What’s New in Sakai 2.9

Posted on: June 18, 2014


Sakai CLE 2.9 contains significant performance improvements, updated technical infrastructure, hundreds of bug fixes. Over 600 bug fixes and over 20 security improvements have been implemented. It sports a new, updated look and feel, including smoother navigation, with a new neo-portal skin which includes an improved mobile view and a new chat function.. Significant features have been added to the Resources, Gradebook, and Section Info tools. Major additions and improvements have been made to Lessons, which is now turned on by default, Test & Quizzes, Profile 2, Forums and Messages.



  • CKeditor inclusion improves accessibility
  • Accessibility improvements to the brand new NeoPortal
  • Significantly improved the accessibility of dynamic menus in the resources tool
  • For a complete and in-depth analysis of all accessibility improvements to Sakai 2.9.0 visit the Accessibility Working Group’s webpage http://bit.ly/sak-awg


  •  Instructor can submit assignment on behalf of a student


  • Profile picture displays next to each post
  • Statistics and Grading
  • Require users to post before they can read posts
  • Word count for messages
  • Improved permissions settings layout
  • Checks for, and prevents, duplicate Forum and Topic names
  • Option to set open (show) and close (hide) dates
  • Options to duplicate forum and duplicate topic
  • The term “threads” changed to “conversations” throughout UI
  • In Topic menu, “Display Entire Message” option changed to “Display Message Content”
  • Topic menu always displays at top of Topic screen (previously, it displayed beneath breadcrumbs when in “Display Subject Only” mode and at the top when in “Display Entire Message” mode.


  • Drop highest, drop lowest and keep highest grade options
  • Hide/show columns in All Grades page
  • PDF export option added


  • Ability to define and import a group with a CSV file
  • Randomly assign users to a set of groups (maintainer specifies the desired group size or the desired number of groups)

Help Documentation (new for CLE 2.9.1 and updated in CLE 2.9.3)

  • Sakai online Help has been updated to reflect tool changes between 2.8.x and 2.9.x


  • Ability to set a language different than the system default on a site level.

Lessons – Lessons (formerly Lesson Builder)

  • New part of core Sakai !!!
  • Student-centric features added including allowing students to create pages and comment on pages.
  • An anonymous option is available.
  • Support for IMS Common Cartridge import. Version 1.1 for CLE 2.9.0 and version 1.2 for CLE 2.9.1. Support for IMS Basic LTI tools have been added.


  • New permissions settings to allow finer-grained control over who may send to generic recipient groups
  • Ability to hide groups from specified roles. An example use case is to have a group with learning disabilities which may need private communications.
  • BCC (blind cc option)

NeoChat (IM-Chat)

  • NeoChat is a new social network chat tool that allows you to chat with other members present in a site or to chat with people you have connected with in your profile.
  • Replaces the presence indicator tool in sites.

Neo-portal and updated skin

Profile 2

  • Once logged in, a user can go to profile settings from My Workspace or by clicking the icon in the top right corner.
  • Ability to create a new site with selected connections.
  • More flexibility with preferences, searching and privacy.


  • Provides zip expansion of uploaded files.
  • Allows export of files to zip format. (System property setting required.)
  • Optional URL shortening for resource access

Section Info

  • Ability to select a date when the sections tool is open for student viewing.
  • Now allows students to view their section information.

Site Info

  • Lock Pages: Locking a page not only hides a page from students but also disables it from student access.
  • Site Language: The language for a site can be changed from the default, ‘English (United States)’.


  • Unpublished sites can be published with a single click using the Publish Now button
  • Language preferences are now supported at the local worksite level, overriding system-wide language default.
  • Import from Site updates links to content correctly

Tests & Quizzes

  • Easier distinction between published and working copies of quizzes.
  • Ability to set score for students who have not submitted their work.
  • After a Test has been published, random question ordering option within Part.
  • Can now place due date on Schedule tool (i.e. calendar)
  • A new matrix survey question type has been added.
  • Scientific and complex number notation support.
  • Grader’s comments included in Export
  • Additional enhancements

Updated Editor

  • CKEditor 3.6.2 has replaced the FCKEditor as the default.
  • CKEditor provides major accessibility improvements, speed increases, Word-format-stripping by default, and works better with most mobile devices.
  • Addition of Math Editing in CKEditor including rendering of LaTeX

Web Content Tool (updated in CLE 2.9.2)

  • Technical upgrade to Web Content Tool, using JSR-168 Portlet
  • Improved management of embedded web sites
  • Non-secure web pages may not show due to browser configuration.

Administration and System Management

  • Improved stability, security, and sustainability.
  • Tomcat 7/Java 6 recommended configuration and support for Java 7.
  • Well over 700 bug fixes and several dozen security fixes.
  • New security infrastructure introduced in Sakai CLE 2.9.2 (off by default, to allow piloting)
  • Support for delegated administration has been added. (Not OOTB, but support to plug in feature is included.)
  • Ability to host uploaded content on a separate domain. – Implementation Documentation
  • Improved caching for performance
  • Has been enhanced to support Polls, Basic LTI, Questions Pools and Assignment supplements.
  • Bulk CSV user management support has been added.
  • Improvements to configuration management and system documentation.




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Page created by: Steven Wicker