Depending on your division, you will have one or more syllabus tabs on the course navigation menu. “Syllabus” is Canvas’ basic tool, while “Course Syllabus” connects with AEFIS (and SIS) to hold the official course syllabus. Which one is used depends on your division. Contact your teaching and learning center with any questions. 

  • Syllabus (covered on this page) – The Syllabus in Canvas makes it easy to communicate to your students exactly what will be required of them throughout the course in chronological order. You can also set the syllabus as your course home page.  
  • Course Syllabus (not the same as Syllabus) – This is a syllabus tool (AEFIS) that integrates with the JHU Student Information System (SIS). Faculty may be responsible for entering course information into AEFIS as the syllabus of record. 


  • The Course Summary is automatically generated based on course assignments and course calendar events.  
  • If you have incorporated weighting in your syllabus, this will appear as a separate pod in the syllabus content. 
  • Auto Inline Preview creates an embedded document that is set to open automatically. Certain files, such as a syllabus, can open automatically to save the student several clicks when accessing the syllabus. 

How does Canvas differ from Blackboard? 

  • The syllabus content area in Canvas is more dynamic. The Course Summary is automatically generated when you add assignments and calendar events. 
  • The Rich Content Editor includes an accessibility tool that checks common accessibility errors. This tool can help you design course content while considering accessibility attributes. 

How to use – Canvas instructions 


Canvas offers a series of in-depth guides on the Syllabus, including uploading your syllabus as a document or using the rich-text editor.  

Best Practices and Accessibility 

  • Use good naming conventions for any file uploaded to your course, especially your syllabus, such as IntroHistorySyllabus_FA23. 
  • Ensure your syllabus is accessible for students.  Canvas has an accessibility checker, but you can also check any document prior to uploading, (especially your syllabus) by using the MS Word accessibility checker