To prepare for a new semester, professors can begin modifying their course sites via tools on their Sakai pages.

The following are some tool-usage suggestions to set up your Sakai page prior to the start of the session.

  1. Create a welcome announcement. An introductory message to students about the course is a good way for students to start preparing for the course. It is also a way for students to get background information about their instructors and their courses. This welcome announcement can be pre-created and released to students at a later date.
  2. Upload your syllabus to your Sakai course page. This can give enrolled students an idea of what they can expect in and from the course. This can be done by adding a file (.docx, .PDF, etc.) to the syllabus tool. If changes need to be made, you can remove the current syllabus on Sakai and replace it with the updated version.
  3. Post your resources. By already posting materials that you know are going to be used, you save yourself the upload time, when you would be busier later in the semester. You can organize your resources within folders or by the appropriate file names. You can also edit the dates when the materials are available to students by editing a file or a folder’s details.
  4. Build your lesson pages. Lessons is an excellent tool that can be quite useful for students. Content and other tools can be added within your lessons page, and additional lessons pages can be added as individual pages. Lessons can be designed on a chronological or a themed basis. This tool can encompass the entirety of an online course or complement a traditional course.
  5. Set up your gradebook. Upon setting up your syllabus, you know your grading methodology. You can add categories and individual items in the gradebook tool for both your and your students’ clarity. The Sakai gradebook can also automatically coordinate with certain Sakai tools, such as Tests & Quizzes and Discussion Forums. The gradebook can be imported from Excel and can be adjusted throughout the course.
  6. Publish your site. By default, courses are unpublished, meaning that students cannot see the Sakai course site. Once you are ready to make the site available to students, you can publish it by clicking the ‘Publish Now’ icon that appears at the top left of your course site.

The announcements, syllabus, resources and lessons tools can be added to sites by going to ‘Site Info’ and clicking the gray ‘Edit Tools’ button near the top of the site. 

The sections below contain various tasks a faculty member may need assistance in completing, along with a short description and a link to some additional help files. For further assistance, see the IDLT-produced help videos or email

Course Site Management

Task Basic instructions Sakai Help reference

New course sites

Make a Sakai course site Course sites are created automatically once a student registers for a course. The instructor of record is given "instructor" access. Set up a Course Site
Import information from previous Sakai site Use the 'Import from Site' function of the Site Info tool. Site Info
> Import from Site

Access to new sites

Give registered students access to a course site By clicking the 'Publish Now' button in the upper-left corner of their course site, instructors can publish the Sakai page, granting student access to the the site. Site Info
> Publish
Give TA's access To add a TA, instructors must add a student using the 'Add Participants' function of the Site Info tool, and, when prompted, assign them the role of teaching assistant, grader or course builder. TA's need to be aware that they are responsible for protecting students' privacy. Site Info
> Add/Edit/Delete Participant
Give other BU users access to a course site Instructors can manually add BU users (faculty, staff, students) to their course sites using the 'Add Participant' function of the Site Info tool. Site Info
> Add/Edit/Delete Participant

Access to old sites

Remove old courses from tabs Users may hide old course tabs using the 'Preferences' tool, accessed from the My Workspace menubar. My Workspace
> Showing, hiding and ordering course sites
Republish a course after the term Old course sites are automatically unpublished two weeks after a term. Instructors may republish their course sites. Site Info
> Publish

Content Delivery




Presentation and Usability

Migrating Content

Project Site Management