Canvas and AEFIS - Using the Course Syllabus (AEFIS) Tool

UW-Madison has two custom Canvas navigation items: Course Syllabus (AEFIS) and Course Summary.

  • The Course Syllabus (AEFIS) tool makes it easier to find, create, and use course syllabi in Canvas, and to transfer consistent course information between Canvas and other campus systems. It is only available in timetable courses.
  • The Course Summary tool replaces the native Canvas Syllabus navigation tab. The tool retains much of the functionality of the native Syllabus, but was newly labelled to better align with its capabilities and to distinguish it from the course syllabus. All content previously in the native Syllabus tab has been automatically migrated to the new Course Summary tool.

As necessary, instructors can remove one or both of these navigation tabs from their courses. See “How do I manage Course Navigation links?

This document describes how to use the Course Syllabus (AEFIS) tool to create a course syllabus. Find more information about the university’s recommendations, policies and requirements for course syllabi.

The Course Syllabus (AEFIS) tool provides instructors with an easy-to-use, editable course syllabus template that can be accessed via Canvas course sites or directly in AEFIS. The tool automatically populates information for a number of required syllabi components – such as course name, credit hours and formally approved course learning outcomes (via Lumen Courses) – while also accommodating section- and instructor-specific details and expectations. Learn more about the university’s recommendations, policies and requirements for course syllabi.

The Course Syllabus Tool is hosted in AEFIS and integrated into Canvas to provide easy access to course instructors and students. The tool is currently only intended for use in credit-based courses, and will not be accessible in non-credit courses.

Accessing the Course Syllabus Through Canvas

To access the Course Syllabus Tool through Canvas, designated course instructors should:

  1. Log into Canvas and navigate to your course.
  2. Select the Course Syllabus (AEFIS) link from the course navigation menu.
  3. Proceed to editing the course syllabus.

Accessing the Course Syllabus Tool Through AEFIS

To access the Course Syllabus Tool directly in AEFIS, designated course instructors should follow the steps below. Departmental staff who provide support to course instructors can also request access to edit syllabi for their department.

  1. Log into AEFIS.
  2. Find the My Course Sections & Syllabi widget on your home page.
  3. Click the blue pencil icon to navigate to the course of your choosing.
  4. Select Course Syllabus from the course section navigation menu to create, edit and/or publish your syllabus.

Editing and Publishing a Course Syllabus

The Course Syllabus (AEFIS) tool contains editable fields and locked fields. Locked fields import data directly from the Student Information System (SIS) or other university systems. 

The instructions below describe how to use the Course Syllabus (AEFIS) tool to update editable fields and provide information on the systems that are used to populate locked fields.

Editable Fields

  1. Navigate to the Course Syllabus tool via Canvas or directly in AEFIS using the instructions above.
  2. If you have not started editing your syllabus, you will also see the note below.
  3. Click the blue Edit button.
  4. Add a description for the required and optional syllabus fields.
    • Required fields are marked with a red Required tag. You must complete these fields in order to publish your syllabus. Learn more about what’s recommended and required for course syllabi at UW-Madison.
    • Optional fields are marked with a green Optional tag.

Locked Fields

Locked fields are auto-populated via the Student Information System (SIS) and other university systems, and are not editable in this tool. (Locked fields are indicated by a red padlock icon.)


Fields such as Course Information, Meeting Time and Location, and Instructors and Teaching Assistants are imported from SIS. Please contact your SIS curricular representative to determine how to update incorrect or incomplete information in a one of these fields. Also, please note that there are some known issues which may impact these fields, especially for cross-listed or variable-credit courses.

Course Learning Outcomes are auto-populated if you have previously entered them in AEFIS or through the course approval process via Lumen Courses. 

There are several additional locked fields that cannot be edited. There is an Honorlock and two privacy of Student Information and Records that are locked for all courses. All information in the Additional Course Information and Academic Policies section is also locked for all courses.

Saving and Publishing a Course Syllabus

Once you have finished editing your syllabus you can either save it as a draft or publish it.

  • If you plan to resume editing your syllabus later, click the Save and Exit button at the top of your screen to save your changes as a draft.
  • If you are ready to publish your syllabus and make it viewable to students, click Save and Publish.

Once you have published your syllabus, students will be able to access it by selecting the Course Syllabus (AEFIS) navigation link in your Canvas course or directly via AEFIS. Your published syllabus will also be available to institutional administrators and may be consulted for compliance or accreditation purposes.

See Also:

Keywords:canvas syllabus AEFIS accreditation syllabi outcomes federal compliance template credit credits beta course summary   Doc ID:79039
Owner:Learn@UW Madison .Group:Learn@UW-Madison
Created:2018-01-05 16:01 CSTUpdated:2020-11-16 22:13 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
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