Over time, the solution has evolved through new development, rigorous community-driven testing and refinement to become the feature-rich, mature and sophisticated software suite that serves thousands of educational communities and millions of learners around the world. 

Sakai’s Core and Expanded Features
Sakai’s capabilities are wide-ranging, as reflected in the feature list below. The majority of Sakai's features are considered “Core Tools,” an integrated tool set that is thoroughly tested by the community and packaged together with each new release. Instructors, students, research investigators and project leaders can configure this common tool set to support the success of their courses, projects and other initiatives. 

The Sakai community also develops and publishes an expanded set of features called “Contrib Tools,” which are Sakai-specific tools and innovations developed and tested by community members and then released for others to use outside of the packaged Sakai release. Some of these tools offer unique functionality to augment Sakai's capabilities. Other Contrib Tools provide similar functionality to Core Tools but offer alternatives in the user interface and other ancillary features. Contrib Tools are generally considered high quality and reliable by community members. In fact, often the expanded features and innovations of Contrib Tools eventually become incorporated into the Core Tools. 

Integrating Sakai with Third Party Tools Using IMS LTI
Sakai adopters frequently use the IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard to easily and securely integrate third party learning tools and other systems into the Sakai environment. LTI v2 builds upon the widely adopted LTI v1 standard by providing a more sophisticated and extensible platform to enable deeper integrations and greater support for services and events. LTI v2 also provides enhanced outcomes reporting and a full extensions architecture allowing additional services to be added gradually using REST and JSON-LD to deliver this new functionality.

Sakai helped drive the development of the IMS LTI specification, and is the first learning and collaboration environment to support the second version of the specification (IMS LTI v 2) fully.

The feature list below describes Sakai Core Tools followed by popular Contrib Tools.

More information about all Sakai tools is available on the community wiki, Learning Management page, Research Collaboration page, and Project Collaboration page.

Sakai Core Tools Feature List
Note: Core Tools are designed, developed and tested by the community, and then packaged with each new Sakai release

Feature Description



Assignment Tools

Create and grade online or offline assignments

Gradebook (Core)

Gradebook Tool

Calculate, store and distribute grade information to students

Graded Discussions

Discussion Forums Tool

Evaluate and grade discussion participation

Grades and Feedback

Post 'Em Tool

Post, store and distribute grades as well as non-numeric feedback and commentary for students; used as an alternative gradebook tool

Lesson Builder

Lesson Tool

Organize text, resources, quizzes, tests, assignments, media and other content onto a single page to fit the needs of a given lesson


Syllabus Tool

Post a summary outline of course requirements

Tests & Quizzes

Tests & Quizzes Tool, a.k.a. "SAMigo"

Create and manage online assessments using robust toolset: closed and open ended questions, matching, question pools, set point value, auto-grading, statistics, timed assessments, high security, audio recording, etc.

Communication and Collaboration


Announcements Tool

Post current, time-critical information to a course or work site


Schedule Tool

Schedule and maintain deadlines, activities and events related to a course, project or work site; link to announcements, assignments, assessments, materials, etc.  

Calendar Summary

Calendar Summary Tool

View a weekly or monthly summary of scheduled events, either for a course or work site or for an individual active in one or more sites 


Chat Tool

Engage in real-time conversations with course or project participants

Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums Tool

Create, moderate and manage discussion topics and groups within a course and send private messages to participants; options to grade discussions, set word count, permissions, etc. 

Drop Box

Drop Box Tool

Share files privately with course, project or site participants

Email Participants

Mail Sender Tool

Send email messages to individual course or work site participants or course sections 

Group Email List

Email Archive Tool

Create a mailing list for your course or worksite, allowing for many-to-many broadcasting; access and search an archive of email sent to this address


Messages Tool

Send, receive and reply to messages among course or work site participants


Podcast Tool

Create podcasts from audio or video files, post them to a course or work site and broadcast them to subscribers


Polls Tool

Easily create surveys, distribute and collect data from course or work site participants or groups


Wiki Tools

Create, share and edit web content collaboratively

User Features

Individual Workspace

My Workspace Tool

Individual space to organize and manage schedules, content, assignments, work products, etc. 

Reset Password

Reset Password Tool

Receive and fulfill user request for a new password

Set Preferences

Preferences Tool

Customize how you receive notifications, organize tabs, and select time zone and language for your course or work site 

Social Profiles

Profile 2 Tool

Create a profile and connect with others using a social networking model

Site Features (Course Sites and Work Sites)


Group Tools

Define groups for the purposes of communication, grading, permissions, collaboration, assigning work or assessments, etc.  


Home Tool

Pre-built landing page for any course or work site containing common functionality such as recent announcements, chat messages, discussion forums, shared collaboration spaces and a course site information page. 

Manage Resources

Resource Tool

Post, store and organize material related to the course or work site

Manage Site

Site Info Tool

Manage and update course or work site information such as updating site participants and/or rosters, adding and removing tools, adjusting how tools work, and changing basic site options

Mass Upload

WebDAV Tool

Easily upload, download and remove multiple files and resources from a course or work site 

Section Management

Section Info Tool

Manage multiple sections of the same course from one course site 

Site Information

Site Info Tool

View and update information about the site including site settings and membership

Site Roster

Roster Tool

View a list of course or work site participants and their pictures

Site Statistics

Site Stats Tool

View site usage statistics regarding user visits, tool activity, and resource activity


Admin Workspace

Admin Workspace Tool

Use a selection of standard administrative tools to configure Sakai , set administrative preferences, manage access controls, administer the software, and so forth. 

Browser Support

Access Sakai from standard web browsers including the latest versions of Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer (IE) as well as IE 9 and IE 8. Further detail is available in our Wiki.  

Language Support

Deploy Sakai in more than 20 languages; set language preference at the course and work site level 

Mobile Support

Access a number of key Sakai  tools via mobile devices through mobile-aware browser support 


Scale Sakai to support both large and small numbers of users.


Search Tool

Search for and find artifacts based on owner or type

Media, Content and Systems Integration


Support authentication using standard single sign-on platforms such as CAS, Kerberos, SAML and Shibboleth

IMS Common Cartridge

Support for IMS Common Cartridge export


Support for IMS Learning Tool Integration (LTI) for simple, standards-based integration with third party tools running outside Sakai 

REST Web Services

Use REST architecture for open APIs to create interoperability and share data between Sakai and other software

RSS Feeds

News Tool

Display custom news content from dynamic, online sources via RSS

SOAP Web Services

Use SOAP architecture for open APIs to create interoperability and share data between Sakai and other software

Web Content Display

Web Content Tool

Display external web pages


Karuta Project

Open Source Portfolio

Karuta tool is an Apereo Foundation supported project.  Karuta is a flexible tool for the incremental prototyping and the diffusion on the web of digital portfolios or eportfolios for various purposes (showcase portfolio, learning portfolio, assessment portfolio). To learn more visit the Karuta Project page on the Apereo website.

Sakai Contrib Tools Feature List

Note: Contrib Tools are Sakai-specific tools and innovations developed, tested and contributed by community members. They are released separately from the packaged Sakai release and freely available for anyone to use.


Feature Description




Assignments2 Tool

An alternate tool for creating and grading online or offline assignments that includes an alternate user interface, more direct integration with gradebook services, and some additional features such as gradebook helpers and assignments with multiple versioned submissions. 

Gradebook (Alternate)

Gradebook2 Tool

An alternate tool for calculating, storing and distributing grade information to students using a spreadsheet-style user interface and other capabilities such as use of letter grades, calculating extra credit, dropping selected grades, etc.


Melete Tool

An alternate lesson-building tool to create and publish learning modules or sequences including text and educational content that support either instructor-led or self-study; modules can be released according to defined start and stop dates.

Test Center

Mneme Tool

An alternate tool for creating, publishing and managing assessments including online tasks, tests, surveys and skill assessments. Uses alternate design and some different features compared to Sakai ’s default Tests and Quizzes tool.

Communication and Collaboration


BlogWow and Clog Tools

Provide collaborative blogging and/or online journaling capability for your course or project team.

Course and Project Evaluations

EvalSys Tool

Conduct formative and summative evaluations of courses or collaborative projects using ratings and other survey questions delivered to course or work site participants over a fixed time period. 

Discussion Forum

JForum and YAFT Tools

Alternate tools for creating, moderating and managing discussion topics and groups; additional functionality includes features such as allowing private messaging between site participants while discussing amongst a larger group. 

Event Signup

Signup Tool

Sign up for events or activities such as office hours, presentation slots, research topics, review sessions, etc. 

Site Features (Course Sites and Work Sites)

Site Activity Dashboard

Dashboard Tool

Summary view of recent activity on a course or work site and across multiple sites, such as assignments, scheduled events, announcements, resources 

Site Roster

Roster2 Tool

An alternate tool for creating and viewing a list of course or work site participants and their pictures, including deeper integration with Sakai ’s default Social Profile tool and some additional features


Delegated Access

Delegated Access Tool

Delegate administrative controls to staff members who are not listed on the roster, and grant site access and privileges to any user. Access and privileges can be set at multiple levels: global, school, department, subject area, etc. 

Media, Content and Systems Integration

Adobe Connect Integration

Adobe Connect Web Conference Tool

Allow Sakai users to hold web conference events using an Adobe Connect server. This Sakai integration component is freely available, but use of Adobe Connect may not be free. 

BigBlueButton Integration

Sakai BigBlueButton Tool

Integrate a Sakai instance with a BigBlueButton server, allowing Sakai users to easily create and join BigBlueButton meetings from a Sakai worksite. This Sakai integration component is freely available, and BigBlueButton is also an open source tool.

Kaltura Integration

Sakai Kaltura Tool

Allows Sakai users to integrate video and multi-media using the Kaltura platform. This Sakai integration component is freely available, but use of Kaltura may not be free. 

OpenMeetings Integration

OpenMeetings Web Conference Tool 

Allow Sakai users to hold web conference events using an OpenMeetings server. This Sakai integration component is freely available, and OpenMeetings is an open source Apache tool. 

RSS Feeds

News Feeds Tool

Alternate tool for displaying custom news content from dynamic, online sources via RSS

SCORM Player

SCORM Player Tool

Upload and configure SCORM packages, enabling interoperability and accessibility of web-based learning content