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Canvas - Using the Course Summary Tool [UW-Madison]

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

  • The Course Syllabus (HelioCampus AC) 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 for-credit courses.
  • The Course Summary tool replaced the native Canvas Syllabus navigation tab. The tool retains much of the functionality of the native Syllabus, but was labelled to better align with its capabilities and to distinguish it from the course syllabus.

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 the Course Summary tool in Canvas and indicates which of its fields can be edited. There are four components to the Course Summary tool: a description field, an assignment list, a due date calendar and a description of how assignments are weighted toward the final grade.

Canvas instructors, and other Canvas users with course editing permissions, can only edit the description field. All of the other fields are automatically populated with data from your course Assignments.


Description Field

This is an editable description field that allows instructors to provide additional details about their course such as an introduction to course assignments and activities, video clips, and images.

  1. Click the blue Edit button to begin editing.
  2. Use the rich text editor to add content.
    Screenshot of Rich Content Editor
  3. Click Update to save changes. Note that you may be prompted to Resend in order to display changes in some browsers.

Instructors who are not using the Course Syllabus (HelioCampus AC) tool may use the university's downloadable syllabus template (Word) and link to it in this section. This template was recently updated to reflect COVID-19 guidelines. For more information, see Course Syllabi on UW-Madison's Instructional Continuity website

    Assignment List

    The assignment list is automatically populated based on the Assignments and Quizzes that have been published to your course. Assignments will be listed in order of due date.

    Instructors are not able to edit this list directly or remove it from the Course Summary.

    Screenshot of assignment list. List contains 3 columns: Date (Date Due), Details (link to each assignment page), and Due By (time assignment is due) 

    Due Date Calendar

    The due date calendar is automatically populated based on Assignments and Quizzes that have been published to your course. Assignment due dates are highlighted.

    Instructors are not able to edit the due date calendar directly or remove it from the Course Summary.

    Screenshot of calendar displayed on Canvas course summary

    Weighting Summary

    This is a summary of how assignments are weighted for the course. It is automatically populated based on how instructors have weighted their Assignment Groups. If an instructor has not set up weighted Assignment Groups, this field will say “Assignments in this course are not weighted.”

    Screenshot of weighting summary described in paragraph above

    Keywordscanvas course summary syllabus weighted weighting syllabi assignment list description calendar   Doc ID91844
    OwnerLearn@UW MadisonGroupLearn@UW-Madison
    Created2019-05-18 18:55:52Updated2023-06-29 13:28:24
    SitesDoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
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