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Sakai home page trick

June 4, 2013

course home page[Shared in a “Lightning” session at the 2013 Apereo Conference]

I place all of my course materials on a public facing website. It’s easier for the students and I get to share what I have assembled back with the people whose material I have used. Then I link that page to the home tool in Sakai, so students will always be able to find it. Unfortunately, the home page of a Sakai course space is the only tool that doesn’t have a reset button, so after students navigate away from the home page it can be difficult to return. I also assign my students to groups for in-class activities, but they sometimes forget which group they are in. The “hack” described here takes care of all of these little issues.

Here’s a summary of how it works. The code you need is included at the end.- In the Site Editor, assign students to their groups

  • In the Site Editor, assign students to their groups
  • Outside of Sakai, create or find graphics to represent each of your student groups, then upload them to the Resources tool
  • Give the appropriate group access to each image
  • Create an HMTL document in the Resources tool
  • Enter a link that refreshes the page, as well as one that opens it in a new window.
  • Add the images to your HTML document, including the “onerror” parameter
  • Embed the content page in an iframe and save the HTML document
  • Link the Home tool to the HTML document
  • If you don’t want the students to see these files, hide the Resources tool.

Code note: substitute iframe for jframe; WordPress automatically erases iframe tags.

<P>You are in the 
<img src="blue.jpg" onerror="this.style.display='none';" />
<img src="gold.jpg" onerror="this.style.display='none';" />
group |
<a href="iframe.html" >Reset</a> | 
<a href="http://www.xyz.edu/mypage.html" target="new">
New Window</a></P>
<jframe src="http://www.xyz.edu/mypage.html" style="border-style: none; width:100%; height: 720px">
</iframe>
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