Transparency Teaching in the Virtual Classroom: Assessing the Opportunities and Challenges of integrating Transparency Teaching Methods with Online Learning

Tiffiany O. Howard, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Mary-Ann Winkelmes, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Marya Shegog, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


The existing literature on transparency teaching in higher education reveals that the adoption of transparent-oriented assignments improves the learning outcomes for underserved students at the introductory level, and decreases the rate of attrition among the student population with the highest risk of dropping out. Concurrently, the continued demand for online education programs has resulted in the expansion of course and degree offerings, and a steady increase in online student enrollment nationwide. However, a number of recent studies find that while the goal of online education is to improve access to higher education, that historically underrepresented groups report lower course completion rates and poorer grade performance in online classes, when compared to underrepresented students enrolled in hybrid and in person courses. Utilizing a quasiexperimental design, this article evaluates the implementation of transparency teaching methods in the online classroom versus the in-person classroom to determine if student learning outcomes vary according to course modality, focusing specifically on outcomes among the underserved student population. The goal of this study is to establish that transparent teaching methods help mitigate the negative effects of the virtual classroom for underserved students.