Use Canvas to Publicize Your Individual Course Description

By adding your individual course description (ICD) to Canvas, students will be able to view the ICD in MyPlan. You can use Canvas for this purpose even if you do not use the Canvas Learning Management System in your course.

Using Canvas to publicize your course description does not commit you to using Canvas for teaching, nor does it make course content beyond the syllabus visible to anyone other than enrolled students.

To add your Instructor Course Description to Canvas, you will do the following:

I. Locate your course site in Canvas
II. Enter the course description
III. Make the course syllabus public

I. Locate Your Course in Canvas

  1. Log into Canvas (
  2. Hover over Courses & Groups. Under MyCourses, select the appropriate course.

    Note: Future courses become available as soon as you are enrolled as an instructor. If you cannot find a course in your list of Canvas courses, you may not be listed as the instructor of record. To correct this, please contact your time schedule coordinator and ask to be listed at the instructor of record for the course(s) that you will be teaching. After this, Canvas will automatically update your status as a teacher for the course, and the courses should become visible in your course list.


II. Enter Your Course Description in the Canvas Syllabus Description

You enter your course description in the area that Canvas refers to as the Syllabus Description. If you are unfamiliar with the Canvas syllabus, you can learn more here:

  1. On the left side of the screen, in the course navigation, click Syllabus.
  2. In the right sidebar, click Edit Syllabus Description.
  3. Enter your course description in the text editor. When you are done making changes, click Update Syllabus.


III. Make the Course Syllabus Public

Making the Canvas Course Syllabus public allows any student to view (in MyPlan, not Canvas) the course description you have added, while keeping the rest of the course site private until you publish the course. Even after you publish the course, any course content beyond the syllabus will be visible only to enrolled students.

  1. On the left side of the screen, in the course navigation, click Settings. You will be taken to the Course Details page.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, click Edit Course Details.
  3. Near the bottom of the screen, to the right of Visibility, select the check box next to Make the syllabus for this course publicly visible.

    Note: This step makes only the Canvas Course Syllabus public. No other course content will be visible. If you will be using Canvas to manage your course, you will still need to publish the course in order for enrolled students to see course materials.

  4. Click Update Course Details.
  5.  Note: Syllabus Descriptions and MyPlan are sync'ed nightly at 11:00pm; new and/or modified Syllabus Descriptions will appear in MyPlan following the sync.

Last modified: October 24, 2014