Columbia and U Hawaii Moving Forward with Sakai

Two universities are moving forward in their work with Sakai. The University of Hawaii System has adopted Sakai as its official learning and collaboration service, effective this fall, and Columbia University has recently upgraded to a new version of the open source learning management system as part of a pilot program in several schools and departments. At the beginning of August, the New York institution upgraded its Sakai pilot from version 2.4 to 2.5.

At the University of Hawaii, each of the 8,000-plus course sections will have a Sakai group created through real-time integration with the university's Sungard Banner Student information system. The system serves about 50,000 students at 10 campuses and five education centers on six islands, as well as distance learners around the world.

Hawaii's Sakai implementation is referred to locally as "Laulima," which translates literally from Hawaiian as "many hands" and refers to cooperation, joint action, or a group of people working together. Laulima is replacing Blackboard's WebCT, which was originally licensed about 10 years ago. WebCT course content is migrated to the Sakai platform on request by faculty. Laulima will also replace use of the Sungard Luminis portal MyCourse group tools. In addition to being used for distance and campus-based courses, Laulima also supports over 200 collaboration groups and will be the platform for several e-portfolio projects around the university system.

Hawaii joined the Sakai Educational Partnership Program in spring 2004.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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