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About the Syllabus

A Syllabus is a type of content that may be added to any Content Area. Simply link to an existing document that will serve as a Syllabus, or create a new Syllabus using the template provided. The Instructor may attach a file from their local computer, or link to a file in their Content Collection if the Content Collection has been enabled by the Administrator. Creating a new Syllabus allows the user to pre-build as many lessons as needed, or build lessons one at a time. Additionally, the user can apply custom designs to the Syllabus.



Tip: When using the Syllabus tool to create a new Syllabus, the user may first create a custom Content Area just for the Syllabus. Adding the Syllabus to it’s own  Content Area allows easy access and will not compete for attention with anything else in the Content Area.

Add a Syllabus

Follow the steps below to add a Syllabus to a course Content Area.

  1. Select a Content Area, such as Course Documents, on the Control Panel or in the Edit View of the page.

  2. Select Syllabus in the drop-down list on the Action Bar and click Go.

  3. Complete the Add Syllabus page and click Submit.

  4. If the option to Create a new Syllabus was selected, see more information in Creating a new Syllabus.

  5. If the option to Use an Existing File was selected, the file will be attached to the Add Item page. For more information, see the documentation for Add Item.

Use an existing file or use the Syllabus Builder

Two options are available for adding a Syllabus; attach an existing file or create a Syllabus using the Syllabus Builder.

Attaching a file prompts the Instructor to select a file from their local computer. Linking to an item in the Content Collection allows the Instructor to select an item in the Content Collection. Either of these options will create a Syllabus that simply opens the attached or linked document. No design options are available for this selection.

Selecting to use the Syllabus Builder takes to the user to the Syllabus creation page. The Syllabus Builder allows the user to batch create lesson shells, and apply custom designs to the Syllabus. The lessons may be added, modified, reordered or removed at anytime. The design options may be changed even after the Syllabus has been created.

Create a new Syllabus

The first section of the Syllabus creation page provides three text boxes with suggested names for the content: Description, Learning Objectives and Required Materials. The titles are editable and any content may be included or not included in the text boxes.

The user can select a design option and customize the colors and patterns of the design. For more information, see Designing a Syllabus.

Lesson shells, which are placeholders for a set number of lessons the user wishes to add to the Syllabus, may be created by selecting Build Lessons and entering the number of lessons to be created.


Note: Build Lessons is only available upon creation. Once a Syllabus has been created, the user should create lessons by clicking Add Lesson on the Action bar of the Lessons page. See Syllabus Lessons for more information.

Clicking Submit takes the user to the next page for creating, modifying, ordering and removing Lessons. See Syllabus Lessons for more information.

Designing a Syllabus

The Syllabus provides six style options: Document image, Notepad, Modern, Classic, Contemporary, or None. Each style is unique, with a dramatic header font and thin or thick borders around the content. Some styles allow the user to select from a list of patterns for the background.

The table below describes the design and optional settings for each style.


Syllabus Styles



Color options

Document image

Mainly white with an image of a document faintly visible in the background.

Headers, borders, text


Similar to the appearance of a piece of notebook paper, the background contains faint blue horizontal lines.

Headers, borders, text


A thin border surrounds the entire Syllabus.

Headers, borders, text, background (color or pattern)


A wider frame around the entire Syllabus.

Headers, borders, text, frame, background (color or pattern)


A wider frame surrounds the content, but is separated into two boxes by the Lessons header.

Headers, borders, text, frame, background (color or pattern)


The item is styled like other content items with no borders or frames.

Headers, text

Syllabus Lessons

Submitting the Create Syllabus page takes the user to the next part of the Syllabus Builder, the Lessons page. This is also the page that appears when Modify is selected on the Content Area page once the Syllabus has been created.

The content on the Lessons page is displayed with the design chosen on the Create Syllabus page. The Modify button at the top of the header information directs the user to the Create Syllabus page. Clicking Modify allows the user to change the description and other text at the top of the Syllabus, as well as the style and content options such as date of availability.

Lessons are listed below the header information. Lessons may be added, removed, modified or reordered from this list. To add a lesson, click Add Lesson on the Action bar. Lessons may include a date and time, or use the checkboxes to not display a date or time.


© 2005 Blackboard Inc. Proprietary and confidential

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