Teaching with Transparency: Empowering Equitable Learning

TeachWeek Keynote Talk and Workshop by Mary-Ann Winkelmes. With remarks by Cindy Weinstein, Vice Provost and Professor of English

Wednesday, January 18, 2017: 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM. Location: Avery Dining Hall

Transparency in teaching is the practice of sharing underlying reasons with students -- for example, why and how assignments and courses are set up the way they are. Though seemingly simple, transparency as a teaching practice ends up significantly boosting students' success, especially that of underserved students, in three important areas: academic confidence, sense of belonging, and mastery of key skills.   

In this talk (12:00-1:00 PM), we'll explore findings from seven US universities showing how transparent assignment design promotes students' success equitably, as well as educational research behind the concept of transparent teaching and learning. Participants in the follow-up workshop immediately after the talk will apply that research to the design of class activities and course assignments.  

The follow-up workshop (1:15-2:30 PM) gives you a chance to apply transparent design principles to an assignment or activity for a class of their choice, with expert guidance and feedback. You can use this opportunity to redesign an assignment or activity for a lecture course, a lab, a recitation, or even an independent study or research mentoring experience. You will leave with a draft assignment or activity and a concise set of strategies for designing future assignments that promote students' learning.  

If attending the talk and/or the workshop, Dr. Winkelmes requests that you respond to this 2-question online survey before January 13, 2017.

Biography: Mary-Ann Winkelmes is Coordinator of Instructional Development and Research and an Associate Graduate Faculty member in the Department of History at the University Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), where her aim is to promote teaching and learning initiatives, student success, faculty development and instructional research in all the University's academic units. She also served on UNLV's Path to Tier One Executive Committee. She is a Senior Fellow of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and a partner in the AAC&U's LEAP project—Transparency and Problem-Centered Learning. She also serves on the Nevada Humanities Board of Trustees.

Dr. Winkelmes (Ph.D., Harvard, 1995) has held senior leadership roles in the campus teaching centers at Harvard University, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois. She has consulted and provided professional development programming for faculty through the Lilly Endowment's higher education grant-making and teacher training programs, and for teaching centers in the U.S. and abroad. She has also served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Professional Development Network in Higher Education (POD Network), and Chair of its Research Committee.

Her work to improve higher education learning and teaching, especially for historically underserved students, has been recognized nationally by the Chronicle of Higher Education and by the POD Network's Robert J. Menges Award for Outstanding Research in Educational Development. She founded and directs the Transparency in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Project (TILT Higher Ed), which promotes direct conversation between teachers and students about methods of teaching and learning, and helps faculty to share data on students' learning across institutions and countries. The impact of this project on students' learning has been the focus of publications in the National Teaching and Learning Forum, Project Information Literacy, the National Education Association's Higher Education Advocate and AAC&U's Liberal Education and Peer Review.

More information about Dr. Winkelmes.

Part of TeachWeek Caltech, a campus-wide celebration of teaching and learning, featuring events and discussions with Caltech faculty and students, as well as distinguished guest presenters. All events are open to the entire Caltech community.

Thanks to the Twenty-Seven Foundation for supporting this TeachWeek panel discussion, as well as sponsoring other events engaging Caltech faculty and students in new perspectives on teaching and learning.

For more information, please email ctlo@caltech.edu.

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