Simple Syllabus

Available Now, Required for
Undergraduate Courses Fall 2024

About the Platform

Simple Syllabus is a centralized platform integrated into Canvas that allows instructors to quickly and easily create, duplicate, and deploy syllabi. Leveraging institutional data, including university policies and course details, it auto-populates content for faculty, significantly reducing their workload and streamlining syllabus preparation. Additionally, the platform features advanced analytics, enabling faculty to monitor student engagement with the syllabus.

A Word document with the Simple Syllabus template is provided to assist you in preparing your syllabus. Please note that the information will need to be manually entered into the Simple Syllabus platform.

Fall 2024 Template Updates

We appreciate your patience as we continuously work to improve your Simple Syllabus experience. Below are some updates you can expect for the Fall 2024 Semester.

  1. Course Meeting Times: The Course Information block now includes campus, location, meeting time, and duration.
  2. Suggested Syllabus Statements: To help provide clarity to students, we’ve included optional statements for digital tools and Generative AI.
  3. Reduced Institutional Policies: To keep added content prominent, we’ve consolidated institutional policies into a single link.
  4. Enhanced Copy/Paste: Content pasted into the Simple Syllabus content editor will now retain its original formatting.

If you have additional feedback to improve your Simple Syllabus experience, please let us know.

Summer 2024 Template Updates

Academic Innovation is happy to announce several enhancements to Simple Syllabus for the Summer 2024 semester. These updates reflect our ongoing commitment to improving both the faculty and student experience:

  1. New Components Added: We’ve introduced new sections for “Course Expectations & Policies” and “Additional Course Information” to ensure these critical elements are displayed prominently rather than at the bottom of the syllabus.
  2. Streamlined Navigation: In an effort to make syllabus navigation more efficient, we have consolidated all university policies into a single “University Policies & Resources” component.
  3. Tailored Department/College Resources: We are actively collaborating with various colleges and departments to incorporate specific resources directly into the syllabus.
  4. Combined Components for Clarity: To enhance clarity and reduce redundancy, we have merged certain components—such as “About Me” and “My Teaching Philosophy,” and “Instructor Contact Information” and “Communication Plan.”

We appreciate your feedback and are eager to hear any suggestions you may have as we continue to enhance our tools.

Faculty Spotlight - Cindy Roberts​​

Get Support

Instructor Name: Academic Innovation
Office Location: Academic Innovation Center (MS) 240
Support Hours: M-F 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Phone Number: (210) 458-4520
Email Address: academicinnovation@utsa.edu
Preferred Method of Communication:

Upcoming Trainings

New to Simple Syllabus or just want a refresher? Attend one of our hybrid workshops available in person at the Academic Innovation Center (MS 240) or online via Zoom. Register Now!

Canvas Integration

Simple Syllabus is available via Canvas! Located in the course menu, simply click “Simple Syllabus” to access your interactive syllabus. Once inside, you’ll find many items already pre-populated for you, such as university policies, course information, and a course schedule of Canvas activities.

Create Accessible Syllabi

Enhance the accessibility of your syllabi with the dedicated features available in Simple Syllabus. The built-in accessibility checker assists faculty in identifying and addressing potential barriers, ensuring content is inclusive and compliant from the start. For additional guidance on creating accessible syllabi, the Simple Syllabus accessibility tips page offers detailed advice and best practices. 

Have additional accessibility questions? Email DigitalAccessibility@utsa.edu

How-To Videos

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Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: 7/19/2024

As of Fall 2024, all undergraduate courses will be required to use Simple Syllabus. Graduate courses are not required to use Simple Syllabus, but it is highly encouraged. All syllabi created in Simple Syllabus will become part of the UTSA public repository, including those for graduate courses.

Uploading to Bluebook will be required through Summer 2024. Once UTSA fully transitions to Simple Syllabus in Fall 2024, it will no longer be required. 

Bluebook will continue to serve as a syllabus repository for courses prior to Fall 2024 and will continue to house faculty vitas and course evaluation results. 

  • Dynamic Course Schedule: Simple Syllabus automatically displays all published assignments from your Canvas course, ensuring your students have the latest updates at their fingertips.

  • Seamless Course Information: Course details, such as descriptions and modalities, are automatically imported from myUTSA Account and are displayed within the syllabus. Additional data enhancements are scheduled for later this year.

  • Automated Syllabus Updates: Essential university policies are dynamically incorporated into your syllabus allowing updates to be applied automatically whenever changes occur.

  • Enhanced Student Engagement Tracking: Gain insights into student interaction with your syllabi, including who has viewed it, the extent of their engagement, and the frequency of their visits.

Only individuals enrolled in Canvas as a “Teacher” can edit syllabi in Simple Syllabus. It is important to note that this role should only be used for official Instructors of Record. All other individuals requiring instructor-level access to Canvas should be added using the Secondary Teacher role. For more details, visit our Canvas Course Roles page.

As part of UTSA’s Open Access pilot, Simple Syllabus was only enabled in certain Lecture, Lab, and Seminar courses. This limitation was removed for Fall 2024, and Simple Syllabus is available in all courses. 

At this time, syllabus components cannot be rearranged. This was intentionally designed to provide consistency across courses, making it easier for students to locate and understand essential information quickly. 

Canvas course copies will not impact Simple Syllabus. When the link is clicked, Simple Syllabus recognizes which course the link is in and directs the faculty to the correct syllabi. A Canvas course copy will not copy your Simple Syllabus to another course. To copy your Simple Syllabus, use the import function inside Simple Syllabus.

Yes! Once your Simple Syllabus is published, you can find a print button at the top of the page. Use this button to get a PDF copy or print your Simple Syllabus.

Not at this time. While we highly encourage the use of Simple Syllabus for all courses, the native Canvas syllabus tool will continue to be available for any graduate courses that prefer to use it.

2023 Design Star Award Recipient

The Design Star Award recognizes an institution that has developed and implemented both a professional and appealing design for their syllabi. Recipients of this award have implemented best practices associated with web design to make sure their content looks good and is easily usable by their students and campus community.