Site Setup Tutorial

Build Student Activities in Sakai


Sakai provides several tools useful for administering student activities online. By default, the Standard template contains the Rubrics, Discussions, Assignments, and Tests & Quizzes tools. The Rubrics tool allows instructors to specify criteria and performance levels when grading student discussions, assignments, and assessments. Discussions are useful for facilitating open or guided discussions online as well as allowing students to share content with peers. Assignments allows instructors to assign, collect, grade, and return student work within a secure online site. The Tests & Quizzes tool is helpful for distributing, collecting, and grading assessments, especially those using selected-response questions that can be graded automatically. Links to specific discussion topics, assignments, and assessments can easily be added to weekly content pages to maximize organization of course content for students.

Site Design Tips

Don’t forget to connect online discussion topics and assignments to the Gradebook while establishing settings for each activity. If you are assigning point values to a discussion topic in Discussions, a Gradebook Item for the topic must be created first in the Gradebook and then connected to the discussion when editing the settings for a Discussions Topic.

Use of Sakai Rubrics, Discussions, Assignments, and Tests & Quizzes tools is optional and instructors should remove unused tools from the site’s tool menu to avoid confusion for students.


Instructors setting up their Sakai site may wish to utilize one or more of the following tools. First time users of the Tests & Quizzes tool are encouraged to contact for assistance.

Post Discussion Topics

  1. Navigate to Discussions.
  2. Within an appropriate forum, click on the link “New Topic”.
  3. Add relevant topic details, including:
    1. Topic Title
    2. Description
    3. Attachments, if desired
  4. Select topic settings, including options for:
    1. Availability
    2. Grading - to select a gradebook item with or without a rubric
  5. Click “Save”.

Click the image below to cycle through illustrations of the steps in this process.

Create Assignments

  1. Navigate to Assignments.
  2. Click “Add”.
  3. Complete assignment details, including:
    1. Title
    2. Assignment Instructions
    3. Open Date
    4. Due Date
    5. Accept Until date
    6. Submission Type
    7. Grading, adding a rubric as desired
  4. Click “Post”.

Click the image below to cycle through illustrations of the steps in this process.

Build Tests & Quizzes

  1. Navigate to Tests & Quizzes.
  2. Click "Add".
  3. Enter an Assessment Title.
  4. Select process to create assessment:
    1. Assessment builder: builds questions one-by-one in Sakai
    2. Markup text: imports series of specially formatted questions and settings
  5. Click “Create”.
  6. Add new questions or review imported markup text questions.
  7. Add a rubric to short answer questions, as desired.
  8. Review settings for the assessment.
  9. Click “Save Settings and Publish” to finish edits.

Click the image below to cycle through illustrations of the steps in this process.

Next Step

Proceed to Share Course Content on Sakai.

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