What are External Tools?

From EdTech Help
Revision as of 18:32, 20 July 2021 by Melliott2 (talk | contribs)

External tools are supplementary to the list of internal tools (e.g., Lessons, Announcements, Assignments, etc.) that can be added to your Sakai site. To add an external tool to your site follow these steps.

TurningPoint Clickers

TurningPoint Clickers is an integration with Turning Technologies clickers. It allows students to easily create a Turning Technologies account and connect their hardware or software clicker information with the account. Instructors can then retrieve this information via the TurningPoint 8 local client.

Using the Turning Point 8 Integration as a Course Instructor

The primary use of the integration by instructors takes place in the Turning Point 8 local software. There are multiple options for download that are provided at: TurningPoint Downloads. There are both install versions for your local machine and no-install versions that you can save to your Turning Technologies receiver. The Turning Point 8 software is also available on classroom computers across the campus.

Downloading a Course from Sakai

  1. Open TurningPoint Desktop and sign in to your Turning Technologies Account.
  2. Select the Manage tab.
  3. Click the Course drop-down menu and select New. The Create Course window opens.
  4. Select the Download from LMS radio button and click Create List. The Connect to Integration window opens.
  5. Select the appropriate Integration from the Integration drop-down menu (Sakai SSO).
  6. Enter the Server (See Brock server information below).
  7. Click Connect.
  8. Then choose Brock Login at the top right, and login with your email@brocku.ca username and password. Once you've successfully logged into Sakai choose Finalize Connection.
  9. Select the course or courses to import. Optionally, select the Select All checkbox to import all courses.
  10. Click Import. A confirmation box is displayed.
  11. Click OK. The course is added to the left panel of the Course Overview screen.
  12. Select the course to view the participant information. The imported course contains the following information: device ID, license status, first name, last name, user ID, email.
Brock Server Information

The Brock specific configuration information is as follows: Integration: Sakai SSO Server Address: https://lms.brocku.ca

Using a Sakai Course in TurningPoint

  1. Open TurningPoint Desktop and sign in to your Turning Technologies Account.
  2. From the Polling tab, select the course and the polling environment. NOTE: A Sakai participant list must be loaded prior to running a session.
  3. Run and save the session.
  4. Close the polling environment to return to the TurningPoint Desktop Dashboard.

Exporting a Session to Sakai

  1. Open TurningPoint Desktop and sign in to your Turning Technologies Account.
  2. Select the Manage tab.
  3. Select the participant list and click Results Manager in the lower right corner of the window. NOTE: A Turning Technologies Account license is mandatory. If a participant does not purchase a Turning Technologies Account license, his or her score will show as an asterisk in all TurningPoint Desktop participant reports. Furthermore, his or her score will export as "0" to an Excel workbook and will not be exported to an LMS.
  4. Click Integrations. The Connect to Integration window is displayed.
  5. Select Sakai from the Integration drop-down menu and enter the Server Address in the box provided.
  6. Enter your Sakai Username and Password and click Connect
  7. Then choose Brock Login at the top right, and login with your email@brocku.ca username and password. Once you've successfully logged into Sakai choose Finalize Connection.
  8. Select Export Session(s).
  9. Select the column(s) to be exported and click Export. The Export to Integration window is displayed.
  10. Click Export.

Next Steps: Log in to your Sakai account to view the exported results data.

Enabling the Integration of TurningPoint in Your Sakai Site

Login to Sakai and navigate to the course in question. Then choose Site Info > Manage tools. Scroll to the bottom of the long list of tools and click the Heading labelled External Tools. This menu lists the external tools we have integrated with Sakai. Check TurningPoint Clickers > Continue. The next page will give you a summary of the new tools you are adding to your site. Choose Finish to complete the process.

Using the Sakai Integration as a Course Instructor

As a course instructor accessing the tool in Sakai will list the participants of your course who have registered their clicker. As this part of the integration is primarily to allow students to register their clickers there are no other features for instructors.

Using the Sakai Integration as a Student

  1. Log into Sakai.
  2. Select your course.
  3. Click the TurningPoint Clickers tool on the left hand side of your site.
  4. Enter all required fields as noted by the asterisks and click Finish.
  5. Enter your license code and device ID in the appropriate boxes and click Redeem or Register.
  6. Click Finish. You should have a check mark for license, device, and learning management system.

Common Student Problems

I'm Not Receiving a Mark in Sakai Assuming your clicker is properly communicating with your instructors receiver, this is likely because your grades are not being transferred to Sakai. During the instructors grade upload process only students who are actively licensed will have grades transferred. To ensure your grade is transferred you need to ensure you have an active license attached to your Turning Technologies account. You can verify this by choosing the TurningPoint Clicker tool in Sakai and checking if you see an active license under the "Subscriptions" heading. If you see a yellow exclamation mark instead, you do not have an active license. You will need to purchase a license from the campus bookstore or from Turning Technologies directly before your marks are uploaded to Sakai.

Missing a License? If you have an X below License it is because you have not yet applied a license to your account.

  1. Log into http://account.turningtechnologies.com, select Profile from the left menu and click Manage Licenses. Click Add a License.
  2. Enter the code in the License Code field and click Redeem.
  3. To purchase a license from the Turning Technologies Student Store visit http://store.turningtechnologies.ca.
  4. Purchase your items.
  5. Complete Steps 1 and 2 with the purchased code.

I've Lost My License Code In order to recover a license code you'll need to provide proof of purchase for the response device to the Turning Technologies support team. Once provided they can generate a new code for you. Their Technical Support Team can be contacted at: 866-746-3015.

Missing a Device ID? If you have an X below Device it is because you have not yet registered a device to your Turning Account.

  1. After purchasing your device from the University Bookstore, log into http://account.turningtechnologies.com to add your device.
  2. Select Profile from the left menu and click Manage Response Devices. Click Add a Device.
  3. Enter the Response Device ID and click Redeem.

Missing Learning Management System? If you have an X below Learning Management System it is because you are not linked to Sakai.

  1. Sign out of your Turning Account.
  2. Navigate to your Sakai and log in.
  3. Select your course.
  4. Click the TurningPoint Clickers Tool.
  5. Sign into your Turning Account. The check mark under Learning Management System will be visible.

Course Readings

Course Readings is Brock University Library's Course Readings tool powered by ARES.



Etherpad is a collaborative text-only document that can be edited in real-time by anyone with access to it.

Order Textbooks

Order Textbooks automatically forwards your students to the appropriate Campus Store resources for your course. This includes textbooks, course packs, lab equipment, etc. Please note that these resources will still need to be communicated to the Campus Store as per the normal Course Adoptions process before they are available in this tool.


Piazza is a third-party forum tool that can be integrated into course sites to manage student Q&A. There may be associated costs for adoption.

Top Hat

Top Hat is a teaching response platform that helps professors engage their students inside and outside the classroom. It is a software based "Clicker" and digital distribution platform which students access via their existing personal devices (e.g., phones, tablets, laptops, etc.).


This tool can be used to upload and share video files. It is powered by Echo360, a video platform CPI has contracted to host private video. To learn more about the videos on Sakai check out What is the Videos tool? and Enable the Videos tool.

More questions about the Site Info tool?

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This page is adapted from an equivalent Sakai Community help article.

The original Sakai Community help article, unedited, is available at https://sakai.screenstepslive.com/s/sakai_help