Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Q&A with Mary-Ann Winkelmes: Transparency in learning and teaching

February 13, 2023

Mary-Ann Winkelmes
Mary-Ann Winkelmes

Dr. Mary-Ann Winkelmes is the founder, director and principal investigator of the Transparency in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education project (TILT Higher Ed), which helps faculty to use education practices grounded in evidence about students' learning shared across institutions and countries. She is a prolific author, with publications appearing in the National Teaching and Learning Forum, the National Education Association's Higher Education Advocate, AAC&U's Liberal Education and Peer Review. 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 with the POD Network's Robert J. Menges Award for Outstanding Research in Education Development.

Join Winkelmes at the CPE Student Success Summit, Feb. 27-28 at the University of Kentucky Gatton Student Center, for her breakout session, Complete the Path: Transparency in Learning and Teaching. Register here:  

Why is this issue a top priority for student success?

Transparency in learning and teaching (TILT) offers a simple framework for teachers, students and administrators that has equitably enhanced student success in many higher education contexts. The goals of TILT are aligned with the Kentucky Graduate Profile Academy. The TILT framework can be useful in creating clear pathways for student success with increased equity. Higher education leaders, administrators and faculty have found the TILT framework to be helpful in uniting their contributions to a strategic plan or curricular revision with a simple language and a planning process that are easily understood across different audiences.

What are your main learnings and insights from the field?

A national study by the AAC&U identified TILT as an equitable teaching intervention that significantly enhances students' success, with greater gains for historically underserved students, including those who are the first in their families to attend college or from low-income or underrepresented racial or ethnic groups. [Winkelmes et al, Peer Review, Spring 2016]. TILT's impact can be seen in students' confidence, sense of belonging, metacognitive awareness of skill development, and persistence in a wide variety of higher education settings. Transparent instruction has also enhanced students' persistence and retention rates [Gianoutsos and Winkelmes 2016; Winkelmes et al. 2019].

Faculty and administrators have benefited from applying the TILT framework to unite their work on large-scale curricular reform and strategic planning processes.

What will faculty and staff gain from their participation?

Faculty and staff colleagues will collaborate to apply TILT's language and framework in several ways to their existing Graduate Profile Academy plans. They will leave with:

Last Updated: 2/13/2023