Syllabus Form Template Basics

This guide is used in conjunction with the Syllabus Form Template. This guide describes the column headers on the template, impacts on the form, and how they should be used. In order to help you get started, commonly seen fields have been added to the template for reference. Feel free to delete, add, or modify any information in the template.

Please note that the fields on the form template do not need to be in the same order as the final approved syllabus. The form template is used strictly for creating the fields that will be filled out by a user. The order of form fields, existing course data, and policies will be determined when providing a final syllabus example.

The form template will be provided to you by your Project Manager at the beginning of the implementation process.

Existing Course Data

The first tab in the template is used to identify information that already exists in your Student Information System (SIS).

The fields listed in this section should highlight already existing course data that was imported into SmartCatalog from your SIS. This information will pull into the top of the form as read only text.

Example Existing Course Data:

  • Subject Code/Course Prefix
  • Course Number
  • Course Name/Title
  • Course Description
  • Credit Hours Narrative
  • Prerequisite Narrative
  • Corequisite Narrative
  • Cross-Listed Narrative

If you have any additional course data in SmartCatalog that needs to be displayed on the syllabus you can add to the list.

Example of how this displays on the form:


Master & Sectional Syllabus Form Tabs

SmartCatalog has the ability to create and manage master and/or sectional syllabus, depending on your institutions needs.

Master Syllabus: there is only one master syllabus for every course taught at your institution no matter when or where it is taught, who teaches it, and regardless of the delivery system. 

Sectional Syllabus: A syllabus developed by an individual instructor based on the Master Syllabus. It is revised each semester, provided to the faculty member's supervisor, and given to all students, preferably on the first day of classes. The Course Syllabus provides each instructor the opportunity to individualize an approved course and to respond to the specific needs of the students and the circumstances of the class.

During implementation, you will be asked to identify which of the below setups will be used: 

Option 1: Only Master Syllabus. The following forms would be created:     

  1. New Master Syllabus
  2. Modify Master Syllabus
  3. Create New Master Syllabus Based on Existing

Option 2: A Master Syllabus is used to create a template for each course that is the foundation for creating Sectional Syllabus. The following forms would be created:   

  1. New Master Syllabus
  2. Modify Master Syllabus
  3. New Sectional Syllabus
  4. Modify Sectional Syllabus
  5. Create New Syllabus Based on Existing

Option 3: Only Sectional Syllabus. The following forms would be created:     

  1. New Sectional Syllabus
  2. Modify Sectional Syllabus
  3. Create Sectional Syllabus Based on Existing

Note: The "Create New Based on Existing" form will pull from the existing syllabi that have been created in the system. The selected syllabus will populate the form fields, but can then be modified and used to create a new syllabus for the same or a different course. This is used when information is similar between semesters or years and only dates and/or the course information needs to be adjusted.

Field Name

The field name column represents the question or label that will appear on the form. Fields we commonly see have been added to the form template to get you started and can be renamed, deleted, or moved.

How it would appear on the form template:


How it would appear on the form:


Field Types

This page describes the different field types that are can be implemented with Syllabus Management.


Drop-downs show a list of options where only one value may be selected. Any options for the field must be provided in the "Options" column of the form template (Example: Fall, Spring, Summer, etc.).



Checkboxes are a list of options where more than one value may be selected. Any options for the field must be provided in the "Options" column of the form template.


Radio buttons

Radio buttons show a list of options where only one value may be selected. This field functions similarly to the drop-down field, but displays all of the options on the form. The most common use of this field type is for "Yes/No" questions.

Note: If there are a lot options available to select from, we recommend using the drop-down field to reduce the amount of space used on the form.


Text box

A Text box field provides a small 'box' to enter a single line of text.

Note: If more than a line or simple answer is needed, consider using a "Rich text field."


Rich text

The Rich text field is a large text area that supports additional text formatting.



The Outcome field allows for multiple individual outcomes to be added to the syllabus. These can be imported into the system using a CSV file. Please refer to the Course Learning Outcomes Import Guide for more information.

Note: If you are utilizing the Curriculum Management System to manage outcomes, please add "Outcomes" to the "Existing Course Data" tab in the form template.


General Header

General Header is used to create sections by displaying as a large section header on the form. Text will display in all caps and is used to group fields on the form.



"Buttons" are a unique feature that allows you to utilize a group of fields to represent an item that can be added multiple times. When adding more than on instance of the item, they can be reordered or deleted.

Field Name: This column is used to collect the label or name of the overall field/button.

Fields for 'Button' field type: This column is used to represent all field(s) associated with the field name/button. These fields will be grouped together to create an "item" on the form that can be added multiple times. 

Example from the form template:


Example on the web form:



The "Required" column in the form template is used to identify which fields are required. Check the box to indicate that a field is required.

What to consider:

  • A submitter can save a proposal without filling out all of the required field(s). 
  • Required fields must be filled out before submitting to workflow.
  • You cannot make fields required at certain steps.

How this would appear on the final form:


Help Text

For clarification, many forms will add notes or "help text" in addition to a field. There are two ways this can be handled in the Curriculum Strategy system. Help text is placed into two categories “Primary Help” and “Additional Help.” Below is an explanation of each and how to differentiate them.

Help Text can:

  • contain links to the catalog or an outside source
  • contain images
  • be updated after forms have been implemented.

Please note, help text can be edited and added later by an institution's administrator(s). Adding help text to your forms will be covered during training.

Primary Help

“Primary Help” text will appear on the form in line with the field.

Note: If text is lengthy, consider using “Additional Help.”


Additional Help

“Additional Help” will appear as a question mark next to the field that, when clicked, will open a pop-up. “Additional Help” text will appear in this pop-up. This is recommended when there is a longer explanation or images might be needed.


Workflow Trigger

Some fields may relate to your workflow. For example, if a course is designated as a general education course, the form may need to go through a special committee for approval. Branches in the workflow must have an associated field on the form to trigger the addition or omission of a step. Only drop-down or radio-button field types can be used as workflow triggers, due to the selection of only one answer. If applicable, either note "yes" in this column or list the answer and step that are triggered by this question.


The Syllabus Management System allows for standard policy information to display by default on the final approved syllabus. The "Policies" tab is used to provide this standard policy information during implementation.

Column A is used to identify the name of the policy.

Column B is used to provide the description of the policy.


Post implementation, admins will have access to edit specific fields on the form outlined in the following article: Editing SM Forms

All other revision requests for the form should be submitted to


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