Simple Syllabus

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Simple Syllabus is a centralized, template-driven platform that enables instructors to quickly personalize and publish interactive class syllabi.


Getting Started

Simple Syllabus can be accessed within Canvas or directly through the Simple Syllabus portal.

Accessing Simple Syllabus through Canvas for Instructors

This is the standard method of accessing Simple Syllabus.

  • Click the Sign In via Canvas button above.
  • After signing in to Canvas, if needed, select the course to which the syllabus applies
  • Select "Simple Syllabus" from the course navigation
  • A frame within the screen should appear with an editable version of the syllabus
  • Fill out all boxes marked “Required”
    • You can either begin typing directly in an open box or select the edit button to make edits
  • Make sure to Save, where applicable, after editing information. If you need to make a change, select the edit button
  • Select Submit when all required sections are complete.

Accessing Simple Syllabus through Canvas for Students

This is the standard method of accessing Simple Syllabus.

  • Click the Sign In via Canvas button above.
  • After signing in to Canvas, if needed, select the course to which the syllabus applies
  • Select "Simple Syllabus" from the course navigation
  • A frame within the screen should appear with your course’s syllabus

Accessing Simple Syllabus Directly for Instructors

  • Click the Sign In button above.
  • If not already logged in:
    • Select Click here to log in using your institution credentials
    • At the SSO window, enter your SMU ID and password.
    • Authorize DUO, if needed
  • Fill out all boxes marked “Required”
    • You can either begin typing directly in an open box or select the edit button to make edits
  • Make sure to Save, where applicable, after editing information. If you need to make a change, select the edit button
  • Select Submit when all required sections are complete.

Accessing Simple Syllabus Directly for Students

  • Click the Sign In button above.
  • If not already logged in:
    • Select Click here to log in using your institution credentials
    • At the SSO window, enter your SMU ID and password.
    • Authorize DUO, if needed
    • View your syllabi and materials list for the term

Sharing your Simple Syllabus in your Course

There are several ways to publish your syllabus in your Canvas course

Use the Simple Syllabus navigation link in Canvas as the primary syllabus (recommended)

You can move SimpleSyllabus to the top of your course navigation and hide the native syllabus tool in Canvas.

  • In your course, click Settings
  • Select the Navigation tab
  • In the upper box, drag SimpleSyllabus towards the top of the list. Disable Syllabus by selecting the three vertical dots and clicking 'Disable'
  • Click Save

Use a Simple Syllabus PDF URL in your Course

  • After clicking Submit, an option to link to a PDF version of the syllabus in Simple Syllabus should appear.
  • Paste this link into the Rich Content Editor in your Syllabus tab on Canvas. For assistance editing the Syllabus tab, view the Instructional Guide: Editing the Syllabus
  • Click Save

Note: Instructors and students must authenticate Simple Syllabus (either by clicking the Simple Syllabus navigation link or logging in directly to the Simple Syllabus portal)

Use an Embed Code for your Simple Syllabus

  • After clicking Submit, an option to embed a version of the syllabus in Simple Syllabus should appear.
  • Paste this link into the Rich Content Editor in your Syllabus tab on Canvas. For assistance editing the Syllabus tab, view the Instructional Guide: Editing the Syllabus
  • Click Save

Note: Instructors and students must authenticate Simple Syllabus (either by clicking the Simple Syllabus navigation link or logging in directly to the Simple Syllabus portal)


Introducing Simple Syllabus


Documentation and Training

Simple Syllabus Knowledgebase 
(Registration with your SMU e-mail address required.)

Live Support

Support is available Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm. Support is accessible by the following methods:

  • Emailing your question to help@simplesyllabus.com
  • Placing a support ticket through our Knowledge Base, or
  • Using the in-site help form (accessed by clicking the question mark icon in the top left corner when logged into your Simple Syllabus site)

Instructional Videos


FAQs

Simple Syllabus makes the creation of syllabi convenient and efficient for instructors by providing a template with fields for all required and optional elements (eliminating the need to consult syllabus guidelines); accessing and updating of previous syllabi is easy, as are tools generating visually interesting syllabi that include images, audio, and video; much of the necessary information will be centralized and automatically pre-populated into syllabi templates.

While the use of Simple Syllabus itself is not required, the following three current requirements can be fulfilled by using Simple Syllabus in one single 10-minute session. For this reason, we encourage faculty to try out this tool as a way to reduce their administrative burden, because the Simple Syllabus tool makes these three tasks obsolete:

  1. Copy-and-pasting updated SMU syllabus statements each term for each syllabus. Instead of faculty having to locate/copy/paste the updates of these statements every term, Simple Syllabus pre-populates the statements automatically with no time or effort required by faculty.
  2. Meeting disability accessibility standards for all syllabi. All syllabi must be in a format that meets disability accessibility standards. Simple Syllabus formats all syllabi to these standards in a digital format, and it exports to Word in appropriate formats. Simple Syllabus also meets mobile usage accessibility standards.
  3. Uploading every syllabus each term to the SMU Syllabus Library. In the past, faculty and staff have had to upload a copy of each of their syllabi every single term to the SMU Syllabus Library. Simple Syllabus automatically loads to the Syllabus Library, and faculty can easily select to upload only partial elements of their syllabus, if they choose. Faculty can also, with one click, roll their syllabi over from term to term. This reduces the burden on both faculty and, in many units on campus, staff who have been tasked with this work.

If you have questions or concerns, you may contact facultysuccess@smu.edu.

If you are teaching a course that is cross-listed, you will need to go directly to the Simple Syllabus portal and login in. From there, you can edit the syllabus for each section. Students will view the syllabus from the Simple Syllabus navigation link.

The content from your most recently submitted syllabus will automatically populate onto your current syllabus. If you prefer to start from a different syllabus than the one that auto-imported, you can click 'Replace with a different syllabus' at the top of the publisher to search for and import the syllabus of your choosing.

When you edit a syllabus, your changes will only apply to the specific syllabus that you that make the changes in, regardless of whether or not you are teaching other sections of the same course.

Yes! Once all the changes are saved, you can submit it again, and the most recent version will appear for your students and in the Simple Syllabus Library. All syllabi will display the "last updated" date.

Yes, Simple Syllabus allows instructors to track student engagement with syllabi using the student engagement feature. If you are working directly in Simple Syllabus, you can view the web version by navigating to the ‘Published’ tab, searching for your syllabus, and clicking ‘View’. If you are working in your LMS environment, you can simply navigate to the published syllabus in your LMS. The blue horizontal indicates the number of students that have viewed the syllabus (dark blue) and the number of students that have not viewed the syllabus (light blue).

Public means that SMU faculty and staff can see this information displayed in the Simple Syllabus Library when the syllabus is published. Private means that only the instructor and students in that particular course section can see the information when the syllabus is published.

Visible means that this component appears on the finalized version of the syllabus. Invisible means that the component is not displayed on the published version of the document. Note: Leaving a component blank will also render it invisible on the syllabus.

The current SMU syllabus repository will begin to sunset for archiving as the Simple Syllabus library continues to expand. The Simple Syllabus Library will be the university syllabus management system.