Syllabus Template

CTEL’s Syllabus Template provides a fully formatted document with prompts for information you should include, plus it contains all of the policy sections required by the Provost’s Office.

Coming Soon: Updates to this page for Brightspace. The template itself has already been updated to remove all references to Blackboard and include updated technical requirements for Brightspace.

What is the CTEL Syllabus Template?

It’s a document we maintain that sets up all the common formatting and policy information for a course syllabus required by the Provost’s office. In addition, our syllabus template has prompts marked with square brackets that will advise you on what information to include for your students.

Why should I use it?

You don’t have to, but it’ll save you time compared to writing a syllabus from scratch. More importantly, as long as you follow the prompts we’ve included, you’ll be providing your students with a clear, accessible document that lays out everything they need to know about your course. Furthermore, we update this template regularly to include changes to phone numbers, policies, technology requirements, etc.

Download the CTEL Syllabus Template

Google Docs Version

Open the Google Docs version of our syllabus, then on the preview page, click the Use Template button to create your own copy.

Microsoft Word Version

Download a Word (.docx) version of our syllabus template. You can edit the file in Microsoft Word and save a copy to your computer.

How do I post my syllabus in Blackboard?

Depending on what software you used to create your syllabus, you have a few options for adding it to your Blackboard course. However, CTEL recommends you create your syllabus in Google Docs, then link to it in Blackboard. This option has the following advantages:

  • It’s much simpler to provide an updated version of your syllabus because you won’t have to swap out files in Blackboard.
  • Students get immediate access to your syllabus with one click, as opposed to having to download a file, find that file, and open it.
  • Students can easily download and print a copy of your syllabus in another format if they wish.

If we still haven’t convinced you and you want to use Microsoft Word or another program, we’ve included instructions for adding it as a file to Blackboard as well.

Method 1: Posting your Syllabus via Google Docs (Recommended)

First, update your syllabus in Google Docs using our Syllabus Template, then complete these two tasks.

Share your Google Doc through a link.
To share a Google Doc, you first need to turn on link sharing for it, then you can paste a link to it in your Blackboard course or an email.

  1. Open the Google Doc you would like to share.
  2. Click the Share button on the top-right side of the screen. A pop-up window that displays a summary of the document’s sharing settings will open.
  3. Click the Advanced link in the lower-right corner of the window. All of the document’s sharing settings will be displayed.
  4. Click the Change… link in the “Who has access” table. Link sharing options will be displayed.
  5.  Select the appropriate link sharing option. We recommend On – Anyone with the link.
  6. Change the Access menu option (optional). By default, it’s set to “Can view,” so you’ll only need to change your document’s access setting if you want to allow others to add comments or make edits to your document.
  7. Click the Save button. You’ll return to the “Sharing settings” options.
  8. Copy the text in the “Link to share” link box to your clipboard:
    • Windows users, hold down the Ctrl key and press the C key.
    • Mac users, hold down the Command key and press the C key.
  9. Paste your Google Doc’s link wherever it’s needed:
    • Windows users, hold down the Ctrl key and press the V key.
    • Mac users, hold down the Command key and press the V key.
These instructions will also work with most of the other apps in GSuite, including Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Sites, and Google Drawings.
Screenshot showing the location of the Share button in Google Docs.
Step 2: Locating a Google Doc’s sharing options
Screenshot showing the option that opens a Google Doc's advanced sharing options
Step 3: Opening the advanced sharing settings for a Google Doc
Screenshot showing the link sharing options described in steps 4-6
Steps 5-7: Selecting link sharing options for your Google Doc
Add your syllabus link to the Course Menu.

You can add a link to an external website or Google Suite file (like a Google Doc or Sheet) to your course menu, but be sure to follow steps 7 and 8 so that the link opens in a new window. Otherwise, some web browsers may prevent your link from working.

  1. Click the plus sign (+) at the top of your course menu on the left side of the screen. A dropdown menu will open.
  2. Click the Web Link option. The “Add Web Link” pop-up window will open.
  3. Type a name for the link as you’d like it to appear in your course menu (e.g., “Syllabus” or “USM Library”).
  4. Type or paste the webpage’s address in the “URL” textbox (e.g., “”).
  5. Select the Available to Users checkbox. (Otherwise, the link will not be visible to students.)
  6. Click Submit. The pop-up window will close, and the new link will appear as the last item in your course menu.
  7. Hover over your new link until a gray dropdown-arrow icon appears, then click this icon to open its menu.
  8. Click Set Link to Open in a New Window. The menu will close, and your link will now open in a new tab or window in your browser.
Illustration of steps 1 and 2.
Steps 1 & 2: Adding a web link option in the course menu
Illustration of steps 3 through 6.
Steps 3–6: Naming the web link and adding its address
Illustration of step 8.
Step 8: Setting the web link to open in a new window

Method 2: Posting your Syllabus via Microsoft Word or other Software

First, create your syllabus in Microsoft Word using the CTEL Syllabus Template, then complete these two tasks.

Add a new content area to your course menu with the name "Syllabus."

“Content area” is Blackboard’s term for a link in your course’s left-hand menu under which you can organize all sorts of course content, including files, text, links, etc. They are also sometimes referred to as “content folders.”

To add a content area to your course,

  1. Click the + icon on the top-left side of your Blackboard course site. A dropdown menu will open.
  2. Select the Content Area option. The “Add Content Area” pop-up window will open.
  3. Enter a name for your new content area.
  4. Select the “Available to Users” checkbox if you want students to be able to see the content area right away; if you’d rather set up the content area before it’s visible to students, leave this box unchecked.
  5. Click the Submit button.

You’re all set! A link to your new content area will show up as the last item in your course menu. If you want to reorder it, follow the directions below.

Want to see this as a video? Check out University College’s version on YouTube.

Add an item and attach your syllabus file to it.

“Content areas” and “content folders” are effectively the same thing in Blackboard. The main difference is that content areas appear as links in your course menu and are created in the course menu’s options, but content folders do not appear in the course menu are created within a content area. Yes, it’s silly. Blame Blackboard.

  1. Navigate to the content area or content folder in which you want to add your file.
  2. Hover over the (a) Build Content menu button so that its dropdown menu opens, then select (b) Item.
  3. Enter a name for the file you’re adding in the “Name” textbox, e.g., “Course Schedule.”
  4. Enter information about the file in the “Text” textbox. If your file doesn’t have more than a page of text, copy and paste it into this textbox. Although this might seem redundant since you’re also attaching the file itself, it allows students to simply read your file’s text directly in Blackboard without having to download the file.
  5. Click the Browse My Computer button in the “Attachments” section.
  6. Select the file on your computer.
  7. Click the Submit button.
Avoid using the File option in the “Build Content” menu. It doesn’t allow you to enter a description, and your file will not be viewable on some students’ computers. The method presented here allows your file to be compatible and accessible for everyone.
Illustration of Step 2.
Step 2a & b: Options for creating a new “Item” within a content area