Call for Participants: Liquid Syllabus Pilot

Looking to spice up your syllabus for Fall 2021? Consider going digital with a liquid syllabus! CATL is looking for instructors to pilot our liquid syllabus Canvas template. A liquid syllabus is a media-rich, web-friendly syllabus written in welcoming, student-centered language. Our template takes these elements into consideration and packages them conveniently in Canvas’s built-in Syllabus page.

The Fall 2021 pilot is over, however, you can still request that the template be added to one of your courses! Simply email with a link to your course(s) and we will import the template and provide you with some support documentation.


What does the template look like?

You can view the basic, unfilled template here.

Does the liquid syllabus template meet the University’s requirements for a syllabus?

Yes, the template meets all the requirements on the University’s syllabus checklist.

If I sign up for the template, do I have to use it?

If you have the template added to your instructional course and decide not to use it, simply delete the content on the page or hide the Syllabus page in your course navigation. You can also request that the template be imported into a sandbox course if you want to experiment in a non-instructional course.

How do I get access to the template?

When you contact us, we will ask you to provide a link to the instructional course or sandbox course you’d like the template added to. A CATL member will import the template into the Syllabus page of your Canvas course and then email you to notify you when it’s ready to use.

Can I change, add, or delete parts of the template?

Certainly! In fact, we highly encourage you to make the template your own. Our language is there as an example, but it will mean more to your students if your messages are customized. After making changes, we encourage you to check your template against the University’s syllabus guidelines to ensure that your final product still meets all standards.

I need a PDF or print version of my syllabus—what should I do?

We will include instructions on how to save your syllabus as a PDF when you sign up, but the short version is that in your browser you can right-click on the body of your Syllabus page, select “Print”, and then change the printer destination to “Save As PDF”.

How can I learn more about liquid syllabi or this template?

Our blog post on liquid syllabi is a great introduction to the concept if you want to learn more before you sign up. We also have a session recording where we go through our liquid syllabus template and explain each section in detail. As always, feel free to email us at if you have more questions.

Make Interactive Videos by Joining the PlayPosit Pilot

If you are using video to share content, then you may want to join our PlayPosit pilot. If more engaging video is something you are considering, check out our blog post on the topic here.

PlayPosit is an interactive video platform that allows you to seamlessly integrate polls, quizzes, discussion boards, and notetaking right in your video. You can also use the tool to share and respond to documents, both individually and as a class, or for students to create their own presentations.

Plus, PlayPosit can be used during synchronous video classes to engage students in comprehension checks regardless of their location.

But don’t take our word for it.

Deb Pearson, Associate Professor of Chemistry, participated in the pilot during the Fall 2020 semester and will be participating again in Spring 2021. She shared:

If our campus is piloting this play posit how do I help make sure that we keep this tool as a campus? I think it is one of the best things to come along to aid in student learning in a long time and this is what my students have been telling me.

Jolanda Sallmann, Associate Professor of Social Work, also participated in the pilot during the Fall 2020 semester and shared her impressions of the tool in a short vlog.

For more information on the PlayPosit tool, please contact