AEFIS - Syllabus - Working with the AEFIS Syllabus

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 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 introduces the AEFIS 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 AEFIS as the central tool for managing standardized syllabi for for-credit courses. These AEFIS 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 AEFIS syllabus is generated only for for-credit courses.
  • Use of the AEFIS 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 AEFIS 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 AEFIS 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 AEFIS syllabus, you will be able to access the syllabus through both AEFIS and Canvas. (See detailed instructions below.)
  • An AEFIS syllabus cannot be seen by students until it has been published. (See detailed instructions below.)
  • An AEFIS syllabus cannot be seen by students inside the Canvas course until two things happen:
    1. The AEFIS course syllabus has been published (either from within the Canvas course, or from the AEFIS dashboard), and
    2. The Course Syllabus (AEFIS) 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 (AEFIS) link from the course navigation menu.
    Canvas Syllabus Nav Link
  3. Proceed to Editing and Publishing 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.
    Screenshot of "My Course Sections and Syllabi" in AEFIS

  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.
    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.
    AEFIS 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.
      AEFIS 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 (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.

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 AEFIS 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.

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:2022-10-10 10:58 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
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