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Stop Hate Speech by Studio PUNKT for Fine Acts. Changes were made to the original piece. Licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0):

Heartbeat: Upgrading Isidore & Sakai Work

By Leah Bergman

This blog post is the second one of its kind (see previous post “Heartbeat: Growing the Team & Isidore Improvements”). It’s designed to provide a high-level overview of what the eLearning team has been working on over the past few months, and what projects we’re planning for the future.

Summer Online Site

Online learning continues to play an important role during the pandemic. Presently, prospective and current students search for online courses via Porches. A new summer online site is in development, and will be a one stop shop for anyone interested in taking distance learning courses during the summer. Be on the lookout for more information about the site.

Support Levels

Our team values transparency, among each other and our colleagues. In order to improve transparency surrounding support for services and products, we came up with a working draft of support levels. Developing the document gave us the opportunity to ensure we’re focusing our efforts on supporting tools and technologies that are most valuable to campus, and not duplicating efforts to support products that are already being supported by other teams on campus. By sharing this document, we’re hoping it’s easier to understand what technologies are supported by our team and what level of support you can expect from us. 

Summer 2021 Preparation

Although it’s unreal to think about, Summer 2021 Isidore sites are available for creation! We have prepared three templates that can be used as a starting point for your course; One for 1st term, 2nd term, and the full summer term. The template sites have Lessons pages for each week of the semester that are preconfigured with release dates. Once a template site is copied, it’s ready to be customized with your content. You can either start from scratch or you can import content used during previous semesters.

Sakai 21 Upgrade

In May 2021, we’re planning to upgrade Isidore to the latest version of Sakai (version 21). Upgrading to the latest version improves stability and increases security, and ensures we can pull in bug fixes and updates quickly and easily from the Sakai community.

In addition to security and stability, this upgrade will include some new features:

Sakai Grader

Sakai Grader is an improved grading experience in Assignments. This will allow instructors to view students’ submissions inline, without having to open or download students’ submission files. Instructors may find grading (with and without rubrics) and navigation easier.

LTI Assignment Type

Another feature to look forward to is a new assignment type; an External Tool (LTI) submission. LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability. This will allow instructors to create an Isidore assignment that links to apps in UD’s learning app store, such as Quick Write, Quick Quiz, etc., or assignments hosted by an outside publisher or vendor. 

Learn more about learning apps.


The update will include a new Dashboard tool that will eventually replace the current Overview tool in course sites. It will be easier to modify the layout of your course homepage and a couple of new widgets will be available to install. We’re working to replace Overview with Dashboard prior to the start of the Fall 2021 semester, but Dashboard will be available to use this summer if you’re interested in trying it out.

New Dashboard widgets in development:

  • Grades - displays a vertical list of gradebook items with the average score next to each one. The widget also shows whether new submissions are present.
  • Tasks - allows creation of a to-do list with deadlines and priorities. Tasks can be checked off as they’re completed.

Minimum Point Value in Tests & Quizzes

Also coming soon is a new feature in Tests & Quizzes where you can give students points for attempting a question on an assessment. The feature is called “Minimum Point Value” and allows instructors to specify a number of points to automatically award students for attempting a question, even if they answer incorrectly.

2021 Releases

See what else we’ve been up to in 2021...

We’re excited to share these projects and new features with you! Our team will be here over the summer to help, whether you’re teaching online or wanting to get a head start on Fall preparation. Please let us know if there are ways we can assist you and your students.


The artwork used in this blog has been modified but was originally created by Studio PUNKT for Fine Acts. Licensed under Creative Commons 4.0.

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