Pros and Cons of hosting Sakai outside of your institution

The University of Notre Dame is moving from a proprietary LMS we host in our own Data Center to an open source system, Sakai, hosted with rSmart. Two big changes we’re lumping together. Ask yourself … What advantages do you expect to gain when switching from a proprietary system to an open source system? Does outsourcing the system’s management mitigate against those advantages? What we’ve found so far (6 months): Trade-offs   Some Fixes/enhancements: can still be deployed faster than with a proprietary system, but not as fast as we expected … rSmart, or other provider, will still have tested … Continue reading Pros and Cons of hosting Sakai outside of your institution

Tufts University, University of South Alabama, Notre Dame and Sakai–a middle way?

Representatives of our three schools, along with Nate Angell of rSmart, began conferencing a few weeks ago in order to discuss their mutual desire to provide multiple methods integrating SunGard Banner and Sakai. As many of you know, to date there are two methods to provision ones LMS or CLE. A. Administratively create course site shells each semester for all, or a majority, of your course offerings. When Instructors login, their course and its enrollments are already in place and managed by the SIS integration. B. Allow (change the verb here depending on your perspective…) Instructors to create their own … Continue reading Tufts University, University of South Alabama, Notre Dame and Sakai–a middle way?

Metaphors for Sakai Community

As a participant observer at the Sakai Foundation conference in Los Angeles in June, I noted the conference itself… Was held at a world class hotel (The Bonaventure) Was a ‘budget’ affair for which neither the hotel nor a 3rd party AV vendor was contracted other than basic “comes with” conference venue room sound, wifi, and room lights (the podium was dark, sort of a ‘witness protection’ feel to the speakers) Efforts to stream sessions were ad hoc Presenters used free tools  (I saw Ustream,, and etherpad). Presenters tended to overspeak their geek to audiences that appeared to me … Continue reading Metaphors for Sakai Community

I get by with a little help from my friends

  I’ve now been in the learning management space for 12 years. I still love it. And I love that the professional networks I began back then, over time, and any number of conferences, become people I value as friends. I know which ones I can trust and which ones spout baloney after a couple of beers. Bob Boufford, I can trust. Couldn’t believe where he is today and how timely that is for some of my current questions about importing BbVista quizzes to Sakai! (click on image) Make new friends and keep the old, they say. My recent queries … Continue reading I get by with a little help from my friends

How my work might change: support again

(How my work might change if Notre Dame chose Sakai as its next LMS) I posted our current and future hypothetical support structures back on October 12th. I’m still ruminating on it. I’m still ruminating mainly because the current support structure is not sustainable. More users, same amount of support? Greater diversity of needs met, same amount of support? Continually increasing interfaces to other systems, same amount of support? The upticks in the past 6 years have been gradual and mostly, but not completely, absorbable. For example, we’ve quietly added iTunes U, but don’t really market it. And there exists … Continue reading How my work might change: support again


The Big News Where open source and open standards meet. A Business partnership of great import to higher ed analyzed. Sungard makes a move that will truly impact the LMS marketplace. Michael Feldstein, you say it so much better than I could. There is no need to reproduce your analysis here, I’m simply going to link to it. Readers, this post from Michael Feldstein’s e-Literate blog has already been posted in Notable Posts, Openness, Tools, Toys, and Technology (Oh my!) and tagged in edunomics, IMS LIS, Oracle, rSmart, Sakai Project, Sungard, Unicon. Here’s the direct link. Continue reading Fascinating…