The Liquid Syllabus: Welcoming Online Students at the Front Door

Session 5: 8:30–10:00 AM, Zoom Room 7


Providing a syllabus to students on the first day of class is a common practice in adult education classes. However, many syllabi tend to be dry documents that inadvertently project a cold, unwelcoming, or even intimidating message to students. This is even more problematic in an online environment, where students do not get to interact face-to-face with their instructor. In this session, the presenter will demonstrate how to use Google Sites to create a mobile-friendly liquid syllabus. A liquid syllabus is a fully accessible, public website that incorporates a friendly welcome video and course information written in warm, student-centered language. The presenter will discuss how to develop a liquid syllabus using Google Sites, and will illustrate how to use the various tools in Sites to make a positive first impression on students by communicating the instructor’s teaching philosophy, conveying information about expectations, informing students of available student support services, providing advice for managing stress and one's mental health, giving tips for studying and test preparation, and by incorporating images to illustrate key ideas and engage the affective domain of learning. Ensuring that the content is accessible will also be discussed. Participants will leave the session with a clear understanding of the benefits of a liquid syllabus, and they will gain the tools necessary to begin crafting their own equity-minded and welcoming syllabus using Google Sites.


Rita Van Dyke-Kao

Rancho Santiago Community College District, Santiago Canyon College Division of Continuing Education

Type of Presentation

Demonstration (90 minute)



Program Strands

  • All

Category Strands

  • Blended Learning
  • Distance Learning
  • Technology Integration
  • Digital Equity and Access