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Sakai Advisory for Instructors: Timezone Bug


Sakai Advisory for Instructors: Timezone Bug

The Sakai Support Team has noted a bug in Sakai affecting: 

  1. Instructors who are working outside the US Pacific timezone, 

  2. And whose device (desktop, laptop, etc.) used to access Sakai is set to report the local time (i.e., the device’s clock does not report time relative to the US Pacific timezone), 

  3. And whose Time Zone preference in the Sakai Preference tool is set to “US/Pacific,” which is the default setting.

If all the conditions above are met and the instructor is setting due dates, available dates, or other such times using Sakai’s date and time picker (e.g., for assignments in the Assignments tool, assessments in the Tests & Quizzes tool, etc.), Sakai may be erroneously saving the times based on the local timezone setting of the instructor’s device (desktop, laptop, etc.) instead of based on the instructor’s Time Zone preference in Sakai. The times that an instructor enters through the date and time picker should be based solely on the Time Zone preference within Sakai, independent of a device’s timezone setting. The problem is that the device’s timezone setting may be distorting the time entered and saved in Sakai. 

Note that this bug is occurring only when a date and time is created or revised by way of the date and time picker. Used throughout Sakai, the date and time picker is depicted below within the context of creating an assignment in the Assignments tool. 

Sakai date and time picker

Recommended Workaround

The Sakai Support Team is working on a bug fix for this problem with the hope of releasing a fix sometime in the summer 2021. In the meantime, a workaround would be for the instructor to:

  • Set their Time Zone preference in Sakai to match the timezone setting of their device,

  • And to adjust the times they enter by the time difference between their local timezone and US Pacific time. 

Consider the following example of this workaround. If an instructor is located in US Mountain time and their device’s clock is set in reference to that local time, the instructor should also set their Time Zone preference in Sakai to “US/Mountain”. Furthermore, the times entered would most likely need to be adjusted by one hour ahead of US Pacific time. For example, for an intended due date of 5:00pm US Pacific for a given assignment in the Assignments tool, the instructor would have their Time Zone preference in Sakai set to “US/Mountain” and enter 6:00pm. Similar considerations would be made anywhere else in Sakai that the instructor uses the Sakai date and time picker for setting dates and times.

Keywords:time zone bug   Doc ID:111009
Owner:Sean H.Group:Pacific Lutheran University
Created:2021-05-24 13:46 PDTUpdated:2021-05-24 13:56 PDT
Sites:Pacific Lutheran University
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