Be Transparent

Time required: Variable

Grading: NA

Disciplines: All

Why:  Providing clarity in your assignments will help maximize learning and ensure student success.  This is especially important in directions for assignments in online classes where students may be solely reliant on written instructions and may fail to understand the purpose of assigned work without explicit guidance.

How: Use the following headings in assignment instructions:

  • Here’s what I want you to do: Explain the task
  • Here’s why I want you to do it: Explain the reason this task will contribute to success in this class and beyond
  • Here’s how I want you to do: Provide detailed instructions, checklists, and examples to help students see and understand your expectations

From Small Teaching Online by Flower Darby with James M. Lang, p. 17