Sakai and Instructional Technology FAQs

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Sakai and related instructional technologies.

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How do I create group discussion forums?

See our Sakai demo videos on 1) creating your student groups in Sakai, and 2) creating group forums in the Forums tool for those groups.

Creating Groups:

Creating Forums:

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What can I expect from the Sakai upgrade?

The Sakai upgrade on December 20th, 2016, brings a new look and feel, a responsive design for mobile-friendly browsing, and new tools and features. See our documentation and videos on the upgrade:

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Do I need to switch to the new Gradebook tool?

You do NOT have to switch to the new Gradebook tool (titled “Gradebook”, not “Gradebook Classic”, in the Sakai tools list). Gradebook Classic, the older version of the tool, should remain available for the next few semesters at least. You can use the new version of the tool, though, if you prefer it.

If you’d like to check out the new version, you can enable it:

  • Go into Site Info -> Manage Tools and check the “Gradebook” tool.
  • To import gradebook settings and items from a previous semester, make sure to enable the “Gradebook” tool in the older site (the one you are importing FROM) as well as the new site. See our FAQ on importing content, below, for more information.
  • All settings, items, and scores created in Gradebook Classic will transfer automatically into the new tool, and all functionality will still be available.
  • See our demo video on the new Gradebook tool for more information:

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How do I create a Sakai site?

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Course Sites:

  • Course sites are for courses listed in Connect Carolina
  • Who creates: Instructor of record
  • When can be created: 4-6 weeks before the course begins
  • Duration: One semester
  • Transferability: Can copy from semester to semester
  • Create a course site: View tutorial
  • Unable to create: Check with your departmental course scheduler about your Connect Carolina role.

Project Sites:

  • Project sites can be used for any purpose
  • Who creates: Any UNC faculty or staff (students need a faculty/staff sponsor)
  • When can be created: Anytime
  • Duration: Permanent
  • Transferability: Manual
  • To request a site:
  1. Go to and login to submit a request
  2. Choose “Sakai” from the first dropdown menu, “Sakai Support” from the second, and “Creating a project site” from the third.
  3. Provide a course name and description and submit your request.
  4. The project site should be created in a day or two.

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How do I add someone to my Sakai site?

  1. Find out the person’s Onyen.
  2. Login to Sakai and go to the site you want to add the person to. (You must be an instructor in the Sakai site to add a user.)
  3. Click on “Site Info” and then click on “Add Participants”.
  4. Enter the person’s Onyen in the “Official Participant” box.
  5. On the next screen, choose the appropriate role for the new user.
  6. Choose whether to have Sakai send that person in email notifying them that they have been added to your site.
  7. Click the “Finish” button. Check to make sure you now see the new user in your participant list on the main Site Info page.
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If you need to add someone to your site who does NOT have an Onyen, you can follow the steps below:

  1. In the appropriate Sakai site, go to “Site Info” and click on “Add Participants.”
  2. Enter the email address of the non-official participant in the “Non-official Participants” textbox (below the “Official Participants” textbox) and click “Continue.”
  3. On the next page, choose a role for your participants and click “Continue”.
  4. On the next page, you can choose to send an email alerting the participants that they have been added to the course.
  5. Click the “Continue button.” You will then get a final confirmation page. Click the “Finish” button and the users will be added.
  6. Your non-official user will get an email with a link to follow to set up a password for their account (their username will be their email address).
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How do I copy materials from one Sakai site to another?

To copy materials from one Sakai site to another, you must be an instructor in both sites.

  1. Go to the Sakai site that you want to copy materials into. Click on “Site Info”.
  2. First, under “Manage Tools”, make sure that all the relevant Sakai tools are activated. (Any tool that has content you want to copy over must be active, or turned on, in the new site.)
  3. From the main Site Info page, click on “Import From Site”.
  4. Choose the import type. (For a brand new site, “replace” or “merge” should both work fine.)
  5. In the list of sites, check the site that has the content you want to import.
  6. On the next screen, check each tool that has content you want to import. (You may not want to import content from all tools.)
  7. You will receive an email when the import has completed.
  8. Check each tool to make sure the imported data is appearing. You will need to republish any quizzes and assignments you imported.
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Correcting import issues:

  • If you fail to import all content you need, you can do an import again, following the same process. When selecting the tools choose just the tool that you missed so you do not create duplicate copies of data in other tools.
  • If you import content you don’t want, or create duplicate copies, just delete it from the new site.

Tools you generally want to import:

  • Structure (folders/subpages) and content (files, links, text) from the Lessons tool and Resources tool
  • Assessments created in the Tests & Quizzes tool
  • Assignments created in the Assignments tool
  • Gradebook items and category/weighting settings created in the Gradebook tool

Tools you probably do NOT want to import:

  • You may not want to import materials from any tools with date-specific content, like Announcements or Calendar; starting fresh is usually easiest for those tools.
  • Likewise, while you can import a forum/topic structure from the Forums tool, we highly recommend rebuilding from scratch any group forums, rather than trying to reuse those. Doing that is much easier than reusing group forums from a previous class.

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Why aren't my new sites showing up in the site tabs area automatically?

In the new version of Sakai, sites do NOT automatically appear in the site tabs list at the top of the Sakai interface. Instead you must “star” them to make them a “favorite” site.

  1. Click on the “Sites” link in the top right area of Sakai, to the right of your current list of Sakai site tabs.
  2. Look at the sites listed under the current semester, or do a search for the course number in the search field.
  3. When you find the site, you can click on it to access it.
  4. If you want to add it to your site favorites list at the top of the page, click the star to the right of the site title.
  5. When you reload the page, you should see the site automatically in your favorites list.
  6. You can manage favorites by clicking Sites, then the Favorites tab, and dragging to rearrange site order, or un-star any sites you do not want as favorites.

See our demo video on managing your sites:

See our Sakai tip for more detailed information on accessing sites:

How to Make Your Sites Appear Automatically (as “Favorites”)

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What is Warpwire?

Warpwire is a video-hosting solution integrated into Sakai. You can upload any type of video for viewing within a Sakai site, and much more. See our page on Warpwire for more information.

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How do I upload video files (including Zoom recordings) into Sakai?

Warpwire is your video-hosting solution integrated into Sakai. See our page on Warpwire for more information.

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Is there documentation available for students?

Most of our documentation is instructor-focused, but there are options available for students:

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How can I get help with Sakai, or learn more about it?

For in-person help, we provide both consultations and workshops. You can also contact us with an urgent question, or browse through our documentation.


We set aside time each week for one-on-one consultations on Sakai. Contact Andrew Ochs ( to schedule one. We can answer any specific questions you have, or just provide a general overview and introduction to the tool.


We also offer Sakai workshops each semester, on a variety of Sakai issues, with Q & A sessions for personal help. See our workshop schedule for the next available workshop.

Urgent Issues:

If you have an urgent Sakai question or issue, contact us now.


We have a variety of documentation available, including how-to videos.

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Still have a question? Look through our Sakai documentation or contact us with a question.