Syllabus Makeover Challenge (Part 2 - Visual)

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This is part 2 of a two-part workshop. Having a standard syllabus is essential. If you haven't taken part 1 yet, consider registering for part 1 to create a standard (accessible) syllabus before you create a visual syllabus.

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Create a visual syllabus and syllabus activity.


  1. Create a syllabus activity for your class.
  2. Create a visual syllabus.
  3. Add your syllabus to Laulima to make it accessible to students.
  4. Optional: Create a self-introduction video.

You can earn the "Visual Syllabus Creator" badge of achievement if you successfully complete the workshop's objectives and implement your visual syllabus in your class.


Creating a course syllabus and making it available to students is an essential instructional responsibility. Often, the syllabus gives students the first impression about what to expect from a course. A syllabus outlines a course's organization, goals, requirements, policies, expectations, etc. (but is not intended to be used to outline details of the entire course). How can we add value to our syllabi and create value for students to use syllabi? One way is to create a visual syllabus and pair it with an interactive activity to help your students learn about the course requirements and get them excited about what they will learn. Your challenge is to give your syllabus a "makeover" into a visual syllabus that can be used with a fun activity.

Why a "visual syllabus"?

A visual syllabus is not only more visually appealing, but it can be designed to also help students make better meaning from it (when there's more than just text), draw connections with course concepts, be used as a resource throughout the semester, and get them excited about what they will be learning. Furthermore, a syllabus activity with your students can further engage them with the syllabus contents and help them to find value in the syllabus.

Pair-share activity

Brainstorm some possible ideas for a syllabus activity you'd like to try. Or if you have a good activity you do already, could it be further enhanced? How could you create a visual syllabus to aid in your syllabus activity? How could you create a visual syllabus that can be more purposeful for your students? How could you create a visual syllabus that students could use throughout the semester? Any particular features you'd need to include? Share your ideas with your group for feedback and decide on a syllabus activity. Keep this in mind as you create/design your syllabus.

Create a "visual" syllabus

Now the fun part! To make your visual syllabus, we recommend using our visual syllabus template (Google Slides) where it's easy to move around objects and the basic parts are already laid out for you. Include the ideas you had for your syllabus activity into the design of your visual syllabus. Additionally, here are seven ways to make your syllabus more relevant.

Visual Syllabus Template

Alternatively, you may also want to visit the Syllabus Artifacts page to view instructors' syllabi as examples for ideas.

Make your syllabus available to students

Including your syllabus in your Laulima course sites will make it available for students throughout the semester. Consider also emailing it (or sending it as an announcement in Laulima) to your students a week before the semester starts.

  1. In your standard syllabus Google Doc, click the Share button.
  2. Click Get link.
  3. By default Google Docs are private. It should say "Restricted." Click on the dropdown arrow and select "Anyone with the link." The default will be "Viewer."
  4. Click Copy link.
  5. Click Done.
  6. Using the copied link, hyperlink the text in the footer of your Google Doc. (This way if students are reading your syllabus as an embedded document in Laulima or your website, they can click the link to open your document in full-screen in Google Docs to also download or print.)

Option 1: Laulima Syllabus Tool

Note: If you already did this for the standard syllabus, skip to step 6.

Log into Laulima and click into your desired course site. To add the Syllabus tool:

  1. Click on the Site Info tool in the left menu.
  2. Click on the Manage Tools tab.
  3. In the list of tools, checkmark "Syllabus."
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Click Finish.
  6. Now you'll see the Syllabus tool added to the left menu. Click on it to go into the Syllabus tool and click on the Add Item tab.
    1. Type a title such as, "Visual Syllabus."
    2. In the content box, type something such as, "View, download, or print the visual syllabus (Google Docs)." Highlight the text "visual syllabus" and click the insert hyperlink button.
    3. Paste the share link of your Google Doc you just copied in the URL box. Click the "Target" tab and choose to have the link open in a “New Window (_blank).”

Option 2: Laulima Lessons Tool

Note: If you already did this for the standard syllabus, skip to step 2.4 below.

This option is ideal for embedding your Google Doc and including a question type for students to mark if they have read and/or understood the syllabus.

  1. Add the "Lessons" tool to your Laulima course site.
    1. Click on Site InfoManage Tools and checkmark "Lessons."
    2. Click Continue.
    3. In the "Title" box, type "Syllabus."
    4. Click Continue.
    5. Click Finish.
  2. Go to your newly created Lessons page in the left menu.
    1. Select the Add Content button and choose Add Text so you can type a title, for instance, "Syllabus," on your page.
    2. Select "Heading 1" from the "Format" menu in the toolbar and type a title for your page. Click Save.
    3. If you want to add a question type for reading and/or understanding the syllabus, select the Add Content button again and choose "Add Question". Fill out the form.
    4. Now to embed the syllabus Google Doc, select the Add Content button again and select "Embed content on page."
    5. Paste the URL of your shared Google Doc into the textbox.
    6. Select Try Alternative.
    7. Select Done.

Apply for the "Visual Syllabus Creator" badge

Successful completion of this workshop for a badge of accomplishment includes accomplishing the workshop's objectives, sharing your visual syllabus, and implementing a syllabus activity with your students. When you're ready, apply for the "Visual Syllabus Creator" badge.

Apply for badge



See instructors’ artifacts, share your own artifact by emailing, or apply for a badge of achievement.

View instructor artifacts  Apply for badge of achievement