Wizards: Overview

Wizards are customized collections of informational screens and forms that provide structure and guidance for a wide variety of activities and processes.

If you are a system administrator or a site organizer, you can use this tool to perform these activities.

If you are a site participant, you use the tool to complete wizards.

Types of Wizards

In Sakai, you can create three types of wizards. The simplest type is a sequential wizard. This kind of wizard is well suited to activities in which a series of steps are performed in a linear fashion. For example, you might create a sequential wizard to guide students through the steps of creating a term paper or to guide students though an experiment that extends over a significant period of time. A wizard for an experiment might track the timing of each step, collect data and interpretations from students at critical points, and provide an opportunity for you or others to provide feedback along the way.

The second type of wizard is hierarchical. A hierarchical wizard presents forms and information as a set of categories and subcategories, much as an outline presents nested information. Hierarchical wizards are helpful when organizing and tracking activities in multiple arenas, each of which has unique milestones. You might create a hierarchical wizard to track personal, academic, occupational, and extracurricular activities for use by academic or career advisors or for use in developing resumes.

The third type of wizard is a matrix wizard. Also called a matrix, this wizard presents forms and information in a set of rows and columns. You might create a matrix to track progress across different disciplines (the rows) that have similar milestones (the columns). Each cell in the matrix is a point at which you can track achievements, encourage reflection on how the disciplines mesh, and provide feedback.

Who Uses Wizards

In the out-of-the-box version of Sakai, any site participant can build a wizard in My Workspace. Most often, however, instructors and site organizers create and share wizards with site participants in portfolio, course, and project sites. After a wizard has been published, users in many roles may access it.

et's say you are an academic advisor and you have created a wizard in a portfolio site for use in tracking student progress in a specific program. Each student in the program accesses your wizard to complete forms, attach files as evidence of work completed, reflect on learning, etc. Reviewers and evaluators (who you identify when you create the wizard) also access the wizard to review work and add comments at key points and/or after the entire wizard has been completed.

Components of Wizards

A wizard is made up of one or more units known as pages. Each page can contain many different components. These components can include instructions or general guidance to the user, an introduction to or rationale for the page, examples to help participants understand how to use the wizard, forms for people in various roles to complete (including, if desired, forms that solicit reflection or other feedback), and/or items from Resources.

To build an effective wizard, you use XSD programming and the Forms tool to create forms. The forms you create allow you to structure and collect information, such as reflections on learning and feedback and evaluation of the work shown in the wizard. These forms may apply to the wizard as a whole and/or to each page of the wizard. You may also use a .css file to create a display style for the wizard.

The Wizards tool allows you to create, change, publish, import, and export wizards. This tool is usually located in the Collect & Reflect category on a portfolio site, in the Guide & Instruct category on a course site, and in the Collaborate category on a project site.

To access the tool, click the Launch button for Wizards. Sakai displays the Wizards home page.

The home page is also known as the Wizard Manager screen. It contains a list of the wizards you have created. For each wizard, you can see its name, a short description of its purpose, its status (published or unpublished), its type (sequential or hierarchical), the number of pages that have been submitted by all participants for evaluation, the total number of pages in the wizard, and the date it was last accessed.