News from WCER

CCWT Offers Rare, Critical Overview of Student Internships

September 26, 2017

Many policymakers, employers, educators and career services professionals seem to agree that internships are beneficial to college students. President Trump recently lauded the value of apprenticeships, and Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker has considered making internships a mandatory graduation requirement for students in the UW system.


Study Finds MMSD’s 4-Year-Old Kindergarten Expands Educational Equity

September 20, 2017

Since the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) began 4-year-old kindergarten (4K) in 2011, more than two-thirds of its kindergarten students have started in its 4K programs. Now, with six full years of operational data on 4K, a new research-practice partnership between MMSD and UW–Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) is taking a close look at the district’s 4K enrollments.


Study Finds Wisconsin Children Unequally Ready for Kindergarten

September 18, 2017

The class of 2030 has just started kindergarten. As four million youngsters across the country begin the first step of education, a new study provides a first-time look at inequalities in school readiness among Wisconsin’s kindergarten students.  Researchers from the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER), part of UW–Madison’s School of Education, compared the literacy skills of Wisconsin’s kindergarten students and found them “far from equally prepared to learn.”


Ecology at Play

September 8, 2017   |   By Lynn Armitage

Mike Lawton loves his job as a science teacher at Rufus King High School in Milwaukee. “My greatest reward is when students come up to me and say, ‘Wow, this is the first science class I have ever liked,’” he says.


Astronomy Video Game Developed at UW–Madison Wins National People’s Choice Award

August 7, 2017

“At Play in the Cosmos,” an educational video game developed at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is the winner of the Third Annual Mashable + Games for Change People’s Choice Award.  This new educational resource for introductory college astronomy received the highest number of online votes among the 11 games nominated in the category.


Education Technologies Improve Collaborative Learning in Undergrad Chemistry

July 10, 2017

WCER researcher Martina Rau and colleagues found that undergraduate chemistry students who used educational technology to discuss problem-solving mistakes had higher learning outcomes than students who participated in the traditional version of the lab course. This study was published in Computers and Education.


Teacher Fellowship to Game Designer

July 5, 2017   |   By Paul Baker

Teachers from across Wisconsin eagerly join a fellowship wait list to learn how to create digital educational games that engage students and boost learning.


“Quantitative Ethnography”

June 28, 2017

David Williamson Shaffer, a WCER game scientist, explores how to make sense of the deluge of information in the digital age through quantitative ethnography. This new science gives researchers tools to understand not just what data says, but what it tells us about the people who created it.


Rural Teachers Speak Out

June 23, 2017   |   By Lynn Armitage

Shirley Wright had an idea. “What if we created a forum where teachers could talk directly to education researchers about the challenges they face in the classroom?” In her capacity as the assistant to the director of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER), Wright’s job does not take her into the field, so she rarely sees the direct link between research and classroom practice.


Institutional Data Systems Limit Impacts on Teaching Improvement

June 22, 2017

In a study published in Project MUSE, WCER researcher Matthew Hora and colleagues found that institutional data systems were ineffective in supporting teaching and learning. Specifically, accountability mechanisms, such as student course evaluations, were too vague and tardily reported. Many faculty created their own course-level feedback systems.


Strength in Numbers

May 26, 2017   |   By Lynn Armitage

Created by Christine Pfund, the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER), one of the newest projects at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) in the School of Education.


Teacher Speakout! Panel Discussion and Event Summary

May 26, 2017

On May 15, nine teachers from rural districts around Wisconsin came to UW-Madison to discuss what it is like to be a teacher in a rural Wisconsin district.


Rural Teachers to Share Perspectives with UW–Madison Education Researchers

April 26, 2017

Nine public school teachers from seven rural districts around Wisconsin will share their experiences with university researchers at the first-ever Teacher Speakout! Monday, May 15, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.


Madison Education Partnership Issues Call for Proposals

April 17, 2017

The Madison Education Partnership, a research-practice partnership between Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) and Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), requests proposals from University faculty, research staff and advanced graduate students to conduct research under this partnership on questions related to the MMSD Four-Year-Old Kindergarten (4K) program. Advanced graduate students may apply only with a faculty member as Principal Investigator. Below we describe the partnership, topic of focus for 2017-18, and details of proposal submission.


New Funding Awards Support Math Education and Native American Student Assessment

April 17, 2017

Two recent awards will support math contextualization and culturally responsive language assessment.