Use Canvas to Publicize Your Individual Course Description

Last updated: November 2, 2022

By adding your individual course description (ICD) to Canvas, students will be able to view the ICD in MyPlan.

Using Canvas to publicize your course description does not commit you to using Canvas for teaching.  Note: MyPlan allows social sign in to support transfer students, so your syllabus content will be visible to UW students as well as those who sign in to MyPlan with a social account.

To add your Instructor Course Description to Canvas, you will do the following:

  1. Locate your course site in Canvas
  2. Enter the course description
  3. Make the course syllabus public

I. Locate Your Course in Canvas

  1. Log into Canvas (
  2. In the global navigation, hover over Courses. Find your course among those you have favorited, or click All Courses. Click the appropriate course.
    Note: Future courses become available as soon as you are enrolled as an instructor. If you cannot find a course in your list of Canvas courses, you may not be listed as the instructor of record. To correct this, please contact your time schedule coordinator and ask to be listed at the instructor of record for the course(s) that you will be teaching. After this, Canvas will automatically update your status as a teacher for the course, and the courses should become visible in your course list.


II. Enter Your Course Description in the Canvas Syllabus Description

You enter your course description in the area that Canvas refers to as the Syllabus Description. Learn more about the Canvas syllabus.

  1. On the left side of the screen, in the course navigation, click Syllabus.
  2. On the right side of the screen, next to Jump to Today, click Edit.
  3. Enter your course description in the text editor. When you are done making changes, click Update Syllabus.


III. Make the Course Syllabus Public

Making the Canvas Course Syllabus public allows MyPlan to find and display the course description to UW students and others who can sign in to MyPlan, while keeping the rest of the course site private until you publish the course. Even after you publish the course, any course content beyond the syllabus will be visible only to enrolled students.

  1. On the left side of the screen, in the course navigation, click Settings. Near the top of the screen, click Course Details.
  2. Scroll down the screen until you reach Visibility. Make sure Course is selected.
  3. Check Customize and set Syllabus to Public.
    Note: This step makes only the Canvas Course Syllabus public. No other course content will be visible. If you will be using Canvas to manage your course, you will still need to publish the course in order for enrolled students to see course materials.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Update Course Details.
    Note: Syllabus Descriptions and MyPlan are synced nightly at 7:00 p.m.; new and/or modified Syllabus Descriptions will appear in MyPlan following the sync.