Tufts faculty and staff can get an early start this summer getting comfortable with Trunk, the new online learning environment powered by Sakai and developed for the Tufts community by UIT. Slated for an August 1st roll-out, Trunk will replace Blackboard, which has been in use at Tufts since 1997.
Sakai is an open source collaboration and learning environment developed by the educational community and its customized versions, such as Trunk, are running at more than 350 schools worldwide, explained David Bragg, a Senior Trainer and Curriculum Specialist with UIT. “Trunk is more user-friendly than Blackboard,” he added, saying that it offers many streamlined features, such as the ability to import class rosters directly from the Student Information System (SIS).
Trunk also supports project sites that can be accessed by users from around the world and, as such, was developed with both privacy and IT security concerns in mind. Workspace owners have the ability to open or restrict access to course sites, projects sites, and resources at a very granular level, making it ideally suited as a secure partner for other cloud-based tools. Trunk log in uses the Tufts Username (UTLN) and Tufts Password (same as email).
To get started, new users can either follow the step-by-step instructions on the Trunk web site or attend a two hour training, such as the May 25th class led by Chris Strauber, Humanities Reference Librarian at Tisch Library. The diverse group of attendees at that session hailed from eight different A&S disciplines and the Fletcher Schools.
Class participants receive the 12 page Trunk Common Tasks handout and the Quick Start Guide for Instructors, both of which were developed by a team that included Mélanie St. James, Manager of the Design and Usability Services group for UIT. St. James said that the Quick Start Guide, an attractive tri-fold printed on card stock, was designed to be inviting to both those well-versed in academic technology tools as well as novices. To ease the transition from Blackboard to Trunk, the Quick Start Guide will be distributed to every instructor at Tufts three campuses.
To learn more about Trunk or to enroll in a training class, visit https://trunk.tufts.edu/.