Q1. How far in advance can departments work on course outlines?

Calendar editors have access to work on outlines for three terms at a time. For instance, see chart below: 


Access to Outlines from

Mid-Spring 2024*

Spring 2024, Summer 2024, Fall 2024

Mid-Summer 2024*

Summer 2024, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

Mid-Fall 2024*

Fall 2024, Spring 2025, Summer 2025

*If it is the beginning of the term, only two terms will be available. For instance, in the beginning of January 2024, Spring 2024 and Summer 2024 outlines are available. At the end of February, then the Fall 2024 outlines will also be available.

For an approximate timeline of when the outlines will be available, see the chart below. Course outlines, including bulk migration, are available a little less than 28 weeks in advance of the start of the term (approx. a little more than 6 months in advance).

Term Course Outlines Available Without Calendar Data Course Outlines Available With Calendar Data


End of February



End of June



End of October


Q2. From which sources do course outlines pull their data? How often is this data updated?

The Academic Calendar provides:

  • Calendar Description
  • Prerequisites and Corequisites
  • WQB Designation details

This information is updated once per term.

Student Information System provides:

  • Course Title
  • Course Schedule
  • Exam Schedule
  • Primary Instructor

This information is updated daily.

Human Resources provides:

  • Instructor's email
  • Instructor's first name (or common name)
  • Instructor's last name

This information is updated daily.

Note: Instructor information is pre-populated in the Course Outlines Application. The information can be changed in the application, though changing it there will not affect the source. To apply a universal change to the above information, please contact Human Resources.

SFU Phone system provides:

  • Instructor's telephone number

This information is updated daily.

The instructor's telephone number only appears if they have added it to their profile. If the phone number appears when you look up the instructor's name at it should appear on the outline.

Q3. How long do departments have to make changes to course outlines for any given term? At what point can changes no longer be made?

Course outlines can be updated until the end of the term in which that course and section is running. Once the term rolls over, the collection of outlines is archived and no further changes can be made.

Q4. Do faculty automatically have access to the course outline application?

Yes, if the faculty member is scheduled to teach that course, he/she will automatically have access. In other words, departments do not have to add each faculty member as an editor. 

Q5. If the course has already been scheduled and the instructor information changes, does the information have to be manually added (even if it is updated in goSFU)?

There are two scenarios of how and when the instructor block is updated if there was a change in goSFU:

  1. If the course outline has not yet been created for that particular term, you do not have to update it in the Course Outlines Administration Application. The instructor block will be updated as new information is retrieved from goSFU.
  2. If the course outline has been created, the new instructor information will be added to the course outline the following day. After the instructor block has been updated in the Course Outlines Administration Application, you will need to manually remove the previous instructor as the system will not remove or replace the previous instructor listed.

Q6. When did departments begin to use the Course Outline application?

Summer 2014 was the "pilot" term which included participation by a handful of departments (SIAT, EDUC, a few others). An outline was produced for every course in the Summer 2014 term, but only a few departments contributed additional content. At that time, both the legacy outlines application and the new one were running simultaneously.

Q7. What is the difference between managers and course outline editors?

Course outline managers give access to course editors, receive email notifications when a course outline has been submitted for approval, activate course outlines and can add and edit the departmental notes section that appears on the bottom of all of the department's course outlines.

Course outline editors can only work on the course outlines. By default, all faculty are course outline editors for the courses they teach. Once the manager has access to the course outline application, he/she can add multiple course editors.