Create, edit, and publish the outline for a paper

Each semester you teach you will need to publish an outline for your paper at least two weeks before semester starts.  This is to make sure that students have enough time to choose their enrollment wisely, and have a chance to sort out clashes in assessments well ahead of time.

Outlines are shown to the public through the CourseViewer app (currently Faculty of Engineering courses only) two weeks after the start of semester.  While much of the information about your paper is collected on your behalf from other sources, such as the Calendar, we still need the actual teaching staff to fill in some specifics such as special rules for assessments, extra details of the paper, and changes since the last time.

Edit your outline

  1. Navigate to your paper’s homepage and open the Course outline (a) tab.  This shows you the current information which has been provided.
  2. Click the Edit outline (b) button to go to the form for editing.  Please note that only one person is able to edit the form at a time.  This is to prevent data loss or people overwriting each other.  If someone else has the form open you will see a notification telling you who they are, and how long they have until their lock on the page expires.  It’s therefore important that you close this form when you’re not using it to prevent holding other people up.
  3. Work your way through the content tabs in your form, being sure to click the Save button at the bottom before changing to the next tab.  Each time you save, the lock is renewed for another 20 minutes, preventing anyone else from editing the outline.  You will be warned one minute before your lock expires.  After that time, the lock is released and your entries since the last save may be lost.


  1. Please note that the Publish or Preview tab (d) only gives you the preview for publication, and does not actually send data anywhere.  When you’re finished, use the Home (e) button to return to the homepage for your paper.

Publish your outline to Canvas

We’re not able to push data to Canvas from Compass, but we do need to make sure that all papers are formatted the same, and contain the same information.  We’ve made a section of HTML code which represents your outline and its formatting that you can simply copy and paste into your Canvas syllabus page.  Here’s how that works.

outline publish

  1. Returning to the paper’s homepage you should be still on the Outline tab, where the Export to Canvas button is shown in green (f).  You can also export your outline as a Microsoft Word document using the Download as *.docx (g) button.
  2. Pushing Export to Canvas button opens a pop-up window with generated HTML code (h), and instructions for copying into Canvas’s HTML editor (i).  Use the links in the pop-up to open your Canvas course, and follow the instructions there, being sure to switch to the HTML editor before you paste in the code.

outline export

  1. In Canvas, open the Syllabus (j) page, being sure to check that you push the HTML Editor button at the top.  You should see the edit toolbar disappear, and the button at the top change to be the Rich Content Editor (k).  (NB: Don’t push it!  It just shows you you’re on the right side of the toggle).
  2. Paste the code copied from the green box in (h) into this HTML editor and push the Update syllabus (l) button.
  3. Check that it’s formatted correctly (see below), and if not, revisit step 3 above – you were probably in the Rich Text Editor.  Just switch to the HTML editor and try again.

Go and have a cuppa – you’re done!