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HelioCampus AC - Syllabus - Using the HelioCampus AC Syllabus Tool [UW-Madison]

This document introduces the HelioCampus AC syllabus, and explains how to use it, how to edit it, and how to integrate it within the corresponding Canvas course. Find more information about the university’s recommendations, policies and requirements for course syllabi.


UW-Madison is using HelioCampus AC as the central tool for managing standardized syllabi for for-credit courses. These HelioCampus AC syllabi contain fields that are populated with information drawn from SIS and Lumen, as well as some fields that can be customized per course section.

As an instructor, (listed in SIS) consider the following:

  • An HelioCampus AC syllabus is generated only for for-credit courses.
  • Use of the HelioCampus AC syllabus tool is optional. You will always be able to produce a syllabus (in an MS Word, or .pdf format) that can be loaded into the Canvas course via Files.
  • The HelioCampus AC syllabus contains several data fields that are drawn directly from SIS and Lumen. These fields cannot be edited, and include such information as course name, credit hours and formally approved course learning outcomes (via Lumen Courses)
  • The HelioCampus AC syllabus also contains several fields that are editable by you (the official instructor listed in SIS). These fields include instructor contact information, office hours, and section-level learning outcomes.
  • If you opt to use the HelioCampus AC syllabus, you will be able to access the syllabus through both HelioCampus AC and Canvas. (See detailed instructions below.)
  • An HelioCampus AC syllabus cannot be seen by students until it has been published. (See detailed instructions below.)
  • An HelioCampus AC syllabus cannot be seen by students inside the Canvas course until two things happen:
    1. The HelioCampus AC course syllabus has been published (either from within the Canvas course, or from the HelioCampus AC dashboard), and
    2. The Course Syllabus (HelioCampus AC) tool has been enabled in the respective Canvas. (See detailed instructions below.)

Accessing the Course Syllabus Tool 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 (HelioCampus AC) link from the course navigation menu.
  3. Proceed to Editing and Publishing the Course Syllabus.

Accessing the Course Syllabus Tool Through HelioCampus AC

To access the Course Syllabus Tool directly in HelioCampus AC, 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 HelioCampus AC.
  2. Find the My Course Sections & Syllabi widget on your home page.
    Screenshot of "My Course Sections and Syllabi" in HelioCampus AC

  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 (HelioCampus AC) 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 (HelioCampus AC) 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 HelioCampus AC using the instructions above.
  2. If you have not started editing your syllabus, you will also see the note below.
    Important: The information in this syllabus below has not yet been imported to your syllabus form. The information was created by the course administrator or populated from course data. To import the course syllabus defaults and create your syllabus form, click the edit button.
  3. Click the blue Edit button.
    HelioCampus AC 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.
      HelioCampus AC Instructor Availability field

    • Optional fields are marked with a green Optional tag.
      Screenshot of TA Office Hours, an example of a field with a green "optional" flag.

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.)

Screenshot of a field with a padlock icon beside it.

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 (CLOs) are auto-populated through the course approval process via Lumen Courses. Any additional CLOs manually added, are added as section learning outcomes (SLO) and will begin with the letter S. All approved CLOs begin with the letter C.

There are several additional recommended fields. Please complete those that are relevant for your course. All information in the Additional Course Information and Academic Policies section is 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 (HelioCampus AC) navigation link in your Canvas course or directly via HelioCampus AC. Your published syllabus will also be available to institutional administrators and may be consulted for compliance or accreditation purposes.

Copying a Syllabus

Faculty members can copy syllabi from one course to another, allowing them to tweak it for the new content without having to start from scratch. 

  1. Open the HelioCampus AC menu and select course sections 
  2. Click Manage and select Course Syllabus
  3. When the syllabus opens, go to Actions and select Copy From to copy the syllabus from the other course.

Keywordscanvas syllabus AEFIS accreditation syllabi outcomes federal compliance template credit credits beta course summary create edit overview   Doc ID79039
OwnerLearn@UW MadisonGroupLearn@UW-Madison
Created2018-01-05 17:01:52Updated2024-06-20 08:50:20
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
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