Apereo Foundation Announces the Release of Sakai 11

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Aug. 18, 2016 - PRLog -- The Apereo Foundation, a non-profit consortium of more than eighty leading institutions in higher education and educational technology, has announced the release of Sakai 11, the latest version of its state-of-the art learning management system (LMS). This version includes a redesigned, fully responsive user interface that maximizes performance and productivity on desktop and mobile devices; a gradebook tool that combines a simple, spreadsheet-style layout with the power of automatic grade import and personalized categories; a course design tool that can combine texts, multimedia items, assignments, and other content into highly customizable lesson pages; and numerous other features and enhancements.

Administrators, faculty, and students across Apereo's global network responded enthusiastically to the announcement. "We're so excited about the enhancements included in this release," said Trisha Gordon, the director of the group that manages Sakai at the University of Virginia. "The introduction of Morpheus, a completely updated user interface with an emphasis on responsive design, allows our faculty and students to do outstanding work no matter where they are or what devices they're using. Plus, because Sakai continues to lead the way in the development and implementation of the LTI standard, we can add integrations with an increasing number of third-party learning tools, which makes the system even more powerful and adaptable for all our users."

Gordon's excitement was echoed by her colleagues at other prominent institutions. Adam Marshall, Sakai Service Manager at Oxford University, emphasized the potential impact of Sakai's Lessons tool — a course design tool that allows users to create custom pages for their content with an ever-expanding variety of formatting options, all with just a few clicks. The new release includes several eagerly anticipated improvements for Lessons, including multicolumn design support and a checklist feature to ensure that students have completed all the activities on a particular page. For Marshall, "Sakai 11 is the most eagerly anticipated release that there has ever been … the new features will allow non-technical staff to design wonderful, modern-looking 'course pages' with a minimum of effort." In fact, in his view the new product is so sleek and sophisticated that it must be seen to be believed. "Text doesn't convey how awesome the new UI is," he added.

Beyond the buzz surrounding the new release itself, Sakai's unique position as a joint venture combining the assets of dozens of schools and organizations is cited among the reasons to consider immediate adoption. Given its unparalleled customizability, it can be readily adapted to meet the specific needs of all types of users — which explains its widespread use across six continents in selective liberal arts colleges, extensive university systems, collaborative research grants and studies, and everything in between. "Each semester faculty members contact us with feature requests, some large, some small," said Gordon. "In many cases, we can fulfill those requests — sometimes in a matter of days. That's something I can't do with an ordinary, out-of-the-box product."

To download a PDF brochure highlighting Sakai's technical capabilities, please visit the website at https://www.sakaiproject.org/features and click on Sakai 11 Tech Brochure.

Neal Caidin, Sakai Community Coordinator
Apereo Foundation
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Tags:Higher Ed, Open Source, Educational Technology, Education, Learning Management System, Online Learning, Hybrid Learning
Industry:Education, Software, Technology
Location:Ann Arbor - Michigan - United States
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