How to Create Your Own Liquid Syllabus Using @ONE's Google Sites Template
Who May Adopt This Template?
You may adopt this syllabus if you are actively registered in the @ONE course, Equity & Culturally Responsive Teaching in the Online Environment. We are unable to provide copies to individuals who are not enrolled in the course, as it is a manual copy process. Thank you for understanding!
Why a Liquid Syllabus?
In the United States, more college-age students own smartphones than computers and in low income households, smartphone ownership is even more ubiquitous (Pew Research Center, 2018). Website creation tools, like Google Sites, enable us to create digital materials that are mobile-friendly and offer a multi-modal user experience.
Creating a liquid syllabus using Google Sites will increase your students' access to the essential information about your course in a format designed to support mobile devices.
- Include the essentials. The liquid syllabus isn't intended to replicate all of your syllabus content, just the things students need to know right off the bat. Use the Syllabus page in Canvas to provide students with complete syllabus content.
- Use it to increase pre-course contact. Include a link to your liquid syllabus in your welcome letter and students will have instant access to it without needing to sign into Canvas!
- Create a sense of belonging. Include a friendly, captioned welcome video (from your YouTube account) to greet your students and get them excited about what they will learn.
What You Will Need:
Use this site as a guide to adopt @ONE's liquid syllabus template. To use Google Sites, you will need:
Follow the Steps Below to Adopt the @ONE Liquid Syllabus Template
- View the syllabus template. Peruse the pages by selecting the links in the left-hand navigation menu or by using the buttons at the bottom of the pages. Take note of the prompts to add links, photos, and the use of "dummy text" throughout. This template gives you a basic starting point for your syllabus. You are free to change any of it!
View the brief video above for a demo of Step 3.
3. Duplicate Your New Site (the template)
Within 24-48 hours, you will receive an email notification that a copy of the template Site has been shared with you. You have edit access to the copy but you are not the Site's Owner, which is important if you plan to use the site as your course syllabus.
Follow the steps below to create a duplicate the site template and be its owner.
- Log into your Google Drive.
- On the left site, select "Shared with Me."
- Locate and select the site titled, "Duplicate This Site Before Editing It."
- When the site opens, click on the "More" icon next to the Publish button in the upper right corner.
- From the dropdown menu, select "Duplicate Site."
- Give the new site a unique name (i.e. English 1A Syllabus) and select OK.
- When the duplicated site is created, you'll see a notification at the bottom. Select "Open" to open your new site.
- Select the "Share with others" icon next to the Publish button. You will see that you are now the Owner of your new site. Whoo hoo!
- It is a good idea to remove yourself from the share settings of the original site so you don't accidentally edit it and share it with your students.
- You may now proceed to the editing step!
4. Edit Your Duplicated Site (your liquid syllabus)
To edit your site, click the Pencil icon in the lower right corner (Reminder: Check the site name in the upper left corner to be sure you are editing the duplicated site with your revised site title).
- Edit the existing text on each page, replace/add your own images.
- Add a file from your Google Drive, a captioned YouTube video, and more.
Need help with images?
- Check out Unsplash.com for beautiful, hi-res images you may use without attribution.
- View a list of more free, openly licensed image repositories.
- Would you like to add your own image to the header? This is actually trickier than it seems! We recommend that you check out this helpful post by Alice Keeler -- and make a copy of her Google Sites header template that you can use to help place your header image.
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5. Make it Accessible to Everyone
Keep these tips to ensure your site can be accessed by all your students:
- Embed YouTube videos that have accurate captions.
- Include alt-text for images, check for high color contrast, use informative link text, use numbered and bulleted lists, and use headings to organize your site.
- If your image has no instructional value, select the "Decorative Image" box in the the alt-text window.
- Use bulleted or numbered lists where appropriate.
- Apply text styles (Title, Heading, Subheading) to designate hierarchy of your content.
6. Publish & Share Your Site
You've done so much work on your site! But guess what? Nobody will see the changes you've made until you Publish your site and adjust your Sharing Options. And, by the way, this is true for all future changes you make too. Say it with us folks, "If you make an edit, be sure to Publish."
When you publish your site the first time, you'll be prompted to enter a "Web address" for your site. Keep it as short as possible. The address you enter will comprise the suffix of your site's URL (for this site, we entered mobile syllabus).
Tip! Select "Anyone on the web" and "Can view" in the sharing options to ensure your students will have access to your syllabus.
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7. Copy the (Correct) Link to Your Site
It's very important that you give the right link to your students. Be sure to copy the link to the published site, as opposed to the edit view you are working in (this is a very common mistake).
- Select the arrow next to the blue Publish button.
- Select View published site.
- Your site opens in a new tab/window. Copy the URL at the top of that page. That's the link you can include in your welcome email to your online students and in your Canvas course.
Tip! Access your Site through Google Drive
Google Drive is your portal to access all of your Google Docs, Slides, Sites, etc. If you don't have the link to your site handy, here is how to access it.
- Log into Google Drive using your Google Account credentials.
- Select "Shared with Me" in the left column.
- Then locate your new Google Site and select it.