Reuse, Reduce, Repurpose: How Sakai makes the most of the best code

In an attempt to make Sakai’s user experience better and to make the software more efficient, developers have implemented a program to create DRY technology whenever possible. No, Sakai is not embarking on a new environmental software project. DRY code is based on the imperative: "DON’T REPEAT YOURSELF."

This means creating code that can be reused throughout Sakai to create a consistent user experience across multiple modules, which makes it easier for faculty to adopt, use, and exploit the Sakai LMS.

Thanks to this approach, grading with Rubrics now looks completely consistent throughout Sakai. For example, the same pop-up rubric appears when students look up their assignments in Lessons, when faculty and students write forum posts in Forums, and when faculty grade student papers in Assignments.

An additional example of reusing code for a consistent experience is in the Rich Text Editor. When faculty members want to create a lesson, they compose their text in an editor that looks and acts the same as when they give feedback on student assignments, or when they write forum posts. Students will see the same text editor when they write student responses or when they write a letter to their professor.

This strategic reuse of code is important for several reasons. When faculty and students encounter the same interface every time they use a particular functionality, adoption is easier and use is less confusing. In addition, reusing code will make problems easier to fix: it is far more efficient for developers to fix a problem in one place than in several different spots within the software.

This approach makes Sakai a more efficient, nimble, consistent, and effective platform, while freeing more resources for truly innovative functionality that’s planned for release in the coming years.