Learn about Content Notes

What are Content Notes?

Content Notes (CN) (also called Content Warnings) are statements made before sharing material that will be seen, read, or discussed in a learning environment. They can be spoken or printed and work to support students’ well-being by preparing them in advance for potentially disturbing and (re)traumatizing content. Content notes are a central feature of inclusive pedagogy and safe learning environments, allowing students increased autonomy over their learning. 

Resources for Faculties and Departments

Below is a selection of resources to provide information about content notes and guidance on how to effectively utilize them in the university classroom.

Supporting a Culture of Care through Content Notes

Document by: Simon Fraser University Centre for Educational Excellence

This document explains how the use of content notes supports learners’ well-being and outlines 3 ways to apply notes in teaching (including examples).

Content Notes: From Either/Or to Both/And

Written by: Simon Fraser University Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office

This article summarizes the “debate” about content notes in academia and argues that an either/or way of thinking about content notes and academic freedom is a barrier to authentic and open-minded discussion of their value and use in classrooms. Instead, the authors argue for a both/an approach that recognizes content notes as pedagogical communication.

Trigger Warnings

Document by: University of Toronto, Scarborough, Centre for Teaching and Learning

This info-sheet provides a definition of trigger warnings and describes their importance in the academic context. It provides examples of how to use trigger warnings in the classroom and provides 8 instructional strategies for educators who are working with challenging material.

An Introduction to Content Warnings and Trigger Warnings

Document by: University of Michigan, Inclusive Teaching

This document explains what content warnings are and emphasizes their importance to the mental and emotional health of learners. It outlines how the use of content notes contributes to inclusive pedagogy and offers various ways to implement content notes into the classroom.

Accessible Education

Brock University is committed to creating a more inclusive and accessible learning and teaching environment. This responsibility is shared by the entire university community!

Please refer to this Educator’s Accessibility Toolkit developed by The Council of Ontario Universities. Below you will also find resources on how to properly create and develop accessible documents.

How to Create:

If you have any questions or seek guidance with concerns related to accessibility, please contact accessibility@brocku.ca.