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Transparent Design Framework Initiative

Transparency in Learning and Teaching

Benefits of Transparent Design Framework

For Students

Research (Winkelmes et al., 2016) indicates when students complete two assignments in one course using the Transparent Design Framework had gains in the following areas of student success:

  • Academic confidence
  • Sense of belonging
  • Mastery of skills that employers value most when hiring (e.g. connecting information from a variety of sources, learning on your own)
  • Retention of students

For first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students the benefits are even larger.

For Faculty

Winkelmes et al, 2015 reported the following positive outcomes:

  • Resistance from students who viewed assignments as "pointless" has disappeared
  • Quality of work has improved
  • The number of questions about assignments has decreased
  • Questions that remain are usually thoughtful questions
  • Clearer expectations make grading easier

Tier 2 EDI credit will be earned when both of your assignments are approved by the faculty reviewers.

Those who team teach or teach the same class are encouraged to work together on the two assignments. Please add both names and courses to the top of your assignment so the reviewers know you are team teaching or teaching the same class.

Optional: Tier 3 Project

Would you like to know the impact of your transparently designed assignments on your students' level of belonging and belief in their ability to succeed? CETL will send your students a survey blending relevant questions from the TILT study and the NESSE survey and the results will be given to you in the form of a report. The results of the survey will be the evidence you include to earn an EDI Tier 3 certificate. Multiple Tier 3 certificates can be earned for different projects.

EDI Tier 3 Transparent Design Framework Project Form

Professional Development

To accomplish this important Academic Strategic Plan initiative, CETL will offer the following options for professional development.  

  1. Virtual workshops lasting 2 hours, including some work time and discussion. The schedule can be found below.
  2. In-person workshops lasting 2 hours, including some work time and discussion. The schedule can be found below.
  3. Department Specific Workshops or Presentations

Workshop Schedule

Registration is required for workshops. Please click the Register link to enroll in a workshop.


Workshop Schedule

Mode of Delivery



May 2022


Part 1 & 2

In person

CETL Lobby, VLL 1142

Tuesday, 5/17

10-11:50 a.m.

June 2022


Part 1 & 2


Monday, 6/13

 12-2 p.m.


Part 1 & 2


Wednesday, 6/22

9-11 a.m.

July 2022


Part 1 & 2


Friday, 7/12

1-3 p.m.


Part 1 & 2


Tuesday, 7/19

10 a.m.-12 p.m.

August 2022


Part 1 & 2


Wednesday, 8/3

8-10 a.m.


Part 1 & 2

In person

CETL Lobby, VLL 1142

Tuesday, 8/23

1-3 p.m.

Schedule a Consultation for Transparent Design

If you are interested in scheduling a 30-minute individual consultation with CETL staff, contact and it will be arranged for you.

Please include in the email the following information:

  1. What specifically you would like to work on. For example, “I am struggling with the Purpose section of my assignment and how to connect it to my students' lives.”
  2. Dates and times you are available or if we can use your outlook calendar to schedule.
  3. If you prefer an in-person or virtual meeting.

Department Workshop/Presentation

Departments are invited to request a department workshop or presentation provided by CETL, at your convenience. Contact with the type of event, date and time that works best for you, and the number of participants. We will get back to you to confirm your request.

1. Workshop options:

  • Full 2-hour workshop with some work time and feedback
  • Two 1-hour workshops on different days with some work time and feedback

2. Presentation options: 

  • Full 75-minute presentation, with little work time 
  • Three 25-minute mini presentations, with no work time included  

Process for Submission

Assignments will be submitted in the Transparent Design Framework for Student Assignments Canvas course. Assignments will be reviewed at specific times throughout the academic year. The chart below provides submission due dates and expected dates for review.

If Your Assignments are Submitted Before:

Expect your Assignments to be Reviewed Between:

Email Notification of the Results of Your Review By:

December 21, 2021

January 11- January 21, 2022

January 28, 2022

February 22, 2022

March 21-March 25, 2022

April 1, 2022

May 20, 2022

June 6- June 24, 2022

July 1, 2022

July 22, 2022

August 1- August 12, 2022

August 19, 2022

Your submissions will be reviewed by a team of peer reviewers, who will be using the rubric provided with your assignments to indicate if you have the elements needed for your assignment. Each assignment will be reviewed independently. If all elements are Yes, and/or Minor Revisions with the rubric, the assignment is approved. If any elements have Major Revision or No selected, those elements of the assignment will need to be revised and resubmitted.

There are three possible outcomes of the review:

  1. Both assignments are approved as submitted.
  2. One assignment is approved, and the other assignment requires revisions and resubmission.
  3. Both assignments require edits and resubmission.

You will receive notification of approved submissions via a Canvas notification and an email from Academic Strategic Plan. If only one assignment has been approved, the email will indicate this and ask you to resubmit the other assignment. In the email from Academic Strategic Plan, you will be asked to complete a survey indicating your plan for the implementation of the two assignments in your course. This survey also welcomes you to participate in a campus-wide assessment of how the initiative affects your students. Upon completion of the survey, you have completed the Transparent Design Initiative related to the Academic Strategic Plan and will receive a letter of accomplishment via email.

General Questions or Assistance

CETL and Academic Affairs are working collaboratively to meet your needs related to this important initiative. If you have questions, please email We will get your questions to the appropriate partner and respond in a timely manner.