Getting Started with Concourse

Congratulations on your decision to bring Concourse to your institution! The Syllabus Geeks are excited to assist you in this process to ensure a smooth and successful deployment of Concourse to your faculty, staff, and students.

As with the implementation of any new system or policy on your campus, the first step should be to give consideration to overarching issues surrounding goals, design, people, timing, impact, and anticipated challenges. The following questions should prompt discussion and provide guidance for all institutions implementing Concourse. The entire survey document can be downloaded and completed at the end of this article.




  • What is it that you expect to achieve throughout this pilot?
  • Who will be involved with the administrative functions of Concourse?
  • Are there established content or workflow policies surrounding course syllabi?
  • How is your institution organized?



  • What do you currently know about syllabi at your institution?
  • Where is the information for descriptions, outcomes, and policies stored at your institution?


Item Permissions

  • Who do you expect to access Concourse?
  • Who do you expect to be able to edit syllabi?
  • Who do you expect to view syllabi?
  • Would you like the public to be able to see complete syllabi, only certain parts of syllabi, or none at all?



  • Do you expect instructors to upload syllabi they create or will you introduce institutional and/or course-level templates?
  • Do you have a syllabus template already established?
  • Do you find inconsistency among instructor syllabi, even if you have a current syllabus template?
  • Do you have policies you’d like to incorporate into each syllabus?


Integration and Data

  • What student information system (SIS) do you use? Learning management (LMS)? Catalog? Curriculum? Assessment? Central authentication?
  • What is the process for creating courses in the LMS each term?
  • How do you anticipate users will gain access to Concourse?



  • What’s your timeline for the implementation? Milestones?
  • What issues do you believe may arise that could keep you from meeting your implementation goals?
  • How do you anticipate training administrators and instructors?
  • How will you go about experimenting with and evaluating system functionality and implementation choices?
  • Who will support users and technical issues at your school?




In addition to the blank worksheet attached to this article are PDFs outlining how four very different institutions began the Concourse implementation process on their campus using this survey. Each institution encountered similar and different challenges during their implementations, but all ultimately have been successful. Profiles of the institutions are described first along with examples of their answers to the questions above. The Syllabus Geeks recommend that you begin by identifying which implementation best represents your demographic and what your institution wishes to accomplish with Concourse, and use the information contained in these as a model for your institution.

  • Institution A: A small college with inefficient procedures for the collection and review of course information, in need of updating their documentation, standardization, and archival of their syllabi for accreditation compliance.
  • Institution B: An institution with a substantial online delivery system in need of a way to house all syllabi for online courses in a central, easily-accessible location.
  • Institution C: A large community college with several campus locations charged with overhauling their syllabus management procedures to replace an electronic repository to be in compliance with recent state mandates regarding information availability on the web.
  • Institution D: An institution currently using a commercial online syllabus system, with procedures in place to collect and review syllabi but interested in extensively managing templates at various levels of the organization.
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