CourseLeaf Syllabus Management (SYL) - Getting Started for Instructors


CourseLeaf Syllabus Management (SYL) is an online syllabus creation, management, and sharing tool that enables instructors to create syllabi for each of their courses quickly, building on a basic, department-specific template. Instructors can edit the provided fields to include information relevant to their class, and create their own custom snippets that may be reused across multiple courses' syllabi. SYL makes the creation of syllabi straightforward but flexible, while effectively enforcing consistent and accurate institutional policies.


How to Create & Link a Syllabus

To start working on your syllabus, you must first log in via your Blackboard course, and create a SYL link in the desired course content area. This link will transfer your login credentials from Bb to SYL – then you can edit your courses' syllabi and access the instructor help page. The same link in Blackboard will take students directly to the syllabus (after it has been published).

Add a SYL Link to Your Bb Course

  1. To get started, log in to Blackboard and navigate to the desired course.
  2. In the course menu on the left, click the course content area where you would like your syllabus to appear. You may wish to use the 'Syllabus & Schedule' area, or create your own content area using the '+' icon in the top-left.
    The 'Syllabus & Schedule' content area is selected from the Bb Course Menu
  3. Inside of the selected content area, in the function menu at the top of the page, click: Tools > More Tools > CourseLeaf Syllabus UND.
    Inside of the 'Syllabus & Schedule' content area, select 'CourseLeaf Syllabus UND' from the function menu at the top of the page > Tools > More Tools
  4. This will open a new page where you can edit the characteristics of the link as it will appear in your Blackboard course, such as name, description (optional), and availability. Note: The actual content of your syllabus will be added in subsequent steps, using SYL's online editor. Once you are done editing the link information, scroll down and click Submit.
    Screenshot of the 'Create Link: CourseLeaf Syllabus - UND' page, where you can add a title and description (optional) for the link.
  5. The SYL link should now appear in your course content area. For instructors, this link will open the class syllabi administration and editor page – students will use the same link to view the course syllabus (after it has been published). See step 1 below for an example of this link.

Use SYL to Create Your Syllabus

  1. Launch SYL & Sign In
    • Return to the content area where you created the link, and click it to launch the SYL integration.
      A link to the syllabus now appears in the selected content area.
    • On the next page, log in using your NDUS.Identifier (firstname.lastnameand password​​​​​​.
      SYL login prompt: log in with NDUS.ID (firstname.lastname) and password to access the syllabus builder.
    • This will open the CourseLeaf Syllabi Selection page. You should see your courses listed under Create Syllabus. Under the desired course, click + Create Syllabus to begin. If you don't see the correct course listed here, it may be because you are not listed as the instructor of record in Campus Connection. Please contact your department/dean/the registrars office if this is the case. You can also find more information about SYL under Help, or find assistance under Support.
      SYL home page with course list, search, help, and support links.
  2. Choose a Starting Point: Create, Copy or Continue with a Syllabus
    Use Course Search link to locate your course in the catalog, then click it to open its details page. On the course page, under the Syllabus section, select one of the following to begin. (If the course has multiple sections, you will need to select a section before these options will be available.)
    • Create Syllabus - Build your first syllabus for this class, starting with the most bare-bones template (may be pre-populated with content specific to your department).
    • Copy New Syllabus From... - Copy a previously-created syllabus and edit its content.
    • Course Syllabus (Published or Unpublished) - If you (or your department) already began work on a syllabus for this class, it will appear as a link here. Click its title to continue work or publish/unpublish.

For more information, please see SYL's Create/Copy Syllabus help page.
(secure link - must be logged in using the instructions above)


  1. Edit the Chosen Syllabus
    Click Create or Copy to begin creating a new syllabus. If you would like to modify or continue working on an existing syllabus, click its title, then select Edit Page. The SYL editor includes a variety of layout/publishing tools and widgets (pre-formatted chunks of text, just plug in your course information):

Tools - build and publish your syllabus with the following functions:

  • Format and Visibility Options - Select a syllabus template from the drop-down menu.
  • Syllabus Data Source - SYL may pre-populate content to make editing faster - this may include copy provided by your department.
  • Edit Fields on the Syllabus - Not all fields on the syllabus are editable - an icon will appear to the right of the field name, indicating which actions are available.
  • Publish - After you have finished editing the syllabus, use the green Publish button to make it available to students and the public.

Widgets - use pre-formatted building blocks to add content:

  • Assessments - Add, edit, remove, or reorder the assessments that appear on your syllabus.
  • Instructor Information - Add or edit instructor information and add more instructors to the syllabus.
  • Schedule Topics and Assignments - Use the drag-and-drop calendar interface to populate the dates a course sections meets (including exceptions like holidays), and add readings, topics, and assignments.
  • Description / Text Editing Widget - Many areas of the syllabus contain text that the instructors can edit or customize with additional information. Use this widget to add or modify any non- Common Text (required/universal) content.
  • Textbooks - Add, edit, remove, or rearrange the list of textbooks that appear in your syllabus.
  • Topics - Add, edit, or remove the topics that appear in your syllabus. The Topics widget connects to the Schedule of Topics & Assignments widget with the Topic Name value.

For more information, please see SYL's Edit Syllabus help page.
(secure link - must be logged in using the instructions above)


  1. View Draft Syllabi
    Once a syllabus has been created, it will appear in the syllabus repository. It will also be linked in the 'Syllabus' section of its course page. If a course has multiple sections, the 'Syllabus' field will instead say "Varies by section" – select one of the sections to view its specific syllabus. When viewing the syllabus, users can use the On This Page listing to quickly navigate between sections, or use the PDF tool to download a printable version of the document. You can even provide customized versions for all users or prospective/current/past students.

For more information, please see SYL's View Draft Syllabi help page.
(secure link - must be logged in using the instructions above)


To learn more about SYL: log in via Blackboard, then see SYL's instructor help page and glossary of terms, or download the End-User Manual (printable PDF format).


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Article ID: 134690
Thu 7/22/21 5:38 PM
Mon 12/26/22 4:59 PM