News from WCER

UW–Madison research reveals benefit of ethnic studies for Hmong American students

March 11, 2021   |   By Janet L. Kelly, WCER Communications

A new report from WCER’s Center for Research on College-to-Workforce Transitions reveals second-year research findings from a unique study of current and former UW–Madison students of HMoob (Hmong)* descent, a population of students rarely researched in higher education. Mentored by WCER research scientists, an eight-member team of current and recently graduated HMoob American UW–Madison students interviewed nearly 100 members of the university’s HMoob American student community. The study found that exposure to ethnic studies courses and programs during college can transform the students’ lives.


UW−Madison Researchers Partner with Madison Schools on Equity Advances, COVID Fixes

March 1, 2021   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

The Madison Education Partnership (MEP) issues awards annually to university researchers, supplementing research done internally by MEP directors and staff. MEP is a research-practice partnership formed in 2016 between the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the Madison Metropolitan School District. The number of grants awarded in 2021 was triple that of most previous years of MEP’s sponsored-research program.


‘Real Talk for Real Change’ Panel to Feature WCER Deputy Director Mariana Castro

February 17, 2021   |   By WCER Communications

The Real Talk for Real Change symposia series focuses on critical issues of racial justice in education by centering the voices of UW–Madison scholars of color and community members. Organizers hope to share knowledge and facilitate conversations that will help UW–Madison and the wider education community focus on equity in education policies, curriculum, and practices of teaching and learning.


Gates Foundation awards WCER’s Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions $1.1 million to serve national audience

January 5, 2021   |   By Lynn Armitage, WCER Communications

The Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions (CCWT), housed at UW‒Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research, has been awarded a $1.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


WCER Improving Mentoring Relationships for Next Generation of Academic Science Leaders

December 7, 2020   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

WCER experts Christine Pfund and Angela Byars-Winston are leading a $1.2 million program providing culturally aware mentorship education for dissertation advisers of leading PhD students in the sciences from diverse backgrounds throughout the country. Byars and Pfund also designed leadership training for the mentees, who were selected for research support as future academic science leaders by the renowned Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland.


UW-Madison researcher’s instrument design fuels groundbreaking international study of teaching and learning

November 18, 2020   |   By Janet L. Kelly, WCER Communications

This week the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced the findings of the Global Teaching InSights: A Video Study of Teaching, which looked directly into the classrooms of 700 teachers across eight countries and economies to capture on video how each taught the same mathematics topic to their students.

Essential to the study’s success are observation systems designed by Courtney Bell, a principal investigator of the study and a UW–Madison learning sciences professor who directs the School of Education’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research. In building these systems collaboratively with global teaching experts, Bell’s team created the first standardized observational instruments used to measure the teaching and learning of the same unit of instruction across multiple countries.


Dual VETWAYS studies show social support is key to successful academic outcomes for student military

November 11, 2020   |   By Lynn Armitage

The transition from military to college life can be a socially difficult one for military service members and veterans (SSM/Vs). However, members of this unique and talented student population stand a better chance of success when they are supported by a strong network of fellow students, veteran coordinators, faculty or other higher education practitioners, according to two separate reports by the Veteran Education to Workforce Affinity and Success Study (VETWAYS).

VETWAYS is a three-year $556,000 project funded by the National Science Foundation, launched last year at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research in UW–Madison’s School of Education. The project is focused on the college-to-workforce pathways of SSM/Vs from five, four-year University of Wisconsin System institutions: Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh and Stout. In the last academic year, more than 3,000 veterans attended UW System universities.


The promise of quality digital learning for all students

October 30, 2020   |   By Lynn Armitage

When Annalee Good, an educational researcher and evaluator from UW-Madison, and her colleagues began studying the use of digital tools in classrooms a decade ago, they never imagined a global pandemic would drive the adoption of at-home online learning at warp speed.

COVID-19 has caused a dramatic, sweeping change to education. Whenever students and teachers fully return to in-person classrooms, school districts must take a critical look at the role of digital tools and decide how to move forward. Schools must be vigilant to ensure their online learning systems contribute to the equitable education and academic outcomes of all students, particularly the historically underserved.


AERA Virtual Awards Ceremony Saturday to Honor WCER’s Good, Cheng

September 29, 2020   |   By WCER Communications

Annalee Good and Emily Cheng will be honored in a virtual ceremony Saturday for a paper with Vanderbilt University colleagues that won one of AERA’s 2020 excellence in education research awards. The celebration is open to the public and will broadcast live on ZOOM.


UW-Madison researcher collaborates on new NSF-funded national artificial intelligence initiative

September 14, 2020   |   By Lynn Armitage, WCER Communications

Sadhana Puntambekar, a principal investigator at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and professor in the University of Wisconsin─Madison School of Education, will collaborate with national researchers on establishing one of five artificial intelligence (AI) institutes and education hubs. A $100 million initiative of the National Science Foundation, the centers are the single most significant federal investment to date in exploring how AI can benefit the United States’ quality of life, economy and international competitiveness.


UW Researchers Partner with Madison School District to Sharpen 4K Teaching

August 21, 2020   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

The project, funded by a $400,000 federal grant, culminated with the delivery of research-based professional development sessions to 20 Madison 4K teachers on four Saturdays last school year.


Supporting Black Interns through Racial Trauma: a Step-by-Step Guide for Colleges, Employers

July 30, 2020   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

As all aspects of American society face a national reckoning on racism and police brutality, new UW−Madison research is providing a playbook that employers and higher education professionals can use to help Black student interns cope with vicarious racial trauma amid the continuing public protests against anti-Black violence.


Can Quantitative Ethnography Help Tell the COVID-19 Story?

June 16, 2020   |   By Lynn Armitage, WCER Communications

The quest for answers to how COVID-19 is affecting different cultures is why the newly formed International Society for Quantitative Ethnography (QE) launched the “QE COVID Data Challenge,” a seven-day data sprint involving nearly 100 data and research experts collaborating remotely from 16 countries, including Denmark, Hungary, Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka.


New Resources for Families Help Multilingual Learners with Disabilities Thrive in Virtual Classrooms

June 15, 2020   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

Designed to cushion the shift to distance learning, new resources from WIDA include tools and tips around social stories, adaptive devices and understanding Individualized Education Programs to ensure multilingual students with disabilities still receive all the language and other services they’re due under federal law.


WCER Researchers Studying Surge of Online Internships during COVID-19

May 29, 2020   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

CCWT Director Matthew Hora will work with Zi Chen on a six-month analysis focused on ‘micro-internships,’ with a second angle examining whether companies in STEM fields are shifting their internships online, to help measure student academic and career impacts of web-based internships amid a COVID19-driven surge in their use.