Managing Instructor Syllabus Editing Access

March 14, 2024

Granular permissions are a powerful way to help foolproof your syllabus management system. Not only do granular permissions set boundaries around content that can be edited by each user, but also lays out clear expectations for who should be managing what content. There are three common ways that instructor permissions are managed, each granting a different level of freedom to professors. However, our software is fully customizable and granular permissions can be further tailored to fit your institution’s specific needs.

Permission by Course or Section

To give instructors ample freedom in writing their own syllabi, some institutions grant instructor permissions by course, or their section of a particular course. This method restricts instructors to editing just their own syllabi, rather than having access to all syllabi institution-wide. This method does give instructors quite a bit of freedom, however, as they have a blank slate for drafting their specific syllabi and choosing the content they include in it. While this does give your professors discretion to include the information they feel is pertinent, it typically means that your institution’s syllabi will vary widely in formatting, content, and completeness.

Permission Limited by Field

Another common way to manage instructor editing access is by limiting the fields they can edit. For example, an instructor may have the ability to edit a course’s required materials, exam dates, office hours, and absence policy. Other fields, such as grading scale and course objectives, are then managed at the program-level by a department head. Certain fields that need to be consistent across all syllabi can also be managed at the global-level. For example, disability or accessibility information may need to be displayed on every syllabus campus-wide, and is therefore managed at the global-level. This permission option is a middle-ground that gives professors freedom to edit information that commonly varies by course section, while keeping other information consistent within the department or school as a whole.

Permissions by Template

In an effort to regulate and keep all syllabi consistent, some institutions use templates to manage instructor permissions. In this scenario, certain syllabi fields are required to be filled in by the instructor. These fields can be freeform, which allow the instructor to type freely, specific fields with preset options to select, or a combination of the two. This is the most limiting option of instructor permissions, but it ensures consistency and completeness of syllabi across all courses and departments.

If you’d like to see our syllabus management software in action or have any questions, please reach out to us.