Harvey Content Structure and Standards

Standardization Guidelines for Harvey Courses

In an effort to maximize accessibility and inclusion, we will help all our students tremendously by adopting standardized course layouts and practices in Harvey. This will enable students to spend more time on academic work and less time on searching and trying to learn different formats in each class. While all individual classes will have particular nuances and formatting that may not lend itself to an overall duplicative structure, there are a few simple things faculty can do to make this process better for students. Here we have compiled a few quick standards to use and things to avoid. The Faculty Resource Center has put together many excellent detailed instructions and training videos for Harvey, and we encourage faculty to utilize these.  They are located in Harvey on the Organizations list in the FRC-Technology Teaching and Learning org. Additionally, we encourage faculty to use the FRC’s Best Practices for Harvey.  

  • Utilize Same Location for Syllabus/Schedules. Put course syllabi/schedules in the same location across courses.
    1. Go into the Harvey course you want to update.
    2. Put the Syllabus under Syllabus and Details (left menu).
      1. Go to Build Content on the Syllabus & Details page.
      2. Click file. You can upload your syllabus file as a PDF or Docx.
    3. Put the course objectives/learning outcomes here as well.
    4. Keep this area simple and don’t include a lot of content here. Review detailed visual instructions for more help.
  • Organize Course Content. Use Course Content in the left menu for the bulk of your course content (such as assignments, activities, quizzes, resources, web links, YouTube videos). Break this area into smaller chunks such as weeks, modules, or chapters to make it easier for students to find.
    1. Add content by clicking the drop-down arrow on the right side of the item.
    2. Organize Folders or Modules chronologically and by week for simplicity for students. For example, break the semester into months, and then weeks to make it simpler to scroll through. This means you will have initial folders of August, September, October, etc. Then under those you would have folders labeled Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, etc. Therefore, you will have 16 folders (Week 1, Week 2, … Week 16). Put any assignments/homework, links, etc. for the particular week in the appropriate week folder.
      1. You can add sub-folders here for additional content in each week of the semester. Subfolders might include things in each week such as Activities, Quizzes, Readings, etc. Only include folders you will use during that week. If you will not use a particular folder during a week, then do not include the folder.
    3. Include the date in the name of each Week folder to help students identify which week you are in. For example, call the folder Week 1 (8/26/2021), Week 2 (8/3/2021).
    4. Review visual instructions for adding folders in your Course Content area.
    5. If the dates change because of a snow day or something, update the dates so students can find where they should be at that time.
    6. Review detailed instructions for organizing your course content.
  • Utilize the Same Location for Assessments and Surveys. Put surveys and assessments in the same location across courses.
    1. Go to Course Content and the individual Week Folders or Modules you previously made (e.g., Week 1, Week 2, etc.). This enables students to easily find assessments.
  • Provide Frequent Grading and Feedback. Use the Harvey Grade Center so that students can track their progress along the way and keep students informed about how much activities are worth. Students need frequent feedback and perform better with this information.
    1. Include how many points an assignment, homework, etc. is worth in parentheses next to the title of any item. For example, you might write Homework 2 (15 points) as the title.
    2. Either use points possible or weight, depending on how you grade. This helps students prioritize and know how major the particular task would be.
    3. Put grades in the Grade Center. The Grade Center is on the left side menu under Course Management.
    4. Make sure that the current course grade is visible and calculated correctly.
    5. Review the Overview of the Grade Center and videos for everything from midterm grading to grading all submissions of the same question to rubrics.
  • Generalize Instructions and Organize Consistently. Help students avoid wasting effort in unnecessary searching for your content. Tell students where to find your specific content, including assignments, quizzes, grades/feedback/evaluation. We recommend doing this together in class and also providing this information in writing.

Things to Avoid in Harvey

 There are also some things instructors should avoid doing in Harvey:

  • Don’t put syllabi and schedules in other locations than the Syllabus and Details area.
  • Avoid randomly switching between Courseroom and Class Sessions. There is a default Courseroom that can be locked or unlocked as well as separate Class Sessions. When using Courseroom, you can’t keep attendance, and so faculty often opt to use Class Sessions. Make sure to lock the Courseroom if you are going to use Class Sessions so that students go to the correct location easily. Give very clear instructions in the beginning and if anything changes. Use Announcements with the option to send as email to alert students.
  • Avoid never giving feedback or grades. Students need feedback on how they are performing, especially to make important decisions about if they should withdraw or not, and to monitor their progress and stay on track.
  • Don’t put a lot of content in the left side menu. Instead, put the bulk of content under Course Content.
  • Don’t upload everything in the entire course under Course Content with no organization. Use the organization provided above.

And, as always, all instructors have access to our inclusive and universal design strategies and tips. Making a few of these changes to your classes every semester will help you make your classes better for both you (the instructor) and all your students.

These procedures were established by the Faculty Resource Center and the Campus Access Committee’s Accessibility Standards Subcommittee, made up of students, faculty, and staff.