Trunk Instructor Quick Start Guide

What is Trunk?

Trunk is an online environment designed to facilitate teaching, learning, and assessment at Tufts. It is used by the Schools of Arts &Sciences, Fletcher, Nutrition and Public Health. Trunk enables the sharing of knowledge and models of collaboration within and across disciplines.

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.

There are 3 different types of Trunk sites: My Workspace, Course, Project

  • My Workspace displays the Message of the Day posted by the Trunk Support team, as well as course announcements, calendar, and message notifications. You will also see links to account utilities, enrolled courses, and other system-wide resources.
  • Trunk Course Sites are created in advance of each semester via a feed of course, instructor and student registration information from SIS. This feed is updated daily until the end of the semester. If you are officially registered for a Tufts course, you account is automatically added to the trunk course site.
  • Trunk Project Sites are designed to facilitate online collaboration. They may be used to support a variety of activities such as  students working on class projects. All Tufts University account holders (students, faculty and staff) can create their own Trunk Project sites at any time and add participant accounts (either inside or outside of the University) to the site.

How do I locate detailed instructions on how to use Trunk?

Click on the "Help" button located on every Trunk site page.

Which Internet browsers are supported by Trunk?

The latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari are approved and supported browsers for Trunk. Your computer must accept "cookies" and it cannot be located behind an Internet firewall.

Some browsers will not readily accept links to outside insecure links (http instead of https).

Third-party add-ons or applications installed on your browser may interfere with the display of Trunk pages. If you encounter display problems you might try logging into Trunk with a different browser.

For further details see: "Which Internet browsers are supported by Trunk?"

How do I log into Trunk?

How do I log into Trunk?

Trunk uses your official Tufts University username and password for login.

The Tufts account is used for a wide variety of Tufts services including Tufts e-mail, Trunk, Tusk, WebEx, Human Resources, Tisch and Ginn Library Services, SIS, Tufts Research Cluster and many other Tufts University services and public computers.

You are required to change your Tufts University password every 180 days.

If you Tufts Username/Password does not work, click on the "Can't Login?" link and follow the directions to reset or retrieve your Tufts University account information.

For further details see: "What is my Tufts Username and Password?"

What is My Workspace?

What is My Workspace?

When you log in to Trunk, you will immediately see My Workspace, your individual workspace in the system.

My Workspace displays the Message of the Day posted by the Trunk Support team, as well as course announcements, calendar, and message notifications. You will also see links to account utilities, courses, and other system-wide resources.  

The tools in My Workspace allow you to view all your calendar events and announcements, to store, organize and manage a collection of resources, access student evaluation forms and to maintain a personal profile and specify settings valid on all your sites.

For further details see: "What is My Workspace?"

Where are my Course sites?

Where are my Course sites?

All instructor accounts are automatically added to Trunk academic course sites via a daily feed of course, instructor and student information from SIS.

In order to have an instructor account on a Trunk course site, you must be listed in SIS as an official "Instructor of Record" for the course.

Any account manually added to the site and given instructor access will automatically be removed the following day when SIS updates the Trunk class lists.

If your Tufts account is not listed on a Trunk course site with Instructor access, contact your academic department and have them contact SIS to add your account to the SIS class list as an official "instructor of record" for the course. Once this is completed, your Tufts account should appear on the Trunk course site with Instructor access within 24 hours.

Links to your Trunk courses are located under the "More Sites" button.

For further details see: "Where is my Course Site (Instructor)?

How do I post my Syllabus?

How do I post my Syllabus?

The Syllabus tool allows instructors to create and display information about their course. Instructors can post their syllabus in a number of different ways:

  1. Rich Text Editor: Instructors can create (or copy/paste), format, and edit their syllabus using a Rich Text Editor.
  2. Attachments: Instructors can attach a document, that can serve as the course Syllabus.
  3. Redirect: Instructors can link to Syllabus document hosted elsewhere, that can serve as the course Syllabus.
  4. Multi-part Option: Instructors can create and post a course Syllabus in multiple "parts" at different points in the semester (Appended Syllabus).

For further details see:

How do I upload documents to the Resources tool?

How do I upload documents to the Resources tool?

The Resources tool allows instructors to upload, organize and maintain digital files and make them available to their class.  Usually, instructors create folders to organize their content and place files inside of those folders.

For more information see:

How do I organize my course into lesson modules?

How do I organize my course into lesson modules?

The Lessons Builder tool allows instructors to deliver a guided sequence of content and activities to their students. It creates structured pages that pull content and functionality from other tools and organizes them as a series of sequential tasks.

For more information see: How do I create a new Lessons page?

How do I post videos?

How do I post videos?

The best method to post videos on your Trunk site is to add the "Media Gallery" tool to your site (Site Editor / Edit Tools / add the Media Gallery tool).

The Media Gallery tool allows instructors to upload, manage and distribute video, audio and image files to their course site and to stream those media files to their students.  The tool contains the following features:

  • Site Library: The Site Library contains all of the media content uploaded to the site.
  • Collections: Instructors can organize media content into any number of discrete collections. By default, these collections are displayed on the tool’s home page.
  • Thumbnails: In both the Site Library and Collections, each media item is displayed as a thumbnail. Each thumbnail includes the item’s title, as well as icons indicating whether the item is a video, image, or audio file and indicates what actions users may perform with the item.
  • Media Player: When users click on a thumbnail, the Media Gallery tool displays it on the left side of the screen within a media player. This media player allows users view images and play audio and video content.

For more information on uploading videos to the Media Gallery tool see: How do I upload a video to the Media Gallery tool?

How do I create a discussion board?

How do I create a discussion board?

Instructors can create a Discussion Forum that contains Topics for discussion.

The Forum tool is organized by Forums, Topics, and Conversations.  

  • A Forum is a template that holds a group of Topics.
  • A Topic is the idea, question or concept an instructor would like the students to discuss.
  • A Conversation is a student response to a Topic.    
  • Instructors create Forums and Topics, students (and sometimes, instructors) create Conversations.

For more detailed information see: How do I create a Forum with discussion Topics?

How do I post an assignment?

How do I post an assignment?

The Assignments tool allows instructors to create, distribute, collect, return, and grade assignments. Each student's submissions is private and can only be seen by the instructor (or TA) and that student.

The Assignments tool adds structure to an Assignment. It provides assignment instructions, student submissions, feedback and grading.

For more information see: How do I create an assignment?

How do I create an announcement?

How do I create an announcement?

The Announcements tool allows instructors to create and deliver messages to the entire class or to class groups.  

Participants will see the Announcement message displayed in the Announcements area of their "My Workspace" tab, as well as within the course itself.  

Email notifications can be automatically sent to alert participants of the Announcement message.

For more information see: How do I add an Announcement?

How do I email my class?

How do I email my class?

The Messages tool is an email tool that allows users to retain a copy of their e-mail on the site.  It also servers as an internal messaging tool.

When you send a Message tool email, the message is sent to the recipient's e-mail address and a copy is placed in your "Sent" Message folder and in the recipient's "Received" message folder.

For more information see: How do I compose and send an email using the Messages tool?