iSites is a Harvard web publishing software solution that enables members of the Harvard community to develop and administer course websites, community websites, portals, and intranets. iSites follows industry standard HTML and CSS specifications and therefore should display correctly on most browsers. Although HLS is actively using iSites as its course management system, it will be discontinued by June 30, 2016. See this webpage for more information on the move from iSites to its replacement: Canvas.
The iSites software includes two variations:
- Course iSites: Used for course websites, and features tools to enhance teaching and learning and added security to protect student data.
- Standard iSites: Used for a variety of non-course related (administration or event planning) purposes.
At HLS, Course iSites are typically (with the exceptions outlined below) created through a bulk process about two months prior to the start of each semester. Once the Registrar’s office finalizes the list of approved courses, our team (TLC) creates the associated iSites. Faculty and staff can at that point access their courses through the MyHLS dashboard. Exceptions to this are visiting faculty, who do not gain access to course iSites until roughly one month prior to the start of the semester. Faculty and faculty assistants can customize the sites by uploading content, creating topic boxes and pages, and other basic functions. Often teaching staff will copy information and content from prior years’ iSites to the current year. About one week prior to start of classes, the registrar’s office feeds the student enrollments to the iSites TLC creates. At this point, students can access their course iSites from their MyHLS dashboard.
1L reading groups and 1L sections
The TLC group adds students to 1L sections manually from a list provided by the Registrar’s office about two weeks prior to the start of the fall semester. 1L reading groups are not automatically given an iSite, but the TLC team can create one upon request. We can also add students to a 1L reading group iSite once the student list has been finalized.
Cloning a site
For those who would like to start the new semester with an exact replica of a prior iSite, TLC can, upon request, clone an iSite. The new cloned site will replace the current year’s iSite that was created in the bulk process outlined above.
Access to iSites
There are several scenarios which lead to members of the HLS community being unable to access an iSite for a course:
For a student or member of the teaching staff: their HLS email is not their official email associated with their HUID and PIN. What to do: verify that they can access their MyHLS dashboard with their HUID and PIN. If they can’t, they should contact HLS IT to determine why their HUID is not valid. If they are able to access MyHLS, but can’t access a course, then they should contact TLC to verify their official email associated with their HUID and PIN. Usually the problem is that the system did not recognize their @law email, because there is another email associated with their HUID. TLC can add them to the course with their official email (for example, an HBS or harvard.post email), but that email will be the one used by the iSite emailing system (not their @law email). To fix the problem, the student should contact the Registrar’s office (or if staff, the staff member should contact HR), and request that their @law email be their official email associated with their HUID.
For a faculty assistant or other member of teaching staff: they have not yet been associated with the faculty member for that course. What to do: faculty assistants should contact Daryl Murinaka at Faculty Support Services firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the change will take up to 24 hours to filter through the system. Program or clinical assistants, or additional teaching staff (Research Associates or Teaching Fellows) should contact TLC to gain access.
For Visiting Faculty: Visiting Faculty need to be verified by HLS Human Resources and issued a HUID and PIN. They can not be associated with their course sites until this process is complete, usually about one to two months prior to the beginning of the semester.