Transparent Assignment Design: A Multidisciplinary Survey Assessing Students’ Perceptions

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Amber Peplow
J.A. Carter
Joseph Baumgartner
Monica Hennessy
Melinda Greer
Sue Schlembach
Bradford Mallory
Brenda Refaei

Abstract

As we moved course content to online learning environments during the COVID-19 pandemic, we discovered that students needed more explicitly worded assignments. We used Transparent Assignment Design (TAD) to create clear assignments so students would be able to understand the rationale and expectations for performance and be able to rise to meet them. A multidisciplinary team collaboratively redesigned and created assignments following the TAD heuristic (Winkelmes, Boye, & Tapp, 2019). This heuristic emphasizes clarifying the purpose for the assignment such that students know what concepts and skills they will learn and demonstrate. It also provides a clear task list for completing the assignment. Finally, students are given opportunities to review successful assignments using the criteria for evaluation before they begin working on the assignment. We conducted a survey of students to learn their perceptions of the TAD assignments. Students responded positively to the revised and newly created assignments. 

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Section
Articles
Author Biographies

Amber Peplow, University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College

Department of English and Communication, Associate Professor of Communication

J.A. Carter, University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College

Department of Behavioral Sciences, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Joseph Baumgartner, University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College

Department of Biology, Assistant Professor

Monica Hennessy, University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College

Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Melinda Greer, University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College

Department of Chemistry, Associate Professor

Sue Schlembach, University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College

Behavioral Science, Assistant Professor

Bradford Mallory, University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College

Department of Biology, Associate Professor

Brenda Refaei, University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash College

Department of English and Communication, Professor of English