Alamo Colleges District

Simple Syllabus Transition FAQs

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Beginning Spring 2023, Simple Syllabus will replace Concourse as the web-based syllabus software used by the five Alamo Colleges. The following FAQs will help instructors and department administrators transition their syllabi from Concourse to this new syllabus management system.

Table of Contents

Select a link below to jump to a specific question in this article.

When will faculty and department administrators receive access to Simple Syllabus?

Faculty and department administrators will have access to Simple Syllabus beginning Nov. 7, 2022. They can access all of their syllabi from the ACES Faculty or Employee tabs, or they can access an individual syllabus from a Spring 2023 Canvas course.

Students will receive access to Simple Syllabus on the same day, but they will not be able to view their syllabi for Spring 2023 semester until they have been submitted by their instructors for public viewing.

Public links to the Alamo Colleges Simple Syllabus Library will be added to each college website by the time Wintermester courses begin on Dec. 12, 2022.

How do I access my syllabi?

Instructors can access their syllabi in one of two ways:

  1. Simple Syllabus portlet in ACES - Simple Syllabus will launch in a new browser window or tab, providing access to syllabi for all courses you are scheduled to teach.

You must select the Login button in the upper right to connect to your Simple Syllabus profile and dashboard.

  1. "Course Syllabus" link in Canvas - Provides access to the syllabus for just that course or section. If you cross-list your Canvas courses, please see this information about accessing syllabi in a Canvas cross-listed course.

How can faculty receive training for Simple Syllabus?

Access faculty training from the Simple Syllabus portlet in ACES

Faculty can access an online, self-paced training module from the Simple Syllabus portlet in ACES, and DST Faculty Development will offer guided sessions beginning Nov. 09, 2022. Register for an upcoming session in AlamoTalent by searching for "Simple Syllabus."

Users can also access Simple Syllabus guides in Alamo Colleges Screen Steps.

When will users lose access to Concourse?

Users can continue to access the Alamo Colleges Concourse website through March 30, 2023, but access to individual Concourse syllabi from all Canvas courses (past and present) will end Dec. 11, 2022. The "Course Syllabus" link in Canvas will be replaced with the Simple Syllabus LTI in time for Wintermester courses to begin on Dec. 12. 

View this guide for information about how to access Simple Syllabus through Canvas.

Historical Syllabi (Fall 2013 - Fall 2022)

Historical syllabi from Fall 2013 through Fall 2022 will be listed/searchable within the Simple Syllabus Library by using the Term, College, Subject, and Search fields, and the documents will be available for viewing and download in PDF format.  

Access historical syllabi from the Simple Syllabus Library

Historical syllabi are mapped to the College and not the college department overseeing the subject/course. 

  • The Course Number field will require you add a hyphen and the college acronym. [For example: 1301-NLC.]
  • Using the Instructor field will yield 0 results.

Can I import content from Concourse into Simple Syllabus?

While instructors and departmental editors will be able to view and share a historical syllabus from the Simple Syllabus Library, they will not be able to import information from these documents. 

View this guide for more information about editing and publishing a syllabus.

How do I Copy + Paste information into Simple Syllabus from an external document?

You can Copy + Paste text from an external document into a Simple Syllabus component or field using the following keyboard shortcuts:

Function Windows OS Apple OS
Copy - Use your mouse or keyboard to highlight text, then ...
  • Right-click the mouse and select "Copy" from the menu; or
  • Press Ctrl + C on your keyboard
  • Control-click (or right-click) the mouse, then choose "Copy" from the shortcut menu; or
  • Press Command + C on your keyboard
Paste - Place your cursor into the Simple Syllabus component or field where the selected text should go, then ...
  • Right-click the mouse and select "Paste" from the menu; or 
  • Press Ctrl + V on your keyboard
  • Control-click (or right-click) the mouse, then choose "Paste" from the shortcut menu; or
  • Press Command + V on your keyboard

In the Simple Syllabus publisher interface, you can Copy + Paste text from an external document into components, but you will need to re-apply formatting using the tool's rich content editor (RCE) to ensure the content is accessible to all users.

What is the deadline for submitting my syllabi or college/department template?

Instructors will receive access to edit their syllabi approximately 4 weeks before the upcoming session's start date. Updates to a college or department template can also be made by departmental editors during this time.

A due date will be provided in Simple Syllabus to reflect the course start date for each part-of-term, but faculty and departmental editors are strongly encouraged to fill in their details and submit the document before this date.

Published course syllabi will not appear in the Simple Syllabus Library until departmental editors have submitted their templates for the semester.

How do I ensure my content "rolls" to other syllabi/templates automatically?

To ensure the content you enter into a syllabus or template "rolls" to other syllabi, you should:

  1. Enter the information into a syllabus/template that will be offered at the earliest part-of-term.
  2. Publish it.

This information will continue to roll forward to your course syllabi or templates in subsequent semesters where edits can be made for the earliest part-of-term again.

View this guide for more information on getting started in Simple Syllabus.

Because there is more than one part-of-term with the same start date, syllabus content may not roll forward as expected. If this occurs, you can replace or import content from another syllabus.

Who will be in charge of entering information for my college/department?

Components in Simple Syllabus have been designed to meet criteria for Texas HB 2504.

Departmental editors will be assigned to edit syllabus templates at three levels:

  1. District Academic Success will enter/edit Institutional Policies that appear on all syllabi, and information from the Banner course schedule will auto-populate into the following components through data feeds that occur twice a day:
    • Header
    • Course Information
    • Description (include course pre-requisites)
    • Learning Outcomes
  2. The college VPAS office (or designees) will enter/edit College Priorities and College Policies components for each semester.
  3. Academic Chairs, Program Coordinators, or Faculty Leads (i.e., whoever had access to edit templates in Concourse at the time of transition) can enter/edit the Department Information and Program Policies [optional] that will propagate onto all section syllabi in their purview. If the latter component is left blank, it will not appear on public syllabi.

If you feel information found in any of the templated components is incorrect, please consult your college's Academic Success office or the departmental administrator for your subject(s).

Changes to the Banner course schedule will reflect in Simple Syllabus when the next daily data feed runs at 1 AM or 1 PM.

What if additional information needs to be included on a syllabus for a specific subject or course at my college?

Departmental editors can contact the Simple Syllabus administrators at [email protected] for options to add additional information (or components) to a specific subject/course template for their college.

Can I import content from another instructor's syllabus?

If a syllabus has been published by another instructor—and it can be located within the Simple Syllabus Library—you can choose to import the section-level components from their syllabus.

To avoid importing the other instructor's information onto your syllabus, select Do not import for the Instructor Information component.

Can I add a document to my syllabus or Faculty Profile (CV)?

Currently files other than media (pictures and videos) cannot be added to a syllabus or the CV Link field of a user's Simple Syllabus profile. However, instructors can share a link to a public document on another online platform such as the Adobe Document Cloud or Office 365

View this guide for more information about using the Rich Content Editor in components.

Per Texas HB 2504, "the institution shall continue to make the [course] information available on the institution's Internet website until at least the second anniversary of the date on which the institution initially posted the information."

What information should I include in the "Instructor Information" component if I am an Adjunct?

The following fields marked with a * [red asterisk] are required for every syllabus:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Office Hours and Location - Adjuncts should enter "TBD"
  • Preferred Method of Communication
  • Faculty Profile (CV)

All other fields within the Instructor Information component are optional and will not appear on the public syllabus if left blank. 

View the following guides for editing your Simple Syllabus profile and adding information to the Instructor Information component, or contact your department administrator for further guidance on what information to include in these required fields.

What information should I include in the "Evaluation", "Course Policies", and "Schedule" components?

View the following guide for editing and publishing a syllabus in the Instructor role, or contact your department administrator for further guidance on what information to include in these required components.

Instructors can choose to import content from another instructor's syllabus once it's been published to the Simple Syllabus Library.

Will the Bookstore and other course materials be pre-populated into the "Materials" component?

Instructors can choose to enter information into the Materials component, or they can request to have the material's Title, ISBN, Authors, Publisher, and Edition information loaded into their Spring 2023 syllabi from the Barnes & Noble College database.

Please contact [email protected] with the following information and allow 1-2 business days for processing:

  • CRN
  • Part-of-Term and Subject/Course Number/Section information as it appears on the top of your syllabus

Where does my syllabus go after it's been submitted/published?

Once a syllabus has been submitted (or published), the document is moved from your Dashboard's "Open Items" to your Published tab in Simple Syllabus. To locate the document, use the Term drop-down menu to select the appropriate Fall/Spring or Summer part-of-term for the course.

The published syllabus can also be located through the Simple Syllabus LTI in Canvas, but only if the course is not cross-listed into one Canvas shell.

Can I revise my syllabus after it has been published?

Depending on the term's end date, most syllabi can be re-opened, edited, and resubmitted until the following dates:

  • Fall/Spring Sessions - 3 weeks before the full 16-week term concludes
  • Summer Session - 4 weeks before the final summer term concludes

View this guide for more information about syllabus availability.

How do I share my syllabus with students?

Once a syllabus is published, it can be shared with students in a variety of ways:

  • Enable the "Course Syllabus" link in Canvas (Spring 2023 courses or later)
  • Share a direct link to the document on the Alamo Colleges Simple Syllabus website
  • Download/print a PDF
  • Embed it within a web page 

View this guide to learn more about sharing a syllabus with students.

How do I report extra instructors assigned to my syllabus?

A known technical issue has resulted in previously scheduled instructors retaining editing access to a syllabus when a new instructor is assigned the section. If an instructor encounters this, they should:

  1. Edit [A] the other instructor’s profile on the syllabus and Hide them [B]. This will not remove the syllabus from the former instructor’s profile, but it will allow you to publish the syllabus without having to enter the required information for them.
  1. To remove the former instructor's editing access to the syllabus, send an email to [email protected] with the following information:
    • Email subject: Remove extra instructor from Simple Syllabus
    • Course CRN
    • The extra instructor's name and email address as it's listed on the syllabus

Allow up to one business day to process the request, and a confirmation email will be sent to the requesting instructor or chair once the correction has been made.

Changes to instructor information in the Banner course schedule will reflect in Simple Syllabus when the next daily feed runs at 1 AM or 1 PM.

Will the public be able to access my Canvas assignments through the "Schedule" component?

If you choose to use Simple Syllabus's "Class Scheduler" tool to auto-populate Canvas assignments into the first Schedule component of your syllabus, hyperlinks to the assignments will be visible to the public, but only users enrolled in the course will be able to access them.

If a person who is not registered for the class clicks on the assignment link from the public-facing syllabus, they will be directed to the ACES login page where:

  1. The general public will not be able to log into ACES; or
  2. If the user authenticates through ACES, they will receive the following "Access Denied" message in Canvas: You don't have access to view this resource.

Can the Student Engagement report pass back a student's "Acknowledgment" score to the Canvas Gradebook?

Currently the Student Engagement report cannot pass back a student's syllabus "Acknowledgment" in the form of a score to the Canvas Gradebook. If instructors would like students to view and acknowledge the syllabus as part of a course orientation or Smart Start assignment, you will need to create an assignment column and manually enter the grades into the Gradebook.

Instructors can use their discretion as to whether or not they would like students to "acknowledge" the syllabus as part of a class assignment.

Will the Simple Syllabus LTI work in Canvas if I cross-list my courses?

The Simple Syllabus LTI found in the "Course Syllabus" link in Canvas will not work for instructors who have cross-listed Canvas courses into one shell, and they will encounter a "This course is no currently setup with Simple Syllabus" error message. However, students enrolled in the Academic sections of a cross-listed course will be able to view/download the appropriate section-level syllabus from this course navigation link once the syllabus is published.

To edit an unsubmitted syllabus, access a published syllabus, or view the Student Engagement report, instructors will have to access the syllabus for a cross-listed Canvas course from the Simple Syllabus dashboard.

Only section enrollment data for Academic courses has been integrated with Simple Syllabus, so students enrolled in CE and COM cross-listed courses will not be able to view the syllabus from the "Course Syllabus" link in Canvas. 

Instructors can share the public web link to a published syllabus once the document is submitted to the Syllabus Library.

In Canvas Student View, the syllabus displays the "Edit" button for the Test Student. Are students able to edit my syllabus?

The Simple Syllabus LTI in Canvas connects users to the syllabus through their SIS ID. Since the Student View in Canvas does not have a valid SIS ID associated with the profile, the Simple Syllabus LTI will recognize that it’s actually the instructor viewing the syllabus through the Test Student perspective, and you will see the Edit button while viewing the document through Canvas.

Students registered in the course will only see the published document when they click on the Course Syllabus link in Canvas:

For more information about how students access and view the syllabus, please see the following guides:

What happens to a syllabus if the course is canceled?

In the event a course is canceled, the previously published syllabus will disappear from the instructor's Published syllabi, and the document will become deactivated and removed from the Simple Syllabus Library

Instructors can request a copy of the deactivated syllabus by contacting [email protected] with the CRN and part-of-term for the canceled course.

To decrease load times for Simple Syllabus searches and reports, deactivated syllabi from canceled courses may be deleted by District administrators at the conclusion of each semester.

What if I have another question that is not listed in this article?

For other questions or technical assistance with Simple Syllabus, please contact [email protected] and a District administrator will respond within 1-2 business days. 


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