About Sakai

Is Sakai a good learning management system?


Yes. In fact Sakai is the number one rated Learning Management System (LMS) in the world. Don’t take our word for it; the independent Software Reviews ranked it at the top overall, giving it their Category Champion award as well as ranking it at the top in such categories as Breadth of Features, support for Student Collaboration, overall Online Learning, Product Strategy and Improvement, and Usability and Intuitiveness. Sakai beat out such competitors as Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard, and D2L Brightspace. On top of that, Sakai is the LMS of choice by many well known universities: Duke, Notre Dame, New York University, Columbia, University of Virginia, and Pepperdine to name a few. The largest implementation of Sakai is at the University of South Africa in Capetown where it is used by more than 280,000 students.




If Sakai is Open Source, why can't I run it myself?


Sakai is completely open source, which means you could download it, install it, and run it completely on your own. However, most organizations find they don’t have the technical skills or resources to do that. Running Sakai on your own would mean purchasing and maintaining servers, keeping the operating system and database up to date, applying patches and upgrades to Sakai, as well as being an expert both in the Sakai codebase and its operation for teaching and learning. That’s where the LAMP Learning Consortium comes in. We take care of the technical details so that you can focus on teaching and learning. Our goal is to make the details of running and maintaining the technology as invisible as possible so that you can do what you love: reaching learners.




Can I use my own branding on Sakai?


Yes. At the Curriculum and Enterprise levels we will build a “skin” for your courses that features your branding, your logo, and your color scheme. Your courses will be clearly identifiable as belonging to your organization.




Is Sakai secure?


Yes. Sakai follows the latest protocols for security. In addition, since our instance of Sakai is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), all of the incredible security that is part of AWS applies to the LAMP instance of Sakai.




Where does the Sakai name come from?


You’re not going to believe this: Sakai was named after a Japanese chef. Initially there were four institutions that collaborated to create Sakai: MIT, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and Indiana University. Each was replacing a home-grown LMS with a new open-source tool (what eventually became Sakai). The product that the University of Michigan was replacing was known by the acronym “CHEF.” One of the lead developers suggested, tongue in cheek, that the product should be named after the winner of the Iron Chef competition. The winner the year was Hiroyuki Sakai. It is really true: Sakai was named after a Japanese chef. And, by the way, because Sakai is a name, not an acronym, it is not written in all capitals.




Is Sakai accessable?


Sakai places a high priority on accessibility. An accessibility working group meets regularly and identifies accessibility improvements that are quickly fixed by developers.





About LAMP Learning Consortium

How do I join the LAMP Learning Consortium?


You can join the LAMP Learning Consortium by purchasing one of our plans here. You can also send us an email at info@lampschools.org. We do need to know some basics: The official name and address of the organization (or individual) that is actually joining. The name, email address and phone number of the person who will serve as the primary coordinator (usually that is you). The name, email address and phone number of the person who will be taking care of the bills (again, that might be you, but it could be someone else). At what subscription level you wish to join (individual, Program, Curriculum or Enterprise). If you’re joining at the Curriculum or Enterprise level, you’ll want to provide us with a PNG or JPG file of your logo to use for branding your courses in Sakai. We can have you up and running as soon as you provide us with the names and email addresses of your first user accounts.




What kind of organizatins join the LAMP Learning Consortium?


We serve colleges and universities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. We started out serving small colleges and universities, but soon discovered that Sakai and the other services provided by the LAMP Learning Consortium were in demand by nonprofits who wanted to educate their constituencies, and by businesses who needed to reach and provide training to customers, Today we serve a wide variety of organizations and individuals who are tied together by one common desire: to provide education and training to people using the best learning management system in the world for a very affordable price.




How do I get help if I need it?


The Lamp Learning Corsortium has a well-staffed support desk. Upon joining, we will provide you with an email address to which you are welcome to submit your questions. Our team will respond to you promptly. We also provide, for an additional fee, one-on-one coaching sessions, or group training meetings, or we will even come on-site to do a workshop with your people (after the Covid pandemic).




Is the LAMP Learning Consortium membership fee all-inclusive?


Yes it is. Membership in the LAMP Learning Consortium includes access to Sakai, the number one Learning Management System (LMS) in the world, and also includes hosting and maintenance of Sakai as well as support for you and your people. Membership also includes access to BigBlueButton, our built-in videoconferencing tool. There are optional components you could add to your membership if you need them (tools such as Turnitin for plagiarism detection, Warpwire for video streaming and management, Karuta for electronic student portfolios), and much more. However, most first time members find they have everything they need to provide courses with just the basic membership fee.




How do I track my usage?


The LAMP Learning Consortium provides a comprehensive “dashboard” that lets you track your usage on a variety of metrics including the number of active users you have, the number of courses you’re managing, the storage space you’re using, the number of BigBlueButton video teleconferencing user-minutes you’ve consumed, the number of support hours you’ve used, and more.




Is there a minimum membership commitment?


Yes. At the Individual membership level, we ask for a three month commitment. At the other levels, you are committed for a one year. We do have a 30-day grace period when you first join; if you decide the LAMP Learning Consortium isn’t for you, you can cancel and we’ll refund your membership fee.




How soon can I get up and running?


You can start today! Because the LAMP instance of Sakai is already running, all we need is the email address of the users you will want added under your account. It really is that fast. To be fair, the real time investment is where you would expect it to be: with you and your team as you develop your courses. That can take some time. But as far as the time it takes to create your your accounts and enroll them in your first course shell? We can accomplish that process for you very quickly.




How long has the LAMP Learning Consortium been operating?


We went live on April 23, 2006.




What is LAMP's up-time record?


Since 2006 we have had a world class up-time record of 99.99%. We have had zero outages in more than two years.




What if I need to grow?  Can the LAMP Learning Consortium scale up when I need to?


Absolutely! When you outgrow your current membership level, we will upgrade you to the next level. Or, if you are already at the Enterprise membership level, we will automatically add more user accounts, storage, support hours, and videoconferencing user-minutes as you need them. By the way, the largest implementation of Sakai in the world is at the University of South Africa in Capetown. There Sakai handles over 280,000 users. So, yes, Sakai is highly scalable, growing as you grow your organization.




How can the cost of the LAMP Learning Consortium be so low?


Because we share a common instance of Sakai. By pooling our resources for software hosting and support, we are able to offer our members the lowest possible costs. We routinely benchmark the cost of a LAMP Learning Consortium membership against equivalent commercial offerings. Typically LAMP provides you with a 75% to 80% cost savings. And don’t forget: Sakai is the number one rated Learning Management System (LMS) in the world. So even though the cost is extremely affordable, you’re getting the best software available.





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