News from WCER
The CALL for Improved Learning
October 23, 2017 | By Lynn Armitage
In a quest to answer the question, “How can we improve student learning?” hundreds of schools all over the country—and in Denmark and Japan—are answering the CALL.
Hora and Colleagues Awarded $2.2 Million from National Science Foundation
October 20, 2017
Matthew Hora and colleagues have been awarded $2.2 million from the National Science Foundation to investigate whether four specific competencies – teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and self-directed learning - are being cultivated in college classrooms and workplace training.
Williamson Shaffer Awarded $2 Million from the National Science Foundation
October 17, 2017
David Williamson Shaffer has been awarded a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop and study a tool to let STEM teachers generate models of social, economic, and environmental issues in their own communities.
Halverson Awarded $1.1 Million from the National Science Foundation
October 17, 2017
Erica Halverson and co-investigators from Northcentral Technical College have been awarded a grant of $1.1 million from the National Science Foundation to design, deliver and study mobile maker experiences for people in rural communities in central Wisconsin.
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.
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.