TILT Higher Ed Examples and Resources

The following resources from the Transparency in Learning and Teaching project (TILT Higher Ed) can help faculty, educational developers and administrators to apply the Transparency Framework (of purpose/task/criteria) in contexts including assignments, curricula, assessment and strategic initiatives, all toward the goal of enhancing student success equitably.

Introduction to Transparency in Learning and Teaching

Talking about Transparent Instruction

Tools for Revising/Creating your Own Transparent Assignments

Tools for Gathering Feedback on your Draft Assignments

Workshop Videos and Slides

For Faculty

  • Transparent Assignment Design faculty workshop videorecording (“Using Transparent Assignments to Increase Students' Success,” Mary-Ann Winkelmes, keynote workshop, 13th Annual Advancing Teaching and Learning Conference, Texas Tech University, March 3, 2017.
    • Part 1) Research findings
    • Part 2) Example Assignments
    • Part 3) Peer feedback on your own assignments

For Faculty Developers


For institutions, results can include increased retention and completion rates. For participating instructors, individualized reports identify small teaching adjustments best suited to improving students’ learning for the specific population of students in their courses. Ongoing analysis explores teaching/learning adjustments that improve learning outcomes, specific to discipline, class size, level of expertise, and student demographics.

A national study by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, funded by TG Philanthropy, demonstrated that transparency around academic work enhances students’ success at statistically significant levels, with even greater benefits for historically underserved students (with a medium-to-large sized magnitude of effect) [Winkelmes et al., Peer Review 2016]. Students who receive transparent instruction about the purposes, tasks and criteria for their academic work report gains in three areas that are important predictors of students’ success:

  • academic confidence,
  • sense of belonging, and
  • mastery of the skills that employers value most when hiring.

Important studies have already connected academic confidence and sense of belonging with students’ greater persistence and higher grades [Walton and Cohen, Science 2011; Aronson, Fried, Good, 2002].





Institutional Review Board Documentation

University of Illinois

University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Mary-Ann Winkelmes, Ph.D.
Coordinator of Instructional Development and Research
Office of Faculty, Policy, and Research

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Copyright © 2014 Mary-Ann Winkelmes.
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