At the International Conference for Educational Development in June 2018, Mary-Ann Winkelmes shared a template that can be used as a guide for developing, explaining, and discussing class activities and out-of-class assignments. She shared that “Making these aspects of each course activity or assignment explicitly clear to students has demonstrably enhanced students’ learning in a national study1.”
The Transparency in Teaching and Learning Project (TILT Higher Ed) advocates for a Transparency Framework for academic work and offers examples and resources that explicitly describes purpose, task, and criteria based on an AAC&U study (2-14-2016) on Transparency and Problem-centered Learning. The Transparent Assignment Template generously offers a guide for developing or revising assignments. Mary-Ann invites faculty to translate one of their assignments into this template and see how students respond. This Self-Guided Checklist provides great questions to help you transform your assignment. Use Assignment Cues, aligned with Bloom’s Taxonomy, to make assignments more transparent and relevant for students.
Try modifying an assignment using the Transparency Framework and let us know if it made a difference in your course!
1 Winkelmes, Mary-Ann. “Transparency in Teaching: Faculty Share Data and Improve Students’ Learning.” Liberal Education 99,2 (Spring 2013); Wilkelmes et al, “A Teaching Intervention that Increases Underserved College Students’ Success.” Peer Review 18,1/2 (Winter/Spring 2016).