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How to ensure your HTML syllabus contains up-to-date FSU Institutional Policies

Florida State University requires that instructors include up-to-date university policies and resources within their course syllabus. Canvas can make updating your syllabus to include the most current policies a snap! This article will demonstrate how to use the Design Tools feature within Canvas to quickly replace the outdated institutional policy section in your syllabus with the latest versions of the Main University Policies, Proctored Exams, Canvas Support Policies, and Panama City campus University Policies blocks.

If you are already using the Syllabus templates provided for the Tallahassee and Panama City Campuses, you can quickly ensure that the "Institutional Policies" section of your syllabus is up-to-date.

Automatically updating the University Policy block

  1. Select Syllabus on the course navigation menu.
    Location of Syllabus page within Course navigation bar
  2. Scroll down and ensure you already have the Syllabus sections for general university policies, Canvas Support policies, proctored exam policies (only needed if you are using FSU's Assessment and Testing services in Tallahassee or Panama City), and additional university policies for the Panama City campus (only needed if you are teaching in Panama City) present in your Syllabus page. Keep in mind: These policy sections will need to be already contained within your Syllabus page for the auto-update procedure to work.
    • General University Policies
      The heading of this syllabus block displays as "University Policies" and it is required for all FSU courses, regardless of physical location.
      Example image of University Policies block within Syllabus
    • Canvas Support Policies
      The heading of this syllabus block displays as "Canvas Support" and it is required for all FSU courses, regardless of physical location.
    • Additional University Policies block for Panama City campus
      The heading of this syllabus block displays as "University Policies, Panama City" and is required for all courses taught at the Panama City campus.
    • Proctored Testing policies
      The heading of this syllabus block displays as "Proctored Exams - Tallahassee" or "Proctored Exams - Panama City." The version of this syllabus block will depend on which campus you are teaching at. You should only use this syllabus block if you are using FSU's Assessment and Testing services.
       
      or
       
  3. Once you have confirmed the presence of the necessary University Policies sections in your Syllabus, head to the top of the page and click the Edit button.
    Location of Edit button in upper-right hand corner
  4. This will launch Canvas' Rich Content Editor. Look in the upper-right hand corner of your screen and click the rocketship icon (labelled as Launch Design Tools when you mouse over it) to launch the Design Tools menu.
    Location of Design Tools menu within Syllabus page
  5. If your necessary University Policies blocks are present, Design Tools will automatically update them to the latest version. If this process is successful, you will see a green bar with a text message indicating that these sections were successfully updated.
    Tallahassee Example

    Panama City Example

Manually updating the University Policies blocks

If you did not see this message, or you would like to be certain the University Policies sections that you need were updated to the latest version, you can also manually refresh the University Policies blocks. To do so, follow the steps below for each block you wish to refresh.

  1. On the Design Tools menu click the Create/Edit Syllabus Content button.
    Location of Create/Edit Syllabus content
  2. Select the Institutional Policies button.
    Location of Institutional Policies menu
  3. Click the green Refresh University Policies Block buttons for each of the syllabus blocks you wish to update. Which blocks are available for refreshing depend on whether your class takes place at the main Tallahassee campus or the Panama City campus.
  4. If your University Policies blocks have been successfully refreshed, you will see a green highlighted message within the Design Tools menu one-at-a-time informing you of the update for each item you have refreshed.
    Message indicating successful update of policies

Deleting and reinserting the University Policies blocks

Your University Policy blocks may not update automatically or manually refresh if you have previously made edits to that specific block in your syllabus, or if you manually copy/pasted the university policies into your syllabus without using the Design Tools University Policies blocks at all. If you are unable to get the policy blocks to update properly, you may need to delete the University Policy blocks from your Syllabus and then reinsert a fresh copy of each item you need.

  1. On the Design Tools menu click the Create/Edit Syllabus Content button.
    Create/Edit Syllabus Content button location
  2. Click the Add/Rearrange Syllabus Blocks button.
    Location of Add/Rearrange Syllabus blocks
  3. Locate the Universities Policies block. Click the red X button on the right side of that block's row to delete the current University Polices block. Do this for each syllabus block that you wish to remove and then re-add.
    Location of University Policies row within content block area
  4. Click the Institutional Policies button, located within in the same "Create/Edit Syllabus Content" menu as the Add/Rearrange Syllabus Blocks button.
    Location of institutional policies location within Design Tools
  5. Click the Refresh button for each of the University Policies blocks that you wish to add to your syllabus. This will cause the latest version of the University Policies blocks that you select to be placed at the bottom of your Syllabus page.
    Refresh University Policies block location
  6. To move the University Policies blocks around your Syllabus page, head back over to the Add/Rearrange Syllabus Blocks menu. Locate the row for the new blocks you have added in that menu and click-and-drag the gray double-sided arrow on the left of the row to move each block around within the Syllabus page.
    Location of arrow for moving content block within Syllabus
    As you move the University Policies block's row around in this menu, you can observe the actual block move around within the body of the Syllabus. You can use this same method to move around any of your syllabus blocks.
  7. Now that you have placed the latest version of the University Policies block(s) within your Syllabus page, each block you have added will automatically update whenever you open up the Design Tools menu within the Edit screen for your course's Syllabus page.
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  • 29-Jan-2020
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