UMO’s Faculty Foster Transparency in Learning and Teaching

UMO’s Faculty Foster Transparency in Learning and Teaching

May 25, 2023
Contact:  Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations

MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive is committed to advancing student learning outcomes at all levels. At the institutional level, academic programs identify the knowledge, dispositions and skills that are critical for graduates of a program and utilize direct assessment measures aligned to desired outcomes of the program to ensure that students are learning. UMO is extending its reach to the course level, where faculty members are reimagining and designing assignments to be intentional, transparent, and useful for students in real-world application. Transparent instruction involves direct communication among students and faculty about how students are learning, why faculty select specific learning exercises, and how students will apply their learning after college.

During the 22-23 academic year the UMO  Teaching Excellence Center hosted Dr. Mary-Ann Winkelmes, author of Transparent Design in Higher Education Teaching and Leadershipand founder of the Transparency in Learning and Teaching project (TILT Higher Ed)  on two occasions to provide all of its faculty with resources and examples for designing transparent instruction. The efforts extended beyond the series to a Faculty Learning Community hosted by the Teaching Excellence Center. The Transparent Teaching Fellows learning community brought together a small, interdisciplinary group of faculty who presented their assignments to their colleagues, took notes, asked questions and provided collegial suggestions to enhance transparency for students.

“We are bolstering our efforts to improve teaching and learning and to reduce equity gaps through evidence-based practices. We are proud of our faculty who have taken this evidence-based practice and made practical use of it to aid in overall student success,” said Dr. Kimberly Bryant, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs. Dr. Kelly Alves, Dr. Aaron Carver, Dr. Brenda Cates, Dr. Norm Crumpacker, Ms. Ashley Gayles, Professor Jaime Higginbotham, Dr. Jill Mills, Dr. David Shields, Mrs. Michele Spence, and Dr. Tony Franklin were among the inaugural cohort of Transparent Teaching Fellows.

The use of Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILT) is a pedagogical strategy that is growing in implementation across the nation primarily due to the benefits it has shown in being a small, equitable teaching intervention that significantly enhances students’ success, with greater gains for historically underserved students (1st generation, low-income, ethnically underrepresented) [Winkelmes et al, Peer Review, Spring 2016]. Transparent instruction has also enhanced students’ persistence and retention rates [Gianoutsos and Winkelmes 2016; Winkelmes et al. 2019].


Gianoutsos, D. and Winkelmes, M.A. (Spring 2016). “Navigating with Transparency: Enhancing Underserved Student Success through Transparent Learning and Teaching in the Classroom and Beyond.” Proceedings of the Pennsylvania Association of Developmental Educators.

Winkelmes, M.A., Bernacki, M., Butler, J., Zochowski, M., Golanics, J., Harriss Weavil, K. (Winter/Spring 2016). “A Teaching Intervention that Increases Underserved College Students’ Success.” Peer Review.

Winkelmes, M.A. et al. (2019). Transparent Design in Higher Education Teaching and Leadership: A Guide to Implementing the Transparency Framework Institution-wide to Improve Learning and Teaching. Stylus.