20-Minute Mentors

How Can I Create Alternative Syllabi to Make My Class More Inclusive?

Transform your syllabus into an engaging, learner-focused tool that welcomes diversity, demystifies policies, and fosters a supportive environment, ensuring students feel valued and motivated to succeed.

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How Can I Create Alternative Syllabi to Make My Class More Inclusive?

The syllabus shapes students’ first perceptions of the course, offering a clear path with expectations, assignments, and policies. Yet, it can lack appeal and fall short of creating a welcoming environment that sets students up for success. Educators stress its significance by referencing it frequently, underlining its important role for both students and instructors. Despite this, many find themselves repeating “it’s in the syllabus” throughout the semester. How can we transform the syllabus into an engaging, user-friendly tool that supports every single student’s success?

In this Magna 20-Minute Mentor, Loretta Brancaccio-Taras provides several different views of what a syllabus is, who it serves, and emphasizes the importance of making syllabi learner-focused, motivating, and inclusive. In just 20 minutes, you’ll gain six successful strategies for creating an engaging, inclusive, and more impactful syllabus, including:

  • welcoming students with supportive language,
  • respecting diversity by incorporating diverse materials,
  • validating students through encouragement,
  • demystifying college policies,
  • destigmatizing support services,
  • and creating partnerships that highlight mutual responsibilities.

By implementing these strategies, educators can create a syllabus that not only communicates course details but also reflects their educational philosophy, making students feel safe, valued, and motivated to learn.

Learning Goals

After viewing this Magna 20-Minute Mentor, participants will be able to:

  • Rethink the purpose of a syllabus
  • Create a syllabus that prioritizes students
  • Integrate diverse perspectives and experiences into course materials
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of syllabus design in promoting student support and success
  • Design a syllabus that fosters collaboration and community among students and instructors

Topics Covered

  • Purpose of syllabi and the importance of syllabi design
  • Users of syllabi
  • Types of syllabi
  • Strategies to make syllabi more useful to students


This program will benefit:

  • Faculty teaching in any modality
  • Instructional Designers
  • Faculty Developers


Product Code: PM24TA

Campus Access License

With the purchase of the optional Campus Access License, registrants are granted a license to download the program contents to a password-protected network, server, or website for additional staff use. You will receive information on downloading the contents of the program within 3-5 business days after payment has been received by Magna.

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*On-demand access begins on date of purchase.

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may cancel the order within 30 days of purchase and receive a full refund.

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20-Minute Mentors

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