Sakai Forums Survival Guide for Students
Tips for Working with Sakai Forums
You have an assignment due tomorrow to compose a 200-word essay in response to another student's work already posted in the Forums tool. You spend quite a bit of time in the Forums tool trying to carefully craft a brilliant reply. Then, you click the 'Post' button in the Forums tool… and for some weird and very alarming reason, your post and all that time and work is gone! What happened?!? How can you avoid the pain of this ever happening again?
The good news is that you can avoid most problems like this and have a relatively trouble-free experience with the Forums tool by following the Five Tips described below, some of which you probably know about from the video, Getting Started with Sakai for Students.
Tip 1: Compose elsewhere, save it, then paste in Sakai to post.
Unlike Gmail which auto-saves your work as you type, the rich-text editor in Sakai, the CKEditor, which is embedded in the Forums tool, has no auto-save feature. Therefore, if it will take you more than a few minutes to type and submit your work, we highly recommend that you compose your work elsewhere to save it (e.g., in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, etc.). Then copy and paste your work in the CKEditor in Sakai to format it (if necessary) and then post it.
Tip 2: Do not use the web browser's 'Back' button to navigate through Forums.
When navigating through the Forums tool, do not use your web browser's 'Back' button-- (typically depicted as an arrow that points to the left)-- to go to the previous page. Note that tools in Sakai, including the Forums tool, are not web pages with distinct URLs that you navigate through. To navigate through content displayed in the Forums tool, use the links and buttons in the tool. To return to the main view in the Forums tool, click the tool reset button.
Tip 3: When working with Forums, do not open Sakai in multiple web browser tabs.
If you have Sakai open in multiple browser tabs, the Forums tool can be confused by the state of your Sakai session. Having Sakai open in multiple browser tabs is generally not a problem when you are browsing content in Sakai. It's only potentially a problem when you are attempting to submit work through Forums, Tests & Quizzes, and elsewhere. To avoid this problem, close extra browser tabs containing Sakai. (Leaving open web browser tabs which display PDF files stored in Sakai is ok.)
Tip 4: Click once on links and buttons in the Forums tool.
Avoid double-clicking links and buttons in the Forums tool (and in other Sakai tools). Single-clicks are sufficient. Double-clicking might yield unexpected results.
Tip 5: Post your work, and then verify that your post was successful.
After you have posted to Forums, check to make sure that your post is indeed present in the intended conversation in the Forums tool. If for some weird reason it is not, refresh your web browser and navigate to the conversation where your post should be displayed. If it's still not present (an odd case), you might need to repost your message. See Tip 1 in this guide to avoid the frustration of having to re-compose your work.
Also, please note the time when your first attempted post had failed, and send an email to the Sakai Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to describe what occurred, and they will investigate. The more details you provide, the better. Helpful details include the date and time when your post failed, the title of the course site, the title of the forum, the title of the topic, and if you were replying to another person's post, the subject title and author of the post you attempted to reply to.