Introduction to Trunk
Trunk is a new online environment designed to facilitate teaching, learning, and assessment at Tufts. Trunk enables the sharing of knowledge and new models of collaboration within and across disciplines, at Tufts and beyond. Trunk is powered by Sakai, an open source collaboration and learning environment that has been developed by the educational community. Sakai is used at over 350 schools around the world to support teaching, learning and scholarly activity both inside and outside the classroom. Trunk is the version of Sakai that has been configured and customized to meet Tufts University’s diverse needs.
The video below gives a good introduction to the capabilities of the Trunk system:
Trunk works on both Windows and Macintosh operating systems and runs reliably on most modern browsers. Issues have been reported with Safari and Chrome particularly using the rich content (wysiwig) editor.
Trunk is best viewed in the following browsers:
Firefox 2.0 and newer
Internet Explorer 6 and newer
Netscape 8.0 and newer
Firefox 2.0 and newer
Netscape 8.0 and newer
Firefox 2.0 and newer
Netscape 8.0 and newer
Other browsers may not be fully supported. Some functions in Trunk will not work well or will not work at all if you are using:
- Safari – older verions
- Macintosh Internet Explorer 5x
- Camino 0.7 and newer
- Netscape 7.0 or older
My Workspace is a special type of site that that serves as a private work area for Trunk users. When you log in to Trunk you will always land on the home page of your own My Workspace site. The Home page will display a Message of the Day posted by the Trunk Support team, and an updated listing of recent calendar events and announcements from your sites. The tools in My Workspace allow you to view all your calendar events and announcements, to store, organize and manage a collection of resources, and to maintain a personal profile and specify settings valid on all your sites.
1. Go to http://trunk.tufts.edu
2. In the login box of the top right hand corner of the Trunk home page enter your Tufts Username and Password and then click the “Go” button.
1) Navigating to a Site
When you first log into Trunk you will be in a site known as My Workspace.
To navigate to a course or project site, select the link to the site from your Quicklinks or from the lists contained under the My Sites tab.
2) Site Home page and tool home pages
When you login to Trunk or click the link to go to a site, you will always arrive on the Home page of that site. You can tell you’re on the home page because the tool will be orange. To move to another tool, simply select it from the tools menu. Your screen will refresh and you will be on the home page of that tool. (eg Resources home, assignments home, calendar home).
3) Returning to a tool home page
If you are working in a tool and wish to return to the home or top level page of that tool, you have two options. You may click the Reset button to the left of the tool title, which looks like two arrows going around in a circle. Alternatively, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and select the button labeled either Cancel of Back.
4) Avoid the Back Button
Trunk does not work well with the back button of your browser. We recommend using the guidelines above for moving around in the Trunk interface.
The Profile2 tool, located in My Workspace site, allows you to display information about yourself in Trunk, and provides basic social networking capability. Information posted in your profile appears in the Trunk Roster tool. In Profile2, You can add a photo, search for users with common interests, post tweets to your Twitter account and even create status updates. Uploading a picture to your profile (that will appear in your course rosters as a result) is a helpful way for instructors to identify you.
The Privacy settings in Profile2 allow you to decide who you share information with. Privacy options include, everyone, only my connections or only me.
To view all your course sites, select the My Sites tab next to the My Workspace tab. This will display a list of all sites that you own or are a member of.
You can view all your classes by clicking the “My Sites” button on the top right corner. If your class isn’t listed, it may be because your instructor has yet to publish the site. If you are enrolled in the class via SIS, the course should appear once the instructor publishes the site.
Most course documents will be posted in the Resources tool. To go to this tool, go to your course site and click “Resources” in the menu on the left side of the page. If you do not immediately see the document, it may be inside a folder. To open a folder, click on the + icon on the folder.
Note: You can also use the Search tool to locate documents on a site quickly.
If the document you are looking for is an assignment, your instructor may have posted it in the Assignments tool instead. To go to the Assignments tool, click on “Assignments” in the menu on the left side of the page.
To submit an assignment for your course, go to the Assignments tool. You may see a single assignment or multiple assignments listed. Click on the assignment you need to take. A screen will appear that reads In Progress. Depending upon whether your instructor has allowed you to submit inline responses (typed into the rich content editor box) and/or attachments, you will see options for one or both. You may use the inline box to type a message or a full response.
If you need to include an attachment, scroll to the bottom of your screen, click Browse, locate the file. When you see it appear in the upload field to the left of the Browse button, choose Submit, Preview or Save Draft. Submit will submit your assignment to your instructor. Preview will enable you to see what it looks like before submitting. And Save Draft will save a draft for you to continue working on before finally submitting. Note: You may upload up to 5 attachments in the Trunk Assignments tool.
Once you submit your assignment, you should see a confirmation screen. You should also receive a confirmation email. If your instructor has allowed resubmissions, you will be able to go back in and resubmit an assignment once the instructor has evaluated it.
Note: Once an assignment due date is past, unless your instructor has allowed late submissions, you will no longer be able to submit the assignment in Trunk.
If your professor gives you an assignment that is to be completed through Trunk, you can upload up to 5 files when submitting your work.
Clicking on the assignment opens the submissions window. Scrolling to the bottom of the submissions window will give you the opportunity to upload your files.
After uploading your first file, its name will appear in the list of attachments. From there, you can now go on to add up to 5 total attachments for this assignment.
Repeat the above steps as necessary to upload up to 5 attachments per assignment. Complete the process by checking the Honor’s Pledge and clicking Submit.
After submitting your assignment, Trunk will display a message saying that your assignment was submitted. You will also receive an email notifying you that your assignment was submitted.
To double-check if your assignment was submitted, you can click on the assignment and you will see a notification at the top of the screen if your assignment has been successfully submitted.
If you wish to resubmit an assignment, please email or conference with your teacher. Only your instructor has the authority to allow you to resubmit your work(s).
If you encounter problems while taking a test or quiz in the Tests and Quizzes tool, click the exit button. This will save your work and exit from the test or quiz. You can go back to the test or quiz in order to complete it later. You may want to let your instructor know that you had a problem taking the test or quiz, especially if it is a timed assessment.
You can find your grades on Trunk by going to your course site and clicking on “Gradebook2″ in the menu on the left side of the page. This will show you any grades that your instructor has made available for that class.
Courses will remain in Trunk and, as a student, you will be able to see them until your instructor, at his or her discretion, decides to Unpublish the course site. Once a site is unpublished, it is removed from student view, but all student data is preserved on the site. Should you need access to a site in the future, please contact your instructor to inquire about the ability to view the site again. Some instructors may unpublish their sites immediately after the course is over; others may keep sites published for several years. There is currently no policy on this.
To add an event or meeting to your course or project site:
- Navigate to the course or project site
- From the tools menu, click Sign-up. Trunk displays the homepage for the Sign-up tool.
- In the Sign-up menu bar, click Add.
- In the Title field, name your event/meeting.
- In the Location field, enter the location for your event/meeting.
- In the Description field, you can enter any details you wish to share about your event/meeting.
- In the Start Time and End Time fields, enter the time of your event/meeting.
- Use the drop down menu to select the Meeting Frequency if you wish to have a recurring meeting. Selection of a meeting frequency other than “Once Only” will create a series of entries in the meetings table with the same name but different details, where any of the individual entries can be modified as necessary.
- In the Sign-up begins and Sign-up ends fields, enter the point at which the event/meeting will be opened for sign-up and the point at which sign-up for the event/meeting will no longer be available.
- Use the Available to field to determine who can sign-up for the event/meeting. You can limit sign-up to members of a group, site or extend the sign-up offer to the membership of your other course or project sites. If you choose to extend the sign-up offer to multiple sites, each site must also have the Sign-up tool turned on in order for its members to participate.
- When you select the Meeting Type relevant options will be displayed.
- Click Next to view a summary of your event/meeting, verify details, and complete the meeting settings.
- Check the appropriate boxes to manage the display of participant names, email notifications and announcing availability.
- Click Show other default settings to manage advanced settings regarding the wait list, participant comments and auto reminders.
- Click Publish to publish the event/meeting allowing participants to select their own time slot, or Click Assign Participants & Publish to assign participants to specific time slots.
The Messages tool in Trunk is a simple way of communicating with students or other members of your site.The Messages tool enables you to:
- Send messages inside Trunk to individual site members or groups of site members.
- Receive messages from your site members.
- Send a copy of a message to a recipient’s email address outside Trunk.
- Store, organize and manage communications you’ve sent and received.
Compose a Message
To compose a message using the Messages tool:
- Navigate to the course site. The course tools display in the left Course Tools menu area.
- From the Course Tools menu, click Messages. The CLE displays the home page for the Messages tool. If you do not see the Messages menu bar, click the Reset button.
- Click Compose Message. The Compose a Message screen opens.
- Using your cursor, select message recipients by clicking on their role or name from the To menu. To select multiple recipients, hold down the shift key and click additional recipients.
- By default, messages are sent and received inside Trunk, and users view and manage these messages from the Messages tool. However, when you compose a message, you may choose to send a copy of that message to a student’s email address as well. To send a copy of your message to a student’s email account, check the box next to the:
- Send a copy of this message to recipients’ email address(es) option.
- The email address used will be the email on file with the university unless the user is not registered at Tufts.
- You may then select a priority level for your message by using the pull down menu. The options are Normal, Low and High. (what do these look like?)
- In the subject field, type a subject for your message.
- In the content field (rich text editor) compose your message. You may use the various content editing options to enhance the appearance of your message.
- Optional: Attachments. To add attachments, click Add Attachment and follow the instructions.
- Your options here include browsing to locate a document on your computer, typing in a url for a website, or selecting a file stored in the Resources tool of your site.
- When you are satisfied with your message details, click Send.
Depending on how your teacher has set up the course, you may or may not receive email notification. However, you should always log into Trunk and check if you are unsure of your assignment deadlines or course schedule and ask your teacher in person or in writing.
There are several ways in which your instructor may communicate with you through Trunk. Your instructor may choose to use email notification to notify you that they have added a new announcement, calendar event, resource item, etc to the site. These notifications will come to your Tufts email address or the address used to create your account in Trunk, if you do not have a Tufts username and password.
In addition to the email notification function, instructors may choose to use the Messages tool to send information in Trunk. If your instructor is using the Messages tool and does not check cc email, then you will only receive these messages inside Trunk and you must check the Trunk home page or the Message tool to read these. Alternatively, you can choose to have information sent from the Messages tool to an email of your choice. To do this, click Settings and select the Yes option next to Auto-forwarding. Then add your email address and click Save Settings.
The Preferences tool in My Workspace allows you to specify how you receive notifications sent in Trunk. You can specify options for notifications sent from the Announcements, Resources, Syllabus and Email Archive tools. Options include receiving each notification separately, receiving a single email with all notifications bundled once a day, or not receiving any notifications that are labeled Low Priority by your instructor.
Notifications that are labeled high priority will override your preferences and be delivered to your email inbox. From My Workspace, you can change your preferences by clicking on the preferences tool, and selecting the notifications tab, and choosing the desired notification option for each tool.
Note: these preferences are applied to all sites in Trunk; it is not possible at this time to specify a different set of preferences on a site by site basis.
Using Project Sites for Collaboration
Project sites are designed to facilitate online collaboration. They are similar to organizational sites in Blackboard and can be used to support a wide variety of activities, from students working on class projects or clubs to scientists collaborating on grant proposals, faculty participating in a search or tenure committees, or administrators revising the undergraduate curriculum.
Anyone at Tufts, faculty, students or staff may create project sites for their work. Project sites look almost identical to course sites in Trunk, but they differ in several important ways.
- Project sites are not set-up automatically; they must be manually created.
- Users must be manually added to project sites.
- Project sites have a slightly different set of tools than course sites; they do not include Assignments, Tests & Quizzes and Gradebook2.
- Project sites have a different set of roles; rather than instructors and students, project sites have organizers and participants.
Project sites can be created by anyone at Tufts. To create a project site, go the Site Setup tool in your My Workspace site, select New from the Tool bar, choose project site and follow the site setup wizard to create your site immediately.
The same set of tools that is available for course sites is available for project sites, except project sites cannot include the Assignments, Tests & Quizzes and Gradebook2 tools.
Once you’ve created your site, go to the Site Editor tool and select the Manage Access option. Check the box labeled: Can be joined by anyone with authorization to login. Select the role for people who join (recommended roles are guest or participant) and click Update to save your selections. This will allow your site to appear in a list of Joinable Sites found in the Membership tool of all users’ My Workspaces. You may reverse this process to remove your site from the list of joinable sites and manage your site membership manually.
TA’s, guests, and auditors must be added to a course site manually. To add someone to your site, go to the Site Editor, click Add participants. Type in the person’s email address. If they have a Tufts email, use the top box. If they do not, use the bottom box and make sure to send the notification so that they can access Trunk.
To join a public project site, first go to My Workspace and access the Membership tool in the MY SETTINGS box. If you do not see the Membership menu bar, click the My Current Sites button in the menu bar near the top of the screen. Once you have clicked Membership, click on the “Joinable Sites” tab and click “Join” below the sites you would like to join.
Yes! Trunk allows for students and teachers to create project sites. This will allow you to customize your own site to enable communication between fellow peers. Students are allowed to post, chat, upload documents, make comments, as well as message freely between project site users. Project sites can be made public or private and work in a very similar fashion to Google Docs.