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Las Positas College


A syllabus makes a powerful impression. It can put a student’s mind at ease or create fear and stress, which has the potential to impede learning, particularly for students from marginalized communities. How your students receive your syllabus and are able to engage with it can affect whether or not they are successful in your class.  

Creating a learning-centered, syllabus will assist you and your class with getting off to a great start. The “traditional” syllabus often includes language that is harsh and punitive, which can feel intimidating to students, and even instill fear.  The style of a syllabus can be off-putting, especially where words are in caps, bold-face, and highlighted in red. 

For example:


The learning-centered syllabus, however, is warm and invites students to interact with the instructor. Using language that is welcoming and positive communicates that the instructor believes the student can successfully complete the course.

Rephrasing the above example:

"Missed quizzes cannot be made up because there are only 10 questions, and you have an entire week to complete them. If life gets in the way and you happen to miss a quiz, you can always submit one of the extra-credit assignments to make up those missing points."

View/download a model syllabus for an online course.

Log of changes to model syllabus

November 6, 2023:

  • Changed the link to the new LGBTQ+ web page in the section titled What Our Course Experience Will Be.

August 11, 2023:

  • Changed the section title Course Environment to What Our Course Experience Will Be.
  • Updated verbiage and links in the above section.
  • Added section titled Safety Resources on Campus.

May 17, 2023:

  • Added sentence in Academic Integrity section about artificial intelligence detector.

January 10, 2023:

  • Added placeholder for Zoom link to office hours

November 30, 2022:

  • Added section titled Course Environment

September 16, 2022:

  • Removed references to ConferZoom.

February 9, 2022:

  • Added section titled Student Rights and Responsibilities

February 3, 2022:

  • Added Pronto under Contact Info.
  • Removed the sentence about activities in the Modules section.


January 5, 2022:

  • Added info on the LPC Tutoring/RAW link to the Online Tutoring section.

November 22, 2021:

  • Added this sentence in the first paragraph under My Role:  Make sure you set your Canvas notification setting for Submission Comment (go to Account, click Notifications) to Notify Immediately so you will know when I comment on your submissions. 
  • Divided the My Role section into three paragraphs from two to increase readability.


March 23, 2021:

  • Under the Online Tutoring section, added instructions on how student get to the Student Support Hub in Canvas.


March 22, 2021:

  • Revised the Online Tutoring section  to reflect the addition of the Penji app.

January 21, 2021:

  • Added "a grade and" so sentence reads: I will try my best to give you a grade and necessary feedback within a week.

January 20, 2021:

  • Added "and other course supplies" to Textbooks section.
  • Added "You can also view the LPC Student Conduct and Due Process site." to the paragraph on Netiquette.
  • Added percentages to grading scale.
  • Replaced link to LPC Student Conduct Code with link to LPC Student Conduct Code Definitions.
  • Reformatted Dates to Know section and added placeholders for dates to final exam and deadline to apply for federal finanical aid.