Sakai 21 Upgrade

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What is Sakai 21?

Sakai 21 is a new version of Sakai released in Spring 2021.

Video Overview of Sakai 21

When will Durham Tech upgrade to Sakai 21?

Durham Tech is scheduled to upgrade to Sakai 21 on May 13, 2022.

What's new and different in Sakai 21?

In Sakai 21, the interface has been updated a bit, but is very similar to the version you are using now.

Don't worry - your content will remain intact after the upgrade. The upgrade affects the buttons and tools available for you to use but does not alter your content.

The menu buttons are a rounder, but otherwise, most things look and work the same.

Sakai 21 brings several new features that you may choose to use:


  • Interface has been improved, especially in Add Content menu and Reorder functions
  • More formatting and style options


  • When creating a new assignment, the same options are there but reordered a bit
  • New feature: When grading an Assignment, choose to turn on the New Grader for a streamlined view of student submissions.

Date Manager

  • New tool located in Site Info that provides centralization of important dates in your course
  • Allows you to organize your open/close dates, deadlines, and release dates for various tools (i.e., Lessons, Assignments, Discussions, Tests/Quizzes, etc.) in Sakai


  • You and your students can set up name pronunciation and preferred pronouns through the Profile area, and they appear in the Roster

Statistics > User Activity

  • User Activity is no longer a stand-alone tool, and it is now available as a tab in the Statistics tool.
  • Detailed and immediate usage information is available for individual students.

Interactive Video

  • New learning app in Lessons lets you add questions to Warpwire or YouTube videos for students to answer as they are watching.
  • Questions may be multiple choice or short answer. You can also insert an info card or a survey question.
  • Instructors can view a list of students who watched, each student's overall score, and their answers for each question.

Other Tool Updates

  • Forums is now Discussions
  • Tests & Quizzes allows for questions to be marked as Extra Credit
  • Gradebook Category items can now be weighted equally regardless of point value

Screenshot gallery

(click to enlarge)

What will stay the same in Sakai 21?

Many functions are unchanged -- or nearly the same -- in the new version. The following tools have minimal changes:

  • Announcements
  • Drop Box
  • Email and Email Archive
  • Meetings
  • Site Info
  • Resources
  • Rubrics
  • Statistics (Student Entry Date Report)
  • Syllabus
  • Turnitin
  • Warpwire
  • Proctorio

What will happen to my course content and data?

Content and data in your existing course sites (and project sites) will stay the same. Just the tools and buttons you use to interact with your content will look a little different, and some tools will have some new features you can use. You can start building your Summer/Fall 2022 courses on the current version if you like and that content will still be there after the upgrade is done.

How will the Sakai 21 upgrade affect students?

Aside from the new look-and-feel, changes in functionality for students will be minimal. Instructional Technologies will provide videos and support materials for students, closer to the rollout of the new version.

How can I learn more about Sakai 21?

Instructional Technologies is hard at work learning and testing the new version, updating support materials, and planning training to help faculty make the transition. During summer and fall 2022, a number of presentations and other resources will be offered to help faculty learn the new features.

For those that couldn't make it to the Sakai 21 Upgrade: Overview and Q&A TLC webinar on March 9, 2022, please follow the link below to view the recording (Durham Tech log in required):
Sakai 21 Upgrade: Overview and Q&A TLC recording.