[jingle playing]

OTAN-- Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.

Mariana Silva: Good morning, everyone. Can y'all hear me well?

Ryan: Yeah, it's very good sound. Thank you.

Mariana Silva: Wonderful. Thank you, Ryan. Thank you for sharing that with me. Good morning. My name is Mariana Silva. And welcome to the liquid syllabus presentation. I prepared this with my colleague Hillary Hartman. But unfortunately, she's not here today. She's not feeling well-- I think all these viruses going around. So both Hillary and I worked on this presentation. So I hope you will get to learn something new or maybe refresh some of your ideas.

This liquid syllabus-- if you don't know what it is, we're going to walk through it and learn why it's such a great, crucial equitable tool to try to reach all of our students. So thank you for being here today.

Oh, I'm Sorry. I move too quickly through the slides. So you can use the QR code on the board or the link if you'd like to access the presentation. I'll show that at the end, too, for the late-comers. So let me know if they're working. I tested them, and they were working. So hopefully they are working for you as well.

We have only one in-person actively here, Ellie, who is actually monitoring the chat. So if you have questions, you're welcome to put them there or-- we're a very small group, so you're welcome to just--

Ellie: Shout it out.

Mariana Silva: --address the question. Just let us know and unmute. And I'm happy to answer to the best of my abilities, right? So thank you.

So let's do a little word map. If you could either scan the QR code or go to menti.com-- and we have a voting code there. And if you can answer two questions-- I'll go ahead and start this in a moment, yes? So there are two questions. What does an equity-minded syllabus look like? And number two, what format or tools do you use to create your liquid syllabus? So I'll start this voting tool here in a moment. Good morning.

Audience: Good morning.


Mariana Silva: Ladies.

Audience: Agreed.

Ellie: No worries. Thank you for being here.


Are you able to see that? Please let me know if things are working well.

Audience: May I see the QR code again, please?

Mariana Silva: Yes, yes.

Audience: Thank you.


Mariana Silva: Good morning.

Audience: Thank you so much.

Mariana Silva: Is it working? Yes? Thank you so much.

Audience: Yes.

Mariana Silva: I think this one, too, in case you want to use this for the slides.


Oh, I'm sorry. We had these QR codes here for my in-person attendees. This one may not work. We did this one back on Google Slides. So I have the updated one there. So I'll go back there to share with you. And I didn't get to print again. So I'm sorry.

Audience: Oh.

Mariana Silva: But for the rest, you can take notes or-- yeah.

Audience: [ INAUDIBLE ]

Mariana Silva: How is the Mentimeter going?

Audience: Good.

Audience: Good.

Audience: One word per space?

Mariana Silva: Yes, but I think you can enter more the way I chose it. So what does an equity-minded syllabus look like? "Considers the diversity," "facilitates learning." I love that. I see the word "welcoming" in the center, "friendly." It's hard to read, right, because it keeps moving. "Warm," "welcome" "from teacher," "accessible," "clear," "encouraging," ensure-- "unsure." OK.


"Inviting," "creative," "scaffolded," "attractive." I love that. "Friendly," "simple." Thank you. So let's see-- let me move to the second one. Let me see if can see all these zone tools here. OK. Maybe if I switch this [ INAUDIBLE ] There's another question for you. What format or tools do you use to create your syllabus? [ INAUDIBLE ] just [ INAUDIBLE ]

So let's see some of the results. "Word," "Google Sites--" very good-- "source, "Canvas." Canvas-- I wonder how maybe you can share more how you use Canvas to create your syllabus-- or maybe just the Canvas--

Audience: They have templates.

Audience: Canva.

Audience: Canva, yeah.

Mariana Silva: Canva?

Audience: Mm.

Mariana Silva: Oh, Canva. Canva.

Audience: Maybe it was Canva.

Mariana Silva: Canva. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Canva.

Audience: Or maybe Canvas.

Mariana Silva: That's right. So Canvas-- so yeah, Canva and this Google Docs. OK. So variety of tools here. All right.

So we can cover some of them. And you can share others that you use and how they work well for you-- or they may not work. Some of them have limitations, right? OK. So thank you for sharing your ideas.

All right. So why do we do these liquids syllabus-- paying attention to quality or to equity? Obviously the latter one, right? I was reading how equality could work sometimes, right, if everybody start at the same place and everybody has the same needs. But how often does that happen, right?

Audience: Never.

Mariana Silva: And equity-- I was thinking about Dr. Betters-- what she was saying yesterday. Equity is shoes-- or feeding and shoes, right? Like, if you give somebody the wrong pair of shoes, you are not doing any service to that person, right-- so giving everyone what they need to be successful. And I think you're familiar with that image-- that it's better than even explaining, right, what it is.

I mentioned earlier how I created this presentation with my colleague Hillary. But unfortunately, she's not able to be here. We gathered a lot of these ideas from some of our F1 courses, specifically the humanizing online curriculum-- or online-- I'm sorry-- course with Michelle Pacansky-Brock. And we were looking at some ideas of belonging versus fitting in. A lot of students feel like they need to fit in, right, they need to change who they are-- their true self-- to fit in. That could be the humanizing-- and very stressful if that happens continuously, right?

How about belonging? You belong here, I believe in you, you've got this-- really valuing students, trying to meet their needs. And stop presuming, yeah, who they are. That quote-- it says, it is not uncommon for students to complain that faculty are unapproachable while faculty complain that students are not engaged, right? How often do we do that-- or, they're not coming to class, or, they don't care about my course, right?

Such perceptions, especially when formed at the start of the semester, can impact what students learn and how instructors teach. Therefore, it is critical that these perceptions are prevented if a course is to be successful. So why start with this syllabus? Because it creates that warm, welcoming environment.

And Michelle here was sharing how syllabi often send cues of distrust and hostility-- you need to do this, come to my office hours. These two-- no more, right? But those positive relationships emerge from trust. Dr. Betters talked about trust a lot yesterday.

So you joined this session, right? So hopefully we'll get to meet all the objectives-- recognizing the benefits of an equity-minded syllabus and other things that pretty much answer the question why; identify equity levels and student success factors; reflect on identities and create a class pact in your syllabus; incorporate equity and culturally relevant pedagogies; and design an equity-minded syllabus. Obviously some of you probably already have designed a syllabus using all those great tools, but hopefully you'll learn something new today. Or maybe you'll refresh your mind on some other ideas that--

Audience: I want to find out about that class pact. That sounds cool.

Mariana Silva: OK. Thank you. What's your name?

Audience: Francisco. I'm with LA Unified.

Mariana Silva: Francisco. Thank you. I can see that "LAUSD" on your computer.

Audience: Oh.


Mariana Silva: So thank you, Francisco.

Audience: Yeah. Yeah, cool.

Mariana Silva: [ INAUDIBLE ] OK?

[interposing voices]

Audience: Thank you.

Audience: [ INAUDIBLE ]

Audience: Very motivated [ INAUDIBLE ]

Mariana Silva: Your students use their phones to access the course content. A lot of them, right? And based on this graph, they're more Black and Hispanic students. Percentages are higher for these students due to low income maybe or different disservices that the society has caused for them, right? So we have to keep in mind when we design our syllabus who our students are.

So why a liquid syllabus? It's an online interactive tool. It's easy to edit. It may take longer when you first design it. I was talking to Ellie earlier. And I felt the same. [ INAUDIBLE ] correct again. Yet, it's easy to edit. So you put more effort first, and then it becomes easy.

It's tablet- and phone-friendly. Related to what we were discussing previously, it's accessible. You can use the alt text, color contrast, good headings, subheadings. You can link it to Canvas and make it more visually appealing for your students-- not just the link, right? You can reduce cognitive load by using tabs and pages-- not everything in one. So nice design. And it creates a welcoming, caring environment.

I'm going to play this video from Michelle. Let me make sure I have the sound shared. Yes, we do. OK. It's a short video.

[video playback]

- I know what you're thinking-- I have a syllabus. I worked really--

[end playback]

[video playback]

--hard on it. So why should I take the time to also create a liquid syllabus? And what does that mean, anyway? After all, I already have my syllabus online in the form of a PDF. And I know all my students can access it in Canvas.

But folks, the thing is, when your syllabus is behind a login screen, it may be tough for students to get to it from their phone. And no matter how lovely it looks on a computer, reading it on a mobile device is tough. The information in that syllabus is important, right?

The bottom line is, when we use tools designed for print products, they don't result in mobile-friendly experiences. And that's not good for our students. How might things change if you used a website tool, like Google Sites or WordPress, to create a liquid version of your syllabus?

For just a moment, imagine being a student. It's the start of your first semester in college. And the week before class starts, you check your email. And you get a friendly welcome message from your sociology instructor. It includes a button at the bottom to check the syllabus. You tap that button with your finger. And instantly, you go to a syllabus that's easy to read and experience with the swipe of your finger. And you also discover something pretty special at the top.

[music playing]

- Hi, scholars. My name is Katie Whitman Conklin. And I'm going to be your instructor this semester. A little bit about me-- I lived in the Central Valley of California for a lot of years with my husband and children while he was stationed there with the Navy. And when he retired, we moved to Northern Idaho, where we now live with our kids on a family ranch.

- You think to yourself, hey, I'm going to love this class. I can't wait to get started. But you know what? That's not the only benefit of a liquid syllabus. Since it lives on the web, it's shareable with a simple link. That means you can place that link in as many other places as you'd like.

How about adding it next to your course description in your college's class schedule, or on your profile page on your college website, or a link on your own professional website? And you know what can really help promote your course and encourage more students to enroll? That's right. Share it on Twitter.

When we design with web tools, we create mobile-friendly content that supports our students in so many ways. It also lets them know we care.

[end playback]

Mariana Silva: So hopefully that says a lot, even better than my sales pitch here, right, I guess. OK. So cultivating care can start right there, right, as Michelle was saying, with that warm welcome.

Syllabus is a great resource. We want students to know what we expect from them. But also, you can set the tone of your class. First impressions matter, right? A lot of students, I think, based on research, drop at the beginning of the class. And I don't even remember the numbers, but they do, right? They don't feel a connection. They have busy lives. We teach adults, right? They're not schoolchildren that have to keep going, right, where they have no choice.

Perception of an instructor being approachable led to higher rates of motivation, engagement, and active involvement, based on the research-- 2001. Now, things may have fluctuated, right, with the pandemic and everything else. But a warm and caring presence is what truly matters.

I remember my daughter's school-- I was saying, what makes this teacher so great, because everybody was talking about this particular teacher. And they said, she's just so sweet and caring. So yeah, you have the expertise. We all do. That's why we are in this profession. Yet, that passion carries over.

As I teach at MiraCosta, I wanted to show you a little bit on how equity-- what equity looks like in our school. So if we go through the bullet points-- start at the top, right? We have a new position of an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility officer. So this is a fairly new position we started. And this person is trying to be in different spaces, and collaborate with different committees, and make an impact on how students' experiences at MiraCosta are.

We also have the Diversity, Equity, and Cultural Competency Committee that puts together conferences and workshops for new full-time faculty when they come on board. We have a Social Justice & Equity Center. We also have some SAFE topics and Equity Online-- different workshops that some of our faculty put together. District-wide webinars-- we invite keynote speakers that address that equity piece.

We got a lot of those during the pandemic-- again, how we can create more equitable, inclusive spaces for our students. We redesigned the college mission and goals to foster that equity. And you see how it's coming down to, in class, what do you do to ensure that equity piece is continuing-- showing respect, value; acknowledging students; showing empathy, care, and humility.

Based on research, there are six main student success factors. Students can-- directed, focused, nurtured, engaged, connected, and valued. I was talking to Ellie yesterday. She was the first person who walked in.

And we were talking about how we feel like our students are our children, right? We nurture them. We value them. And I think the humility piece says so much to me. And I really, really connect with the students in the most genuine way.

We saw that data about how many of our Black students and Latinx students use mobile phones, right? So how do we close those achievement gaps? We have to model what we're, MiraCosta, is trying to model. I'm not saying we're perfect, but we're making strides, right?

Trying to meet the equity personal levels, right-- we all have biases, stereotypes, privileges. So I have some things later on that-- two different [ INAUDIBLE ] surveys of your biases. It's interesting to take those to kind of reflect on yourself and try to be a more equitable instructor.

At the institutional level, we just got the label of Hispanic-Serving Institution. I'm so happy we finally-- I shouldn't say "label," right? But we've finally being recognized like that. And I think this should have happened so long ago. But again, we're making efforts into closing those achievement gaps and serving-- being proud of serving all these students.

And at a professional level, we are here to learn from each other, right, and learn about our experiences. And if I hear how you better serve your students, I want to go ahead and implement those ways, too. Because again, we come from a culture of care for our student and try our best to help them succeed.

So a lot of times, identities may not be the same with the perspectives. Many times, we think of students as at-risk. And Dr. Victor Rios is encouraging us to change that perspective from "at-risk" to "at-promise."

I really liked his speech. I'll play a little bit of it. But basically, he shares how his teacher was there for him no matter what. And he was not ready in the beginning, but the teacher kept persisting. She showed a lot of caring, respect, welcomed him. The teacher listened to him.

And he makes a point, "my teacher cared about me and my culture--" so again, valuing, nurturing, listening to our students. We don't know everything, right? We learn a lot of cultural aspects every single day. So empower your students. Believe in their potential so they can succeed.

So Dr. Victor Rios-- I'll let you play that video at your leisure because I don't want to take up too much of your time and allow time for discussion, too. So I would-- Dr. Victor Rios is encouraging us to get rid of our deficit perspective in education. Everybody's here to succeed. We have students sometimes who are illiterate. That doesn't say that they cannot succeed. Value students' stories, cultures, and communities that the students bring in. And provide resources.

I'm sorry. At the bottom, I can't see the quote there. But he says, "when you teach from the heart, your mind will follow." And I think a lot of times that could be applied in different jobs that people may have. I remember working at the Marriott.

And I asked my boss, why did you hire me? I feel like I'm not really ready for this. And she said, you just have the passion of serving and helping people. So I said, oh, OK, all right. So I guess I could go forward.

Again, from Dr. Victor Rios-- the statement is, the "teacher believed in me so much that she tricked me into believing in myself."

Audience: [laughs]

Mariana Silva: It's, yeah, Kristie got teary eyes, right? What a powerful statement, right? And a lot-- how often do your students feel like that, right? They come thinking, but I can't. I'm not sure how to present this. I don't speak enough. Or how do they say-- my English is not very good. I'm like, you are a level six.


Yes, you have some-- so again, changing that mindset, their mindset, and helping them to believe and gain that self-confidence, believe in themselves.

Audience: And Mariana, I think sometimes the adult education practitioners-- we're the only positive force for students. And so they really latch on to that. So I just-- sometimes I'm having a bad day. I just put that aside and try to be there for them. And it's a challenge to manage all of that. But you have to watch this video. It's amazing. If you haven't seen it, it's a great message.

Mariana Silva: Yeah, I agree. Thank you for mentioning that, Kristie. As you know, some of our students actually come to school. And that's the only place they can let their true self out, right, or share. And then they connect with us, as Kristie was saying. Sometimes we're like they're counselors, right? They trust us so much. But you have to build that relationship to get the trust, right?

So again, comparing our assumptions sometimes with the realities-- the availability of programs equals students' ability to access them. Well, not for everybody, including for me. I grew up in Romania. I came here. And the teacher was talking back then about Blackboard. And I was the only one with my hand out.

I was like, I don't know what Blackboard is. And everybody was looking at me. Luckily, I had enough language to speak that. And I went, uh. But students are not-- they don't know about the support services programs we have. We have to bring them-- to let them know about what we have.

Another assumption-- students will seek support if they need it. Well, not everybody, right? Or they may not know where to find it. And some students are reluctant to seek help, even when they know they need it

I had a student who, last term, said-- she came during break time to share with me, thank you for sharing about the health care, and especially mental health. She said, I was about to just quit school. And that was just day one of school that she already felt like she needs to come back because of the resources that we had.

Another assumption-- providing general information and advice is sufficient to aid students. Well, they need that personalized guidance from us. They need to build that relationship with us to move forward. .

So Francisco is curious about the class pact. So again, these are different pieces that answer the question, why we need a liquid syllabus, how to work around equity, and why equity is important. So in my syllabus, I included this class pact. I learned-- you will see in the resources I learned about this from different instructors.

Now, it depends what class you're taking-- what level, right? So some could be more elaborate. I teach level six. So this has worked well with my students. My colleague, who teaches level three, reduced it a little bit.

You can also have the students build this with you. So you may create something in advance and then re-edit your schedule.

Audience: I like that idea--

Mariana Silva: Right?

Audience: --that the students build it with you.

Audience: Mm-hmm.

Mariana Silva: Yeah. yeah. And a lot of students do that as you talk to them in the beginning about community guidelines, right, and expectations. So providing students with clear and an organized course, offering a variety of assignments, being present in the students' learning journey by giving them good feedback-- timely feedback, I should say.

Provide that supportive and safe environment, starting with a good syllabus-- a warm, welcoming syllabus. Reach out to students if you see that they're not participating. And again, don't assume that they're not there because they don't want to be there, right?

I will treat you with dignity and respect, right? I like to be, like, directly to the students, I will do this for you, instead-- to the student that is, like, a little bit detached. And I love this one. I laugh-- uh-oh. Sorry. [laughs] I laugh with my students about this one-- I will not be perfect.

Audience: That's my favorite one.

Audience: Yep.


I tell my kids that, too.


Mariana Silva: So lovely. And we always laugh about it because I'm like, sorry if you thought I'm superwoman, I am not, right? And then, later, if there is a problem in Canvas-- they cannot access the link. Or maybe I forgot to publish something that I thought I did. All those things students feel more encouraged to tell me. They feel like they can approach me, right?

Audience: They become problem solvers, too.

Mariana Silva: Yeah. And then [ INAUDIBLE ] Remember I told you, I was not perfect. And we laugh about it throughout. So it's very important. So now the class pact for the student. So basically, I told the students, what I-- what you expect from me I should expect from you, right?

Audience: Yeah, yeah.

Mariana Silva: So we want them to be active in our classes, communicate with us. Let me know. Just as you let your boss know that you can't be at work, that's why-- I care about you. I need to know, right? Treating everybody with dignity and respect. Do your best. And have patience with acknowledge.

My colleague here, Chris, always says, give yourself grace, right? You need to have patience with technology. And we're not experts. Ellie was saying how she usually asks students who is more tech savvy, right? And then we get that help from them. And not only that, but they feel valued.

Audience: Yeah.

Audience: They do.

Mariana Silva: They feel empowered. Help the teacher. We do that as adults, right? We all do that. We all like to be useful to others, right?

Audience: Yes.

Mariana Silva: And yeah, give yourself grace. It's OK to make mistakes. And [ INAUDIBLE ] Francisco. Do you want to add anything else to this? They usually feel like it's a lot, but some students sometimes-- is building backdrop before they add more. So.

Ellie: Mariana.

Mariana Silva: Yes?

Ellie: Lois Rhodes is asking, may we plagiarize these pacts?


Mariana Silva: Right? OK. So usually, educators are like that. They want to share because the more we--

Ellie: We can always paraphrase. Correct.

Mariana Silva: Right? And we can--

Audience: [ INAUDIBLE ]

Mariana Silva: Absolutely. And I think most of us added those anyway for our own groups of students. Absolutely. Probably, I wouldn't to use the word "grace" with my level two or so, right? They may say, like, what grace? Right? I don't know. Absolutely, yes. And you have access to my liquid syllabus. So you can copy anything. You're welcome to. No copyright violated. [laughs]

So we already talked about this, right? Whose job is equity? Everybody's, right? I am part of the Diversity, Equity, and Cultural Competence Committee at MiraCosta. And sometimes, they just look at us like we're the leaders. Well, I'm no expert. We all try to learn from others, read, inform ourselves. So it's everybody's responsibility.

Audience: How do we join?


Mariana Silva: How do you join? Oh, I can show you how you can join. We actually have a little course. So you can probably join that. But it's always work-in-progress, the Canvas courses.

Audience: Alpro has the equity--

Mariana Silva: Yes.

Audience: --modules coming out. And they're piloting the online course.

Audience: OK.

Audience: Let me know.

Mariana Silva: So how do we embrace students' culture and become culturally responsive? Showing a lot of attributes of caring-- we've already discussed about some of those attributes of respect, honor, integrity, making sure that the marginalized students are treated just as everybody else, right?

Everyone has the potential to succeed. I don't just say it, but I believe in it. And students can connect with that, right? Teacher modeling these values, too-- as patient, being patient, persistent, and responsible.

One of my favorite ones is this one from Geneva Gay. "Teachers are tenacious in their efforts to make information taught more understandable to them--" and also presenting the material in different modalities, right, and using multimedia, and so on. Caring also prompts effort and achievement. Let the students know they're not alone. You're part of the journey. We are doing this, right?

My favorite one is, tell your story. Dr. Betters was talking about that-- to be vulnerable-- if you attended the keynote yesterday. Right? I think sometimes it's harder, right, to be vulnerable. But maybe have a little video in your syllabus that talks a little bit about you. Katrina was sharing how she taught English in China, right, and then in Mexico, too, right?

Audience: Well, I was a student in Mexico. So it's just kind of like, I've been a student [ INAUDIBLE ]

Mariana Silva: And the students can relate to that in the sense that you have a broader experience and-- being in different countries, being exposed to different cultures, and valuing their stories as well, right?

So if we can pause for a moment-- and imagine you are a first-generation student. You can close your eyes if you feel like. For me, it's very touching to imagine all this.

An African-American or Black student, a Latinx student, an LGBTQA student, a financially insecure student, a student whose native language is not English, like me-- I don't have to imagine that-- a student with limited access to laptop computer but unlimited access to a smartphone-- so again, that's why we're trying to create that liquid syllabus-- a student with dyslexia and other cognitive difference. My colleague Kristie taught me about this really great font called Lexend. Maybe you could write it down. Is that OK, Kristie?

Audience: Yeah.

Audience: Sure, yeah.

Audience: [ INAUDIBLE ]

Mariana Silva: Lexend.

Ellie: You could also-- well, you can write on the screen.

Mariana Silva: Oh, I can?

Ellie: But that's OK-- to write on the board.

Mariana Silva: Yeah?

Ellie: And if you write on the screen, the people watching remotely can't see in any way. So.

Mariana Silva: Yeah, but do-- oh, OK. They might--

Ellie: I'll show you how to do it, if you'd like.

Mariana Silva: Yeah.

Ellie: So it's--

Mariana Silva: So this font Lexend is--

Ellie: So click the pen. And then I'll just leave it in red. And I'm going to write it here.

Mariana Silva: Oh. Oh, thank you.

Ellie: Yeah, this is just quick and dirty. And it'll go into another app.

Mariana Silva: And then can you just erase it.

Audience: And then you just exit out.

Mariana Silva: Oh, wow. Thank you. Thank you, Ellie.

Ellie: Thank you, Ryan, for giving us these machines.


Oh, Ryan.

Mariana Silva: Thank you, Ryan.

Ryan: Oh, yes, yes.

Mariana Silva: So now that you [ INAUDIBLE ] Lexend. That's a really good-- one of the most beautiful fonts, especially for students with dyslexia. It is [ INAUDIBLE ] there. So I started doing that right away when I learned that it existed.

So reflect on your syllabus. Examine your syllabus from the students' perspective. What does it convey about the culture of the class? What is your perception of the instructor's teaching style? Do you feel the words? What are the instructor's attitudes towards teaching? Would you feel comfortable [ INAUDIBLE ] Right? So again, that word, that connection.

Audience: [ INAUDIBLE ] language [ INAUDIBLE ] makes it so the students [ INAUDIBLE ] A lot of times, when we went in [ INAUDIBLE ] the instructor will. But if you use the "I" and "you--" it's much more, like, "we."

Mariana Silva: [ INAUDIBLE ]

Audience: Yeah.

Audience: "We"--

[interposing voices]

Mariana Silva: Yeah, yeah. Equitable partner.

Audience: [ INAUDIBLE ]

Mariana Silva: And actually, yes. I have a slide on the language, too, and what could sound more welcoming. So I think we kind of covered this, right, looking at who are our students, basically. I remember in my master's degree program that has basic [ INAUDIBLE ] our teacher kept emphasizing that. Think of who your students are [ INAUDIBLE ]

This is no-- this is the California community colleges. So this is data from 2019. We have it referenced at the end. But as you can tell, 67% are from non-white backgrounds, a great variety, especially [ INAUDIBLE ] right? So just knowing who our students are [ INAUDIBLE ] the way we teach them. And I'm going to play what--

Ellie: Mariana.

Mariana Silva: Yes?

Ellie: I just want to add, especially here in this area, we also have the refugees from Syria and Iraq. And they believe their own horrendous problems. Women are so traumatized that you could see something just slightly wrong or [ INAUDIBLE ] they take it in a way that you can't even imagine because they're so used to being attacked, raped [ INAUDIBLE ]

It was a real challenge dealing with [ INAUDIBLE ] even begin to anticipate [ INAUDIBLE ] So it's something else to keep in mind.

Mariana Silva: Thank you. Yeah, I think a lot of our students-- I think that they come with a lot of trauma. And they find the school just as a safe space. And that's it. And maybe not even that safe space-- but if that main encounter with your teacher is [ INAUDIBLE ] how can you continue going and attending classes?

We also have [ INAUDIBLE ] And sometimes I don't even know how to approach them. I just tell them [ INAUDIBLE ] OK? But that sometimes they [ INAUDIBLE ] my country is right next to [ INAUDIBLE ]

Audience: [ INAUDIBLE ] also that these [ INAUDIBLE ]

Mariana Silva: Absolutely.

Ryan: Several people are saying that the sound is [ INAUDIBLE ] I'm not sure what to do.

Mariana Silva: I'm not sure either. Is that when [ INAUDIBLE ] always talk? Maybe--

Ellie: Yeah. They're--

[interposing voices]

Ellie: And I have a message asking if it's everybody. Yeah, so several people are saying it's [ INAUDIBLE ] So I'm [ INAUDIBLE ]

Mariana Silva: OK. OK. Thank you. So I'm going to-- hopefully this-- apparently this is going to work well. This is a very short video. I'm just saying "work well" in the sense that we won't have any sound issues.

[video playback]

[music playing]

[end playback]


Ellie: No, if you just click on that button-- I mean, click--

[interposing voices]

Ellie: Some of the people online are saying that the sound is--

Audience: Yeah.

Ellie: [ INAUDIBLE ]

Mariana Silva: Oh, yeah. There you go.

Ellie: I don't know how to fix that. But you [ INAUDIBLE ]

Mariana Silva: So this is more text than anything else.

Audience: (SOFTLY) OK.

Mariana Silva: All right.

Ellie: So [ INAUDIBLE ] might be-- no.

[interposing voices]

Mariana Silva: I try to remove it, but then it keeps going.

[video playback]

[music playing]

[end playback]

OK. So hopefully the video is, like-- it was eye-opening for me in so many ways, right, especially when they show the arena of how many of these people cannot graduate with their class, or failed, and so on. [ INAUDIBLE ] I hope our Zoom-- I hope our sound will be back to normal. Did anything stand out for you there?

Audience: Well, the thing that stands out for me-- in adult ed, every time I go to a conference like this, I see people mostly like myself. And the research shows that, for students of color, when they can see faculty-- like, it's so great that you men are here. Men are not numerous in the educational profession-- and men of color. When students see teachers like themselves, they feel more welcome and--

Audience: And administrators, right?

Audience: And administrators-- all the way through.

Audience: Definitely.

Audience: So I think if you ever have that power to be part of a hiring at your agency, you don't just choose someone because of their race, but try to look for diversity in your staffing.

Mariana Silva: Yeah. Yeah, very good point. That's what we're trying to do at MiraCosta, too. That video reminded me of this reading festival author we had a couple of years ago, Michael Golden, who is a San Diegan who grew up homeless in San Diego.

So he came to our school. And he shared his story-- how his counselor would tell him, well, you could choose construction. You could choose something that you will-- will bring you money right away. And he says, but I want to continue my studies. And the college-- the high school counselor will basically put more hurdles in his way.

Audience: Yeah.

Mariana Silva: Yeah.

Ellie: I just wanted to share. When I was at University of Pennsylvania, I told my counselor that I was planning to go to law school, which I did eventually do. And the counselor said, oh, you're too pretty, you should be an actress.


Audience: Wow.

Ellie: The funny thing is I did actually become an actress in a way, a little.


But that was in the 60s. And that was the attitude-- a pretty woman should not even think of using her brain. Boy, it was stupid.

Audience: Yeah.

Audience: Mm. Anyway, go on.

Audience: Yeah.

Mariana Silva: Thank you for sharing. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And that can impact someone. I don't know. Luckily, some of these people don't get stopped, but not everybody reacts the way you did or the way this author did, eventually getting a graduate degree from UC-- from LA-- UCLA? I couldn't say "UCLA" because I was looking at "LAUSD," and I got inspired.


All right. Thank you.

Audience: We're all in the University of Ellie.

Mariana Silva: Oh.


Thank you for that inspired--

Ellie: [ INAUDIBLE ]

Mariana Silva: --it recognizes. Thank you, Ryan. So we were talking about some learner-centered syllabus-- making great first impressions, [ INAUDIBLE ] good tone, information about expectations, connecting students with student support services both online and on campus.

I don't know about where you get [ INAUDIBLE ] classes, what modalities you teach, but we have a variety. So [ INAUDIBLE ] meet them where they are at.

How do they manage their stress and mental health, especially in [ INAUDIBLE ] giving students tips for studying and using the lack of accessibility tools. [ INAUDIBLE ] images with [ INAUDIBLE ] So here's a visual about that, right? If we think of office hours, what could be welcoming [ INAUDIBLE ] we used to put them on the [ INAUDIBLE ]

Cycle [ INAUDIBLE ] student hours [ INAUDIBLE ] and give them flexibility, right? You can tell them, hey, this is my schedule, but also let me know in advance. We can set up a time in the morning, evening, afternoon, even maybe in [ INAUDIBLE ] trying to reach [ INAUDIBLE ]

Also, how you design your assignments, right, and how you use the language to talk about your assignments, right? How do you welcome students to complete the assignment-- and giving them choices versus, here's what you need to do. Ellie was just mentioning [ INAUDIBLE ] right? And the participation you expect from your students, right? What do you expect them to do based on a variety of assignments you had? They're all going hand in hand, right?

If your students have a video-- that they don't want to watch a video or they learn better from text or a PowerPoint. So have that multimedia, right? And again, if you read that, it's just like after language all the time and [ INAUDIBLE ] my time here.

So there are different-- as you said earlier, there are different ways to create this liquid syllabus to basically focus on chunking, reducing that cognitive load, using headings. And there are different phone-friendly formats, like WordPress, Wix & Weebly, and Google Sites. There may be more. The WordPress-- usually it's a steeper learning curve. And you have to pay. Wix & Weebly are not so easy to navigate. Google Sites is free, and it's user friendly. So that's why that's [ INAUDIBLE ]

So getting a little bit more practical-- enough talk about equity. How do we apply it, right? Let's, as they say, walk the line with the students. Right? So some of our tips are, again, based on the equity for synchronizing online classes. This is not only about [ INAUDIBLE ] This is how you teach. Again, if students can access the syllabus from their phone, then it's easy [ INAUDIBLE ] right, to [ INAUDIBLE ] everyone.

[ INAUDIBLE ] pictures, right? And then I said, oh, really, a photo [ INAUDIBLE ] We're doing the hike, right? Just more like, I'm not this person on a pedestal here. I'm at the same level with you. Or you can create a nice and perfect home video.

But if you feel like me, [ INAUDIBLE ] again, right? Adobe Spark is a great tool for that. And if you need more instructions on how to [ INAUDIBLE ] I basically put pictures in before, right? In the slide. And it's easy to record.

Here, my colleague [ INAUDIBLE ] created a welcome note [ INAUDIBLE ] Very basic, [ INAUDIBLE ] brief sentences, a god size. But you can see the welcoming tone-- "welcome," "welcome," "looking forward to."

Audience: "Looking forward."

Audience: "Looking forward."

Mariana Silva: Thank you. "Contact" me if you have questions, right? So you are going see that. So we had a picture or a video. Then next, we had the welcome message. Now we have that section "about this course.

I tried to use a bulleted list-- answers to these questions in a bulleted list, right? We have kind of a syllabus checklist [ INAUDIBLE ] schools. But the important course information that you want students to remember [ INAUDIBLE ] their experience [ INAUDIBLE ] resources.

What else? I added a teaching philosophy. And I also copied it. OK? So you're welcome to copy mine. Again, my colleague said that, for level three, she didn't know how to really-- where she said, the students don't even know [ INAUDIBLE ] Even my level six, I explain to them, this is what it means, and let's read it [ INAUDIBLE ]

So-- but it's basically a short narrative that says, I'm happy you're here. It's my job to support [ INAUDIBLE ] students. And then comes the learning pact that consists [ INAUDIBLE ] so hopefully you get to adapt that to your class and just copy as is.

Equity-minded course policies-- so not just policies, right-- focusing on the asset-based mindset and academic behaviors that you can just develop with your students as [ INAUDIBLE ] right? Visuals-- how many times do you see a syllabus [ INAUDIBLE ] all text? [ INAUDIBLE ]

Audience: Very.

Mariana Silva: Oh, yeah, you'll do great-- it doesn't say that, right? Just make sure you use them well, obviously, and you use them [ INAUDIBLE ] Continuing with our ideas for an equity-minded syllabus, include support sources. [ INAUDIBLE ] with them. Explain to students about them. Obviously use descriptive phrases to ensure accessibility [ INAUDIBLE ]

I will say a person's story right there. I used to teach in person [ INAUDIBLE ] programming. And usually, we would get letters, right, about [ INAUDIBLE ] resources. And I tried to include them in my syllabus, but yeah, I didn't do such a good job. So I remember when we had this, we have a mouthpiece that helps students who are [ INAUDIBLE ] called UPRISE in the school setting [ INAUDIBLE ] syllabus.

But what happened later when there was a training [ INAUDIBLE ] students [ INAUDIBLE ] I felt embarrassed. Because as she was talking, she said, when I was [ INAUDIBLE ] for me.

And the student was-- we definitely had their report because I approached [ INAUDIBLE ] the chapter for Thanksgiving [ INAUDIBLE ] what did I do in classes? I couldn't even remember. It was years after-- or not years, but some time had passed. So she said [ INAUDIBLE ] It was fun.

So-- but the student [ INAUDIBLE ] to me. And I felt OK approaching her [ INAUDIBLE ] So I try to apply that now [ INAUDIBLE ] And that thought haunted me for some time. And I'm like, I want to do a better job. So including those support resources [ INAUDIBLE ]

Have an inclusivity statement. I copied that, too. OK? But I tried to modify and just tried to use different things. These are some logos for MiraCosta. This is the UPRISE logo. Basically, it's rising solidarity and empowerment, where students who are undocumented can thrive, too-- the safe space. [ INAUDIBLE ] And our student [ INAUDIBLE ] social justice [ INAUDIBLE ] fully student-driven, right, with staff and teacher support. So hopefully-- I'm sure you guys [ INAUDIBLE ]

Accessibility is a huge piece. I've seen a lot of sessions on accessibility-- that with Google Sites, you have that accessibility tools, right? You can create headings, subheadings. Use descriptive links, embed files. Use the bulleted and numbered lists, right? It's very hard to read, like, a very dense text, right?

Use videos with accurate closed captions. You can edit them in QuickTime or something else [ INAUDIBLE ] that contrast between that [ INAUDIBLE ] there are a lot of pieces coming together there. But I try not to [ INAUDIBLE ] right, in [ INAUDIBLE ] case.

So we can look at some samples. We have-- well, maybe just a minute here. This is my colleague's sample. So [ INAUDIBLE ] teachers level three. [ INAUDIBLE ] That's the welcome message, the teacher's beautiful face, smiling, [ INAUDIBLE ] Important class information. This is a picture of our campus.

And she tells students how they're meeting. Some, they join via Zoom and some in-person. A nice video [ INAUDIBLE ] welcome to [ INAUDIBLE ] and look at the tabs, everyone. Yeah? All course information. This is not, like, a long stream of information. So it's very easy to access [ INAUDIBLE ]

Ellie: [ INAUDIBLE ]

Mariana Silva: Nice. Nice buttons.

Ellie: Mm-hmm.

Mariana Silva: Yes, this is done with Google Sites. Yes. So [ INAUDIBLE ] link. And I can show you-- well, maybe I can't show you. But let's see. I'm supposed to stop in a moment. This is mine. So you're welcome to check out.

But if you click the Preview, you can see how your syllabus will look on different electronic devices. So it's really nice to see, like, if the students access my syllabus at home, what does it look like? And the format is very well done. [ INAUDIBLE ] instead of you having [ INAUDIBLE ] don't transfer very well, as you know, right?

So that's it. If you need to know how you could do this, basically go to Google Sites. Their template's already down there. So though you can start from scratch. As I said, it's harder in the beginning, but then you get better at it, right? Exit the preview.

And you can insert pages here, right? You can add more pages. You can choose different themes. You can insert text box images, embed, use your Google Drive. And these are very cool, too, because you tell it how the layout is supposed to be, just like Google Slides, right-- how you want it to be.

So I don't want to go over [ INAUDIBLE ] trouble. But hopefully you got something new. Let me go back here so you can take the [ INAUDIBLE ]

Ellie: [ INAUDIBLE ] to the first slide.

Mariana Silva: Yes, I was going to share--

Ellie: Click Escape.

Mariana Silva: Oh.

Ellie: Click Escape and then [ INAUDIBLE ] Yeah.

Mariana Silva: So if you want the QR code again, there it is.