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Teaching & Learning Center: Syllabus

Use this guide as a central hub to all the Professional Development tracks CPTC has to offer

Updated Syllabus Process

Inclusive Syllabus

As an instructor, it's important to understand that the syllabus is not just a document that lists course information and expectations, but it is a crucial tool for creating a positive and inclusive learning environment for all students.  

A well-designed syllabus sets the tone for the entire course and sets the expectations for student learning and behavior. Inclusivity in the syllabus can be achieved by paying attention to several key elements. 

Accessibility: Ensure that the syllabus is accessible to all students, including those with disabilities. This can be done by using clear and simple language, providing alternative formats for students who need them, and using images and other visual aids to enhance understanding. 

Cultural Competency: Be mindful of the diverse backgrounds and experiences of your students. Avoid language or terminology that may be insensitive or offensive to certain groups. In addition, consider including a statement that promotes inclusivity and respect for diversity. 

Accommodations: Clearly state the process for requesting accommodations and any relevant policies or procedures. This helps to create a welcoming environment for students with disabilities and lets them know that they are supported. 

Active learning and engagement: Encourage students to be actively involved in their learning. Provide opportunities for students to engage with the material, interact with each other, and participate in group activities. 

Feel free to click the following image to download an Inclusive Syllabus Review Rubric:


By designing an inclusive syllabus, instructors can help to create a welcoming and supportive learning environment for all students. This not only benefits students but also contributes to a more positive and productive course experience for both students and instructors. 

For more ideas, read:

And for your reference, here is our college's commitment to inclusivity:

~ CPTC is committed to cultivating an inclusive institutional culture and campus climate by valuing diversity and promoting equitable opportunities for all. ~

And our Student Absence for Reasons of Faith or Conscience:

Students who will be absent from course activities due to reasons of faith or conscience may seek reasonable accommodations so that grades are not impacted. Such requests must be made within the first two weeks of the quarter and should follow the procedures listed on the policy webpage:

And our disability statement:

CPTC values diversity and inclusion; we are committed to fostering mutual respect and full participation for all students. My goal is to create a learning environment that is equitable, useable, inclusive, and welcoming. 
In order to ensure that the accommodations provided are reasonable and appropriate, all disability-related accommodation requests are processed through our Disability Resources for Students (DRS) Office.  If you have, or think you may have, a disability that may affect your work in this class and feel you need accommodations, contact the Disability Resource Coordinator to schedule an appointment and initiate a conversation about reasonable accommodations.  The DRS Office is located in Bldg. 17, Room 103, 253-589-5534,,
If you have already documented a disability or other condition through the CPTC DRS Office, qualified for services and would like to receive accommodations in my class, please contact DRS and request that your Letter of Accommodations be sent to me so that I will know which accommodations are necessary to support you while in my class.    

And just in case you wanted to add something about ChatGPT:

  1. It is important to remember that chatGPT and other AI tools are not a replacement for your own critical thinking and original ideas. The ultimate goal of this course and any tool used to submit work is to enhance your own learning and understanding, not to undermine it.
  2. As a college student, it is your responsibility to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. Representing work generated by artificial intelligence as one's own work is considered to be academically dishonest. This includes (a) ensuring that all work submitted for grades is your own original work, and (b) properly citing any sources thatyou use.
  3. Having AI write your paper constitutes plagiarism. If the source of the work is unclear, I may require you to meet with me to explain the ideas and your writing process.
  4. If you consult with other students on an assignment, report this in the work that you turn in. If in your code you use a library or implementation from another source, indicate that as well (minimally by including a URL in a comment). Do not generate new content with prompt-based AI tools like ChatGPT or CodePilot without permission from instructors unless specifically allowed by the assignment. (Using, for example, Grammarly as a language aid is OK.) Instructors reserve the right to request an oral explanation of answers.


Watermark Syllabus (WORK IN PROGRESS)

In order for our courses to state compliant, they need to be available on the content management system, Watermark.

We will provide a step-by-step guide on how to set up you Syllabus using the Syllabus template on Watermark SOON

Once implement, this will be the first step in updating your Syllabus.


Graphic Syllabus

Students, like most of us, judge books by their cover. Part of making a class inclusive and student-centered can mean applying what we know about visual thinking and learning to the syllabus which can act as a “front door” to the course. According to a study by Kaur (2021), students strongly preferred an infographic syllabus and described it as easy to use, memorable, organized, and engaging. Students reported reading the infographic syllabus more completely, feeling less anxious about the course and more comfortable with its requirements due to the syllabus style. The TLC at Clover Park would like to help you explore new ideas in the presentation of the syllabus.

Once we implement Watermark as the standard for syllabi, it will be very easy to copy and paste information into a more visually pleasing syllabus. 

We have included PPT and Canva links to templates below for you to fill in yourself or get inspiration to do your own. Feel free to click the text below each image to download the PPT template or edit a copy in Canva:

Connections Syllabus Template

Human Body Syllabus Template

Innovation Syllabus Template

Updated Syllabus Process (continued)

If you need help filling out your Graphic Syllabus, you can watch this step-by-step video guide and/or download the step-by-step PDF guide.

Click the image below to download the step-by-step tutorial PDF:

And here are some good readings that explain the pedagogical importance of using a Graphic Syllabus:


Liquid Syllabus (WORK IN PROGRESS)

Now that your syllabus is all set up in Watermark, the last step is to make it liquid syllabus for your Canvas homepage.

You should just be able to copy and paste the information from your Watermark Syllabus into the Canvas Homepage Template, but if you need some assistance, you can watch this step-by-step video guide and/or download the step-by-step PDF guide.

[Video coming soon]

[PDF coming soon]

And here are some good readings that explain the pedagogical importance of using a Liquid Syllabus:

Feel free to email Geoff Cain ( or Ronald Lethcoe ( if you need any help with anything Syllabus related!