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Two people walk while surrounded by brightly colored red, orange, and yellow leaves on campus at University of North Carolina at Chapel HillCongratulations to the Class of 2023 and to all for finishing up the Spring 2023 Semester!

Fall 2023 courses are now ready to be set up in Canvas and Sakai! As a reminder, course sites are automatically created in Canvas and in Sakai you must still manually create your course sites. You may still teach in Sakai this summer and fall but keep in mind the last term to teach in Sakai is Spring 2024. We strongly recommend moving to Canvas this summer as you will likely have more time instead of starting the transition in the middle of a semester or over the short winter break. Start your move now to give yourself adequate time to switch systems.

New to Canvas? Find resources on Moving from Sakai to Canvas and consider joining an in-person, 2-hour “Canvas Course Design Snapshot” session this week. This interactive session hosted by the Center for Faculty Excellence is a great opportunity to revisit the overall design of your courses as you become familiar with Canvas. Our ITS-EdTech team will also be there to help answer questions. Sign up for one of these sessions to join us!

Canvas Course Design Snapshot:

An online version will be offered in August. These are open for registration as well!

Get Added to Your Roster in ConnectCarolina

Whether you will teach in Canvas or Sakai, your departmental course scheduler must list you as one of the following in ConnectCarolina to access your course in the learning management system (LMS). This must be done on each your course rosters.

  • Primary Instructor
  • Secondary Instructor
  • Proxy
  • Dean’s Designate
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Notes:
    • TAs cannot create course sites in Sakai.
    • If you are a new instructor, you must first complete FERPA training before the registrar can list you as the instructor in ConnectCarolina.

Once you are added as the instructor on your course roster, you should see your Class Roster in ConnectCarolina in the Faculty Portal. See these Faculty help guides if you have questions about ConnectCarolina. If you were recently added as the instructor of record in ConnectCarolina, you will need to wait a bit for the LMS to pick up this update:

  • Canvas: Typically updates every few minutes but can take up to an hour.
  • Sakai: Updates take several hours (run 3 times a day) but can take up to 24 hours.

Canvas panda in blue glassesCanvas

Access Your Course Site in Canvas

Course sites are automatically created in Canvas so this is one less step for instructors! Log into Canvas and access your course site on your Dashboard opens in new window or on the Courses > All Courses opens in new window page.

Cross-listed Rosters

Rosters that are cross-listed in ConnectCarolina will automatically be cross-listed in Canvas. They will appear as separate rosters in Canvas as they do in ConnectCarolina.

If you are teaching a course with multiple rosters that are not officially cross-listed in ConnectCarolina, you can combine those rosters onto one Canvas site. First determine which site you want to use as the main course site for the term and then go to your other section site(s) to cross-list it with the main section site. Note that the other section site(s) will disappear once the cross-listing has been made.

For example, you may be teaching DEPT101.001, 002, and 003. You decide to use the 001 section site as your course site and want to cross-list sections 002 and 003 with section 001. You would go to the 002 and 003 section sites to cross-list them with DEPT101.001.

Note: If you cross-list the wrong sections in Canvas, please submit a help request through We will need to remove the cross-listing for you.

Migrated Content from Sakai Courses

If you would like to reuse course content from Sakai, we have worked with a migration vendor to automatically transfer all course materials from Registrar courses from Spring, Summer, and Fall 2022 courses. You can locate these “SAKAI_Archive” sites when you log into Canvas and view your Dashboard opens in new window or the Courses > All Courses opens in new window page. Sakai content from the Spring 2023 semester will be available in Canvas by June 26.

You are welcome to reuse any of this migrated content and copy it into your upcoming courses (see Getting Course Content into Canvas). We strongly advise thoroughly reviewing this migrated content before copying it into your official FA23 course sites. While Canvas and Sakai offer similar features, their underlying data structures are vastly different, which means there likely won’t be a clean and complete data transfer between the systems. Please review common issues we have found and then decide what content to clean up and reuse.

Give Students Access

Granting student access in Canvas is done in two steps:

  1. Publish your site
  2. Update the course start date

In addition to publishing your site, student access in Canvas is determined by the dates associated with the course. By default, the term starts on the first day of classes set by the University Registrar and student access is through the end of the month that a term ends. For the Fall 2023 term, student access is set to August 21 – December 31, 2023 but you can update the course dates to give students early access and/or remove access sooner.

Sakaiger wearing number 20 jerseySakai

Create Your Course Site in Sakai

Create your course site by clicking on the Sites waffle icon > Create New Site OR Home > Worksite Setup > New. Then:

  1. Select course site
  2. Set Academic term to Fall 2023 and Continue
  3. Check course roster you want to create and Continue — Check *only 1 roster* if you want separate course sites
  4. Edit Home Description (or later) and Continue
  5. Check tools you want to use and Continue — can add/remove later
  6. Leave as Draft and Continue — remember to publish site when ready
  7. Create Site

Note: If you want to reuse any old course material, you may do so before continuing in Step #5 through the “Re-use Material from Other Sites You Own” option. You can also wait until after you have created your site and use the Import from Site feature. See details on duplicating course content.

Managing Rosters

Here are things to be aware of if you’re teaching a cross-listed course or if you created your course sites but can’t find them all:

  • Rosters that are cross-listed in ConnectCarolina will automatically be cross-listed in Sakai. They will appear under only one roster in Sakai, taking the name of the sponsoring department. We recommend comparing your class rosters in ConnectCarolina with your site membership in Sakai through Site Info > Manage Participants. If a student just added/dropped the course, give it a few hours to update in Sakai.
  • The course creation process creates only one Sakai site at a time. If you checked multiple rosters in Step #3 above but actually wanted separate Sakai sites for each roster, you can remove the extra roster from the course site that was created through Site Info > Edit Class Rosters. Once removed from the existing site, the roster will become available for you to repeat this process and create a separate site.
  • If you left off a roster, you can add the extra roster to your existing Sakai site.

Give Students Access

Click Publish Now in the top yellow bar of your site to give students access! You can also go to Site Info > Manage Access to (un)publish your site.

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