Top 5 Tools in Courses by Sakai

Courses by Sakai is Pepperdine’s open-source, learning management system that offers faculty and students a collaborative online environment to support teaching and learning. As we begin to utilize Courses as our main learning management system, here are the top 5 tools that may be used to the benefit and convenience of faculty and their students.

For instructions on how to add tools to your Courses left-side tool bar, please scroll down to the bottom of this article for the step procedure.

Top 5 Courses Tools:

Syllabus Tool

The Syllabus tool provides a place in the course site for the instructor to post a syllabus and for students to access the syllabus. Faculty can input their syllabus as a file attachment, a Courses webpage document, a multi-part, or a point-to-webpage.

For more information on how to utilize Courses’ Syllabus, such as which syllabus type is right for you and/or instructions on how to input a syllabus, please click here.

Roster Tool

The Roster tool displays the names and pictures of site participants, in this case, your class section students. The Roster tool is a helpful way to learn students names, take attendance, and verify identities during class assignments and assessments.

For more information on how to utilize Courses’ Roster, such as managing participants and viewing student pictures, please click here.

Resources Tool

The Resources tool allows faculty to compile and categorize important information to share with your students in an organized and central manner. Through the Resources tool, you can: share files or website links; post lecture notes, PDF documents, or presentations; release resources based on Gradebook conditions or to specific groups.

For more information on how to utilize Courses’ Resources, such as how to attach files, links and create folders, please click here.

Messages Tool

The Messages tool allows you to send and receive messages to students in your course or project site. On this tab, you may view your received, sent, deleted and drafted messages.

For more information on how to utilize Courses’ Messages, such as how to send messages and select specific message recipients, please click here.

Zoom Pro Tool

Zoom is an online meeting platform that will be used for holding classes online. The University’s web conferencing software is Zoom, and you can use it to host online class sessions, record your classes, and host office hours. Zoom can be used on laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

For more information on integrating Zoom with Courses, such as scheduling or important class sessions, please click here.

How to Add Tools to Your Toolbar:

1. After logging on to your Courses, scroll down through your left toolbar until you see “Site Info” and select it.

2. You will now be redirected to your Site Info page. On the top menu bars underneath “Site Info,” select “Manage Tools.” 

You will then see a general list of all of your tool options, each with a coinciding box that indicates whether or not you have selected the tool. Check the boxes on the tools that you would like to have added, and uncheck the boxes to the corresponding tools that you would like to remove.

3. You may also organize your tools by selecting “Tool Order” on the top selection menu bar, to the right of “Manage Tools.” Here, you may reorder your tools to your preference.

For more information on Courses by Sakai, click here to be redirected to our general LawTech article, or click here to be redirected to Community Pepperdine’s “Courses Faculty Guide.”

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Information Services at or (310) 506-7425.

ExamSoft Examplify

ExamSoft produces the Examplify examination software used by many law schools and state bar examiners. This software is a secure essay exam word processor. Pepperdine School of Law allows students to use this software to take their midterm and final law exams. If you plan to use your laptop computer to take your exams, Examplify is required.

Examplify can be downloaded ( and installed on your laptop computer. In order to use the ExamSoft Examplify program at Pepperdine University School of Law, you MUST agree to the terms of this ExamSoft Student Agreement

IMPORTANT: RETURNING STUDENTS – If you have not used Examplify during the current term, you may need to re-register your software for the current academic school year. To do this, simply follow the same steps for installing the program for the first time. Login to the Examsoft website listed above, and click on “download” to accept the new academic year’s user agreement and download Examplify. Follow the prompts for the installation and when prompted, accept the new academic year’s student agreement again within the program and then follow the remaining prompts to install the latest version of Examplify.

Before attempting any exam, we highly recommend downloading and running a ‘Mock Exam’ within Examplify. This will help ensure that the software is functioning properly on your computer prior to exam day.

For tips on how to maximize your remote internet experience, please click here.

Essay Question Features:

NOTE:  ExamSoft will not support Mac OS beta releases. For more information on ExamSoft’s Mac OS requirements, please visit the ExamSoft website.

For Student Test Takers Tech Support and Help, please contact the Examsoft Test Takers Support line at 866.429.8889 or via email at

How to clean your screen (without damaging it!)

When cleaning your electronic screens, it is very important to use the correct solutions to avoid damaging the screen.

No ammonia based cleaners should be used on electronics. This includes general purpose cleaners, glass/window cleaners, multipurpose cleaners, etc. These sprays are too abrasive and will wear down the protective coating on your screen.

  1. Turn off your monitor completely.
  2. Wipe down your screen with a microfiber cloth.
  3. If needed, spray your cloth with screen-cleaner fluid (there is cleaner made specifically for this purpose) or a gentle solution of distilled water and distilled white vinegar, then wipe down the screen.

Never spray the electronics/screen directly. Always apply cleaning agent to soft/microfiber cloth and then wipe the surface with the cloth.

See this article on ways to clean your electronics using household items.

Cleaning the *LCD* Panel:
CAUTION: Isopropyl *alcohol* is a flammable liquid. Never spray or pour any liquid directly on the *LCD* panel.

  1. Apply the cleaning solution to the microfiber cloth (DO NOT spray the cleaning solution directly on the*LCD* panel).
  2. Wipe the *LCD screen* gently with a soft, dry cloth.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Information Services at or (310) 506-7425.

Zoom for Faculty: Hosting a class, calling a meeting, and generally winning!

This blog article covers:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Information Services at or (310) 506-7425.

Zoom is an online meeting platform that will be used for holding classes online. Here, you will learn how to set up your Zoom classroom link as well as how to access the session. To view the guide in PDF format, please click here

The University’s web conferencing software is Zoom, and you can use it to host online class sessions. Zoom can be used on laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

  1. We strongly recommend that students and others participating in a Zoom session use either the smartphone app (Android or iOS) or the browser-based software by logging in through
  2. Make sure when setting up a Zoom session, the “Mute” option is selected as the default for attendees. They can un-mute themselves but if this engaged as the default for the beginning of class, things will start much more smoothly and you will find fewer audible distractions.
  3. Make sure to require attendees be Authorized to join your session. This will ensure that the names of your attendees will be the same as the names on your course roster when they appear in the Zoom session.
  4. For tips on how to maximize your remote internet experience, please click here.

Schedule a Zoom class meeting link (for faculty)

  1. Go to the Zoom website at
  2. Click “Sign In.”

You will then be directed to the Pepperdine Central Authentication Page.

3. Login using your WaveNet username and password. (The same credentials you use for getting your Pepperdine email and WaveNet)

4. Once logged in, click on “Meetings” on the lefthand menu.

5. Select “Schedule a New Meeting.”

Now, you may proceed to fill out the information for your meeting.

6. To the right of “Topic”, fill out your course name. (It is important to include your own last name and your section, if applicable; this information will allow students to easily find your course.)

7. At the middle of the page, find “When” and select or type in the date and start time of your class. If your start time isn’t in the drop down, pick an earlier time.

For duration, select the estimated duration of your class. Note that it is better to go a few minutes over your estimated class time than under.

8. Find the “Video” section. Set your “Host” and your “Participants” video settings to “Off”.

9. Just below the Video section, locate the “Audio” settings. Set to “Computer Audio”.

10. Scrolling down further, you will find “Meeting Options”.

  • Select: Mute Participants upon entry,
  • Enable waiting room
  • Only authenticated users can join

11. Click “Save” at the bottom of the screen.

12. At this point, copy the meeting link and paste it in an email along with the course name. Please send to this email

Starting your meeting:

1. To join your meeting when the time and date comes, simply browse to “”.

2. On this page, login as before (see step 1).

3. Lastly, click on “Start” to begin the class.

Additional Information:

Manage Participants

To manage participants and access their settings, the host may click the “participants” icon on the bottom toolbar.

Here, the host can access audio/visual and control settings for the other participants in the meeting. You may manage the settings for audio, and send messages from the manage participants feature.

Share Screen

To share your screen in zoom, click the “share screen” icon. Then you will need to wait for the student(s) you are sharing your screen with to accept; with the sharing feature, they will be able to see your screen.

This feature will allow you to share PowerPoints or other media with the students, mirrored on their own screen.

You do not need to grant access to participants during screen share, and you may block participants from accessing the screen share if necessary.

After clicking “share screen”, you will have the option to choose which screen the students can view. You may choose to have them view your entire desktop, just a browser or PowerPoint, or a different web page.

See a quick video to better understand how to share your screen.

Breakout Groups

One helpful feature on Zoom allows you to split your Zoom class into sub-meetings, called breakout rooms. The feature enables the host to split participants up into groups, where they can interact with each other in their own meeting space.

Breakout rooms are separate chat rooms with full audio, screen share and visual settings. The meeting host has the ability to split the members of the class into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch between sessions at any time. Up to 50 breakout rooms can be created and a room will hold 200 participants maximum.

It is important to note that the host will need to monitor the breakout rooms and have full control of the meeting, by responding to participants’ questions and giving assistance when needed.

To create separate breakout rooms for the participants of your meeting, click “breakout room” in the bottom tool bar.

This will prompt you to format the room for participant number and assignment. When customized, click “create breakout rooms” to enable access to the participants of your meeting.

There, you will be able to view the breakout room you have created, and manually assign/rename/delete the room. At the bottom of the breakout room box, you may also add rooms.

Additional LawTech Articles and Resources:

Updates to Zoom (April 2020)

Faculty Zoom User Guide (Text and PDF content)

Zoom Training for Faculty

School of Law – Getting started with Zoom – Create a Scheduled Zoom meeting/session (video tutorial)

HELP! My Zoom isn’t working!

Microphone Trouble-shooting

University IT website on Zoom (lots of pointers)

University IT website on Facilitating a Zoom meeting/session

Setup Automatic Recording in Zoom (Video tutorial and cheat sheet)

How to Remove Security Settings from Zoom Recordings

Where to find Zoom recordings

Trimming/ Editing a Zoom Recording

How to Set Up Zoom Meeting Breakout Rooms

Setup a Virtual Background for Zoom

Disabling the Waiting Room Feature in Zoom

How to Include a Guest Speaker in a Zoom Class Session

How to Use Your Personal Zoom Meeting ID for Office Hours

Safeguard against Zoombombing

Using the Zoom Chrome Extension

How to Use Your Cellphone as a Document Camera in Zoom

Customize your Personal Meeting ID to your Pepperdine Phone Number


Both TWEN and Courses are utilized by both students and faculty for effective classroom communication. Read on to learn more about TWEN.


TWEN, The West Education Network ( This is an online system where students can access course materials, submit assignments via Drop Box, sign-up for office hours (if available), take polls and quizzes, participate in class discussions, and exchange e-mail messages with instructors and peers.  The extent of your TWEN use will depend on your professors’ course objectives and goals.

Register on TWEN: In order to use TWEN you must first register your username and password. If you have already done this in order to use Westlaw, then you do not need to re-register for TWEN .  Westlaw, Westlaw Next and TWEN are all included in the same web site and registration is only required once. You should have received your activation code at Orientation or via email (your Pepperdine account).If you feel that you have not received an activation code, email with the subject line: WESTLAW ACTIVATION CODE.

Watch the video below for step-by-step instruction on how to register your password on Westlaw.

View/Access Courses on TWEN: In order to view and access all of your courses, you must first ADD the course manually. Watch the video below for step-by-step instructions on how to add courses in TWEN.

For additional resources visit, Students’ Guide to TWEN.

Student Registration with Turning Technologies

Welcome students and faculty to the wonderful world of Turning Technologies! Below you will find a step by step guide on how to create a student registered account for TurningPoint.

1. Go to

2. Select Sign In.

3. Enter your Pepperdine University email address in the area provided.

4. Click Create Account.

5. Check your Pepperdine email and click the verification link.

6. Enter all required fields and click Finish.

7. As the student registration page opens, click Get Started.

8. When you enter the Subscription page, click Skip.

9. Proceed to enter your Clicker ID. After you are done entering the Clicker ID, select Add. If you do not have a clicker and need one, contact Information Services to be provided with one or select Purchase Clicker to be directed to the Student Store.

10. Click Finish. Now, your new student profile page should be displayed.

If you need additional help, please contact Information Services at or (310) 506-7425.

Tech Help

There are two places to get technology support here at Pepperdine. The University Help Desk and the Information Services Tech Support Desk located at the Public Services Desk in the School of Law Library.

University Help Desk (HELP)
The Pepperdine University Information Technology (University IT) department provides direct technical support for students via the University’s ‘Anytime’ Help Desk. In addition to providing technical assistance, the University Help Desk also acts as the central coordination point for School of Law technical services during the weekend. The University Help Desk is open 24/7 via phone and email at: 310-506-HELP (4357) or for the following issues:

School of Law Information Services Department (IS)
Information Services Department LogoThe Information Services Department is here to assist you with a variety of issues including, but not limited to, configuring laptops, multimedia reservations and training, School of Law web site, ExamSoft, and Email account training/usage. The IS team has offices in the School of Law Library to assist with technical support and is available between the hours of 8am-5pm (Monday-Friday). To contact the IS team, use the following contact methods:

Polling and Clickers


Pepperdine Law uses TurningPoint as a simple live polling system. This desktop software uses Microsoft PowerPoint and Clickers to deliver self-paced assessments.

Though incorporating interactive polling software in the classroom requires some extra tech knowledge, live polling systems are incredibly useful and beneficial in learning. TurningPoint allows instructors to ask interactive questions, track student progress through their individual Clickers and receive immediate feedback by producing answer results.

To download TurningPoint on to your classroom Mac or PC desktop, please click here or on the following link:

To view an instructional video on TurningPoint’s Powerpoint polling, please click here or on the following link:

Remember, when presenting a Powerpoint that incorporates TurningPoint polling, you must open the TurningPoint desktop application prior to opening the created Powerpoint.


The same company creates the LCD Clickers that are personally assigned and checked-out to each Pepperdine Law student at the library. These response devices allow students to answer polling questions with an easy click of a button.

Clicker use is now available in each of the School of Law classrooms. Professors using the classroom PC do not need to bring a Clicker Receiver to class. Professors simply need to open their PowerPoint presentation on the classroom PC via TurningPoint.

Students need to tune their Clickers to the correct channel for the classroom, as noted on a sign in each classroom:

  • Law Library Room 219: 30
  • Classroom A: 32
  • Classroom B: 34
  • Classroom C: 36
  • Classroom D: 26
  • Classroom E: 40
  • Classroom F: 42
  • Classroom G: 44
  • Mendenhall Appellate Courtroom: 46
  • Darling Trial Courtroom: 48
  • Seminar Room 1: 50
  • Seminar Room 2: 52
  • Seminar Room 3: 54
  • Seminar Room 4: 56
  • Seminar Room 5: 28

Used for informal Q&A, attendance and assessment purposes, professors can easily integrate multiple choice or True/False questions directly into their PowerPoint slides using the TurningPoint software.  Students then submit their “anonymous” responses on their own personal clickers, which look like small remote controls. Depending on the settings, the results of the question are then displayed on the slide.


Turnitin is a plagiarism detection service that Pepperdine School of Law faculty may use when you submit a paper for grading. This service provides a detailed assessment of originality on any submitted work by performing a search for textual similarities to other works in academic journals, on the Internet, and within its own database of submitted work. For more information visit the University’s Turnitin Community page.

If you are required to use Turnitin you will need to complete the following steps: (1) enroll in the course and (2) submit your work. If you have never used Turnitin before, you will also need to create a free account. This can be done through the home page on their web site.  Watch the video below for step-by-step instructions on how to enroll in a course and submit your work.

Security: Protect Your Laptop and Yourself!

sophosbadgeViruses, worms, ad-ware and spyware, and theft, are examples of SEVERE risks to your computer in a public, networked environment. You MUST PERFORM THE STEPS LISTED BELOW if you wish to use your computer at Pepperdine or you could face repercussions including loss of network access, data loss, and system failure.

  1. Maintain up-to-date virus protection software on your computer. The University’s IT department supports Sophos for faculty and staff.  For students, University IT recommends Microsoft Defender (no cost) for Windows and Sophos AntiVirus for Macs (home version, no cost).
  2. Regularly install all Critical Updates from You should begin checking Microsoft Update constantly, starting now. You can also configure your Windows computer to check automatically for updates every time you connect to the Internet.  NOTE: if you have a Mac, you will want to check with ExamSoft before updating your Mac’s operating system because of the potential for conflicts with Examplify — causing you problems with taking your exams on your computer.
  3. Keep Adobe Flash & Reader and Java Updated. A great browser-based tool for checking how current your web-related tools are is Qualys Browser Check.
  4. Keep your computer’s operating system and office products up-to-date
  5. Do not install peer-to-peer file-sharing software or other high-risk programs. Attempt to eliminate any programs that might already be installed by running a spyware/adware removal product such as Spybot Search & Destroy or Ad-aware.
  6. Buy and use a computer security cable for your computer to lock it down when it is not attended. (Alarm-equipped cables are NOT recommended.) We highly recommend that you never leave your belongings alone, especially in quiet areas like the Law Library, as the School of Law is open to the public.
  7. Do not click on links in unsolicited email messages
  8. Do not open an email attachment unless you are expecting it or have checked with the sender.