Canvas HelioCampus Syllabus Guide

Reminder: HelioCampus formerly known as AEFIS. Some information (including faculty name and email address) will be imported into your syllabus automatically from SIS. Prepare your Syllabus well-ahead of students being granted access, to make sure everything is accurate and give yourself time to make any necessary system updates. See the FAQ to find more information on how to update these details.

It is important to know that you will see two ‘syllabus’ links on the Canvas course menu, one called Course Syllabus and one called Syllabus. Course Syllabus is the one that should be used, and the other should be ignored and remain hidden from students.

Enabling HelioCampus Link in Canvas

If you do not see the Course Syllabus tab on your course navigation menu, you will need to enable it. 

  1. Login to your course and click on Settings from the course navigation link 
  2. Click the Navigation tab, and on that page, enable Course Syllabus (make sure it is the correct one, and not the other Syllabus link that is described above)
  3. Once enabled, move the Course Syllabus under the Home area on the course menu, and then scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save.


Editing the Syllabus 

Note: When copying and pasting from an existing syllabus, it is best to convert any PDF syllabi to Word format first. Copying and pasting directly from a PDF is more likely to result in formatting errors in the HelioCampus syllabus form.

Please continue to follow guidance from SAIS Academic Affairs on how to complete the HelioCampus syllabus. The information provided below is provided as general guidance on how to use the HelioCampus syllabus in Canvas.

  1. Click the Course Syllabus link in the course navigation menu. This should open your HelioCampus syllabus. (If you do not see Course Syllabus, follow the steps listed above.)
  2. On the Course Syllabus landing page in HelioCampus, click the Edit button.
  3. Fill out all Required and University Recommended elements where an editable text box is present. Optional elements can be filled out at your discretion but will not appear to students if not used. Other details (such as course name, course description and instructor) will automatically populate from SIS.
  4. Click the Save & Exit button to save your changes.

Note: Anything that is not editable and is marked with a lock is standard text that will automatically appear on your syllabus.

Preview, Publish, Reset

Publishing the Syllabus

Once you have completed updating the syllabus and are ready to make it available to students, you’ll need to publish the course section. Publishing the HelioCampus Course Syllabus is different from publishing the Canvas course. You will need to do both before the term begins.
  • Click Export > Preview to view the syllabus as a student in the course before publishing.
  • Click Publish next to Actions when you are ready to publish the syllabus. 
  • You can also export a PDF or Word version of the syllabus by clicking Export > MS Word/PDF.

Students cannot see the course syllabus if the status is anything other than Published.

Resetting Your Syllabus
Warning: This will delete any content you added to the HelioCampus Course Syllabus and will replace the syllabus with the course-level defaults. This cannot be undone.

If necessary, use the Reset button to reset the course syllabus back to the syllabus defaults and syllabus template set at the course level directly in HelioCampus. 

Copy the Syllabus from another Course or Section

HelioCampus provides a “Copy from” functionality that allows instructors to copy syllabus content from another course section. This is especially helpful when you want to copy the syllabus from a previous semester or simply copy the syllabus into another section of the same course.

  1. First, ensure that your course section is not published. The status should be Faculty Pending or Approval Pending
  2. Under the Actions drop-down, click Copy From.
  3. A pop-up will display, with drop-down menus to select the term, subject code, course, and course section which you wish to copy data from. Ensure you also select the Syllabus Form checkbox to copy the syllabus.
  4. Click Copy once completed. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I change my name or email address in my syllabus?

If you need to make an update to your Preferred First Name or Default Email so they appear correctly on your syllabus, you can do so in your profile on myJH. Once the change is made, you should see it come through to your HelioCampus Syllabus in 24 hours.

How do I update course details that are importing from SIS, such as the course description or prerequisites?

Confirm with other faculty that the change should be made, and then email SAIS DC Registrar [email protected] to request that SIS be updated.

My students can’t see the course syllabus. How can I fix this issue?

It may be possible that the syllabus has somehow become unpublished, and needs to be Published to students in Canvas. If you click in to the Course Syllabus in the Canvas Course Navigation menu, you should see a Publish button at the top of that page. If it says ‘Revert to Faculty Pending’ instead, then it is Published and this is not the reason students cannot access the syllabus. If the issue persists, please email SAIS Academic Affairs [email protected].