Frequently Asked Questions

For Attendees:

How is a virtual conference different from a face-to-face conference?

The fact that the conference is virtual does mean there will be some differences you should be aware of:

  • Networking takes that little bit more effort as you don’t have the chance to grab speakers for a chat in the corridor after their presentation, or talk to other attendees during breaks. There will be some informal areas to gather and interact with other attendees online, but you will need to actively participate in these spaces in order to make the most of them.
  • Attendees are based in different time zones and may only attend part of the day.
  • You can drop in and out of the conference alongside your regular work, but the flip side of this is that office distractions may impact your experience.

As with any conference, a little preparation will help you make the most of your attendance.

  • Browse the schedule in advance and note down sessions that you’d like to attend.
  • Make the most of any opportunities to socialize - this is how you introduce yourself to other members of the Sakai community, and make connections.
  • Make sure that you note down contact details for presenters you’d like to contact, and follow up by email.
  • Ensure you’re in a space with minimal distractions and good internet connection.
  • Use a good headset and microphone. Especially helpful if presenting, but also if you want to participate in discussions.
  • Be sure to mute your microphone when you are not speaking!

Are the sessions recorded?

  • Yes, they are recorded and are uploaded to a playlist in Youtube under the Sakai channel.
  • This means, by the way, that enunciating, having a good microphone and eliminating background noise are all important.

For Presenters:

What are you looking for in a Sakai conference presentation?

  • The Sakai community is interested in what you are working on! Sharing what you are doing, what’s working, and even what isn’t working, can be beneficial.
  • Remember when you learned something new in Sakai? There is someone else, right now, who wants to know what you have already learned. Give their work a boost by sharing your experiences!

Does my work with Sakai have to be cutting-edge?

  • Naturally we’re all interested in the latest Sakai innovations, but the Sakai community also loves to learn how other people are using their favorite tools to engage students and make life easier for staff.
  • Also, this year we have included a "Teaching with Sakai" track targeted toward new Sakai users and "how to" sessions that

What sessions have been popular in the past?

  • Sakai Rubrics
  • What's New in Sakai 19?
  • Lessons 2.0
  • Low Tech Games for Deep Learning in a High Tech World
  • Improve the User's Engagement: Adding Sugar to Sakai
  • The Site Builder Project: Transforming the way we create spaces for teaching and learning in Sakai

What topics will be covered at the conference?

Presentations will represent the following topic areas:

  • Lightning Talk - Lightning talks are 5 minute presentations which will be combined into an exciting and fast-paced conference session.
  • Effective or Innovative Practice - How are you using Sakai to support teaching and learning? Share best practices for faculty and student support, training, learning analytics, and more.
  • Empowering Pedagogy - Demonstrate how you are using Sakai tools to implement good instructional design techniques or teaching and learning principles.
  • Technical Session - Do you have a topic that would be of interest to Sakai developers or IT staff? Would you like to demo new features or upcoming functionality in Sakai? Is there a new LTI integration you would like to show off? Present on a technical topic "under the hood" of Sakai.
  • Birds of a Feather - Lead an informal/unstructured online discussion about a topic of your choice.
  • Teaching with Sakai - Share how to use some of your favorite Sakai tools!
  • The Sakaiger Den - This new lightning round style session, a la SharkTank or The Apprentice, gives you the opportunity to pitch an enhancement idea and compete for available funding to make your vision a reality.

How can I influence what topics are covered?

  • Your best opportunity to influence the topics this year is to submit a proposal yourself, and to encourage your colleagues to do the same!
  • Who do you know who’s doing something interesting with Sakai? Who has influenced your own use of Sakai, or your ideas about what is possible? Who would you like to hear from at this year’s virtual conference?!
  • If you’d like to help shape the next Sakai Virtual Conference, why not join the conference committee? You can take as active or focused role as you like - all contributions are valued.

Can I get feedback on my idea before I submit a proposal?

What do I need to do to be a successful presenter?

  • Use a good headset and microphone. Especially helpful if presenting, but also if you want to participate in discussions.
  • Double-check your internet connection; prepare for technical issues (have a backup plan if presenting materials “live”) .
  • Practice with your session moderator, with your presentation materials (and co-presenter, if applicable).