Rename the "Course Summary" section


In the Syllabus page, please rename the "Course Summary" section to Course Schedule. This will best describe the fact that what follows is a chronologically arranged list of assignment due dates and events.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni
Status changed to: Open
Community Member

Perhaps even more accurate: Course Calender (for instance)

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

@KyraK For context on the evolution of the current name, please read through Rename Assignments Summary Header in the Syllabus - Canvas Community 

Community Member

I agree!  I've just answered two more emails from students confused about what a syllabus is.
The use of the term "syllabus" as a section heading in Canvas causes significant confusion for students. Instructors like myself use the word "syllabus" to mean the official, very detailed document that we are required to post on Canvas. Students, however, are frequently confused and quite reasonably think that the "syllabus" is simply that section of Canvas. The Canvas section does provide "syllabus-like" information like due dates, but it does not include other very important information that would be included on any syllabus. I include the full syllabus on that page but students are still confused. 
Especially since our use of Canvas has gone into overdrive with Covid, the word "syllabus" is causing confusion and delays in understanding for students, and no matter how many times I remind students of the distinction in class and elsewhere, there are those that do not listen or don't understand. This seems like a totally unnecessary problem that could easily be resolved by Canvas changing that section title to something like "course outline" "or course reminders" or some other term. This would have the virtue of having only one entity in a course referred to by the term "syllabus" and would make it more likely that students will look at the real syllabus from the start of the course.
Most instructors I know are frustrated that we have to say "Read the syllabus" so often, and this just adds to the problem. 

Community Novice

On Canvas Syllabus pages, there is area titled "Course Summary" under which a schedule of assignments for the course over the semester appears.

I think "Course Summary" is not a good title for that section. It suggests to students that the essence of a course is its assignments, and this is not true. There are readings, lectures, discussions, exams, etc. all of which are important components of student learning. A better title for this section would be "Schedule of Assignments."

I asked my university IT department to make this change, but they say it is hard-coded into Canvas. So, Canvas, can you please make the change?

best regards,

John F. Gibson
Associate Professor, Dept. Mathematics and Statistics
University of New Hampshire

Community Contributor

I would suggest changing the wording to "List of Assignments."

I have coached many instructors who are new to Canvas, and they are invariably flummoxed about how to hide the long list of assignments that show up in the Syllabus. The words "Show Course Summary" is vague. Many instructors assume that a "course summary" is a "course description."

"List of Assignments" is straightforward. Everyone will immediately understand it.

Please make the change. It would help so many novice Canvas users, both instructors and students.


Community Member

I totally agree with changing the title.

It is not a summary of the course. it is a list of activities in the course and a schedule when they are due if the dates are set up. I would call it "Course Activities and Schedules."

Status changed to: Archived