Preparing the Course Syllabus in Canvas

HelioCampus (formerly AEFIS) is a web-based assessment management platform. This system includes a syllabus management tool that helps maintain consistency of standard information across courses and programs, and aids in streamlining accreditation processes. For faculty, it simplifies the process for creating and editing the course syllabus, and helps to ensure that the most up-to-date policy language is being used.

Important Reminder: Information from your course syllabus will be publicly available on each course offering page for prospective students to review. For this reason, you should plan to prepare your Syllabus well-ahead of the upcoming term start, to make sure everything is accurate and give yourself time to make any necessary course updates. See our FAQ to find more information on how to update these details.

Adding the Course Syllabus to the course navigation

If you do not already see the Course Syllabus on your course menu, it will need to be enabled.

Important note: There will be two 'syllabus' links on the Canvas course menu, one called Course Syllabus and one called Syllabus. Course Syllabus is the one that should be used, and the other should be ignored and remain hidden from students.

  1. Login to your course and click on Settings from the course menu
  2. Click the Navigation tab, and on that page, enable Course Syllabus (make sure it is the correct one, and not the other Syllabus link that is described above)

  3. Once enabled, move the Course Syllabus under the Home area on the course menu, and then scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save.


Editing the Syllabus

Syllabi will be automatically published two weeks before the term. If you do not complete your edits before that date, students will be shown an incomplete Syllabus. Though HelioCampus does allow you to make edits to the Syllabus after it has been published and made available to students, you should avoid making extensive edits once the course has started.

Important note: When copying and pasting from an existing syllabus, it is best to convert any PDF syllabi to Word format first. Copying and pasting directly from a PDF is more likely to result in formatting errors in the HelioCampus syllabus form.

  1. Click the Syllabus link that was created with the HelioCampus tool (it will be called Course Syllabus, not Syllabus - if you don't see Course Syllabus, follow the steps listed above)
  2. On the Course Syllabus landing page in HelioCampus, click the Edit button.
  3. Fill out all Required and University Recommended elements where an editable text box is present. Optional elements can be filled out at your discretion, but will not appear to students if not used. Other details (such as course description and the faculty name and contact information) will automatically populate from SIS.
    Note: Anything that is not editable and is marked as University Recommended is standard text that will automatically appear on your syllabus.
  4. Click the Save & Exit button to save your changes.

Preview, Publish, Reset

Once you have populated the template and made your edits, you will have other options become available after submitting/saving.

  • Preview your syllabus by clicking Export and selecting Preview from the dropdown menu.
    Please note: this option must be used to preview the syllabus. Attempting to preview it view the Student Preview in Canvas will not work.
  • Publish your syllabus by clicking the Publish button.
  • Resetting your syllabus will give you a fresh template to edit. Click the Reset button to do this. It cannot be undone.


In the Export menu, you will also be given the option to Print or save your syllabus as a PDF/Word file for your own records.

Copy the Syllabus

If the course you are teaching has multiple sections taught by other faculty, we recommend collaborating with them prior to editing your syllabus, in order to have some standard syllabus language across sections. To allow for easier maintenance across course sections and academic terms, there is a copy function (Actions > Copy From) that allows you to copy your edited syllabus from one course section to another, or from one semester to another.

Be sure to always select Syllabus and Course Learning Outcomes when copying from a previous syllabus into your current syllabus form.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I change my name or email address in my syllabus?

If you need to make an update to your Preferred First Name or Default Email so they appear correctly on your syllabus, you can do so in your profile on myJH. Once the change is made, you should see it come through to your HelioCampus Syllabus in 24 hours.



How do I update course details that are importing from SIS, such as the course description or prerequisites?

Confirm with other faculty and program chairs that the change should be made, and then email to request that SIS be updated.

My students can't see the syllabus link in the classroom. How do I make it visible to them?

It may be possible that the syllabus has somehow become unpublished, and needs to be Published to students in HelioCampus. If you click in to the Course Syllabus from Canvas, you should see a Publish button at the top of that page. If it says 'Revert to Faculty Pending' instead, then it is Published and this is not the reason students cannot access the syllabus. If the issue persists, please email us at

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