This article is part four of the Guide to staging an online course site series.


  • Course syllabi are typically created using Word, saved as a PDF, and uploaded to a course site.
  • Use the accessibility-checker tools provided in Word and/or Adobe Acrobat to ensure a syllabus meets accessibility needs.
  • A syllabus template is provided to be used as a starting point or as an example for creating an accessible syllabus.
  • Syllabus are uploaded to Resources, and then linked to from any area of the course site.
  • It is important that you upload a PDF version of the Syllabus so that all student may view the file correctly. 
  • You may upload the Word version, in addition to the PDF, so that you have an editable version of the syllabus on hand.
  • Using the built-in Sakai Syllabus tool is not recommended. These instructions are designed to provide a better experience for both you and your students.
  • Because most CSC Online instructors create a PDF Syllabus, there is no advantage (and many disadvantages) to using the built-in Syllabus tool in Sakai. It is recommended to hide/remove the Syllabus tool and instead follow the steps below to upload and provide a link to the syllabus file in your course.


Create an accessible syllabus (recommended)

  1. Download a copy of the Chadron State College Syllabus Template Word document
  2. Follow the instructions provided in the Syllabus template
  3. Save your syllabus as both a PDF and a Word document
    • In Word, you may save a copy of the document as a PDF by following these steps:
      1. Select File and select Save As from the menu
      2. Select PDF from the File Format list
      3. Select Export

Upload a syllabus to your course Resources

  1. Open Resources from the course tool menu
  2. Select Actions next to the "Syllabus" folder, and select Upload Files from the dropdown menu
    • Note: If there is not a "Syllabus" folder in your course, you may create one by following these steps:
      1. Select Actions next to the top-level folder (first Actions button) and select Create Folders.
      2. Enter a Folder Name, and select Create Folders Now
  3. Select the button Drop files to upload, or click here to browse and choose the PDF file of the syllabus and optionally choose the Word version. Or, drag and drop the files onto the page.
    • Note: you must upload the PDF file of a syllabus, however you may optionally wish to upload the Word version so that it is conveniently available for future changes.
  4. Click Continue to complete the upload process

Provide a link to the Syllabus on the Course Home or a Lessons page

  1. Open Course Home or another Lessons page from the course tools menu
  2. Select the button with a plus [+] icon at the bottom-right of the "Syllabus" section, and select "Add Content Links".
    • The button is labeled as "Add Item to Bottom of Column" when you hover your cursor over it.
  3. Choose the link titled select existing files from Resources
  4. Select the "Syllabus" folder, and click Select next to the PDF version of syllabus
  5. Select Continue near the bottom of the page
  6. After adding the syllabus link to the page, you may edit the link text by selecting the edit button [pencil-icon] and updating the text in the "Item Name" field.

Add a link the syllabus in the course tools menu (optional)

If you would like for the Syllabus to appear in the left-hand course tool menu, you may follow these steps after uploading the syllabus PDF to your course Resources. This mimics the built-in Syllabus tool, but provides several advantages for instructors and students. These steps also replace the need to use the Redirect function in the Syllabus tool.

  1. Open Resources from the course tool menu, and click Actions next to the PDF version of the syllabus.
  2. Select Make Web Content Link from the drop-down menu.
  3. Enter "Syllabus" in for the title text and select Add
  4. The new menu item titled "Syllabus" will be added to the bottom of the course tool menu. Go to Site Info > Tool Order  and rearrange the menu items. Typically, the Syllabus is provided as the second menu item, after Course Home.

Next article: 5. Preview class content as a student