LEAD Evaluation Affirms Lasting Benefits of the Odyssey Project

May 20, 2019   |   By Karen Rivedal

A Madison community program that works to jump-start the college careers of low-income adults through a free six-credit humanities course is yielding more than just academic benefits for many students, according to the first external evaluation in the program’s 16-year history.


A Look Inside Online Learning Settings in High Schools

May 14, 2019   |   By Annalee Good, Emily Cheng, Jennifer Darling-Aduana, Carolyn J. Heinrich

In a Brookings Institution blog post, WCER’s Annalee Good and Emily Cheng join with two Vanderbilt University colleagues to summarize their deep dive into the pros and cons of online coursework in high schools:
“Stepping back, our findings suggest both a need for caution in the rapid expansion of online courses in high schools and a need for stronger scaffolding of support and appropriate targeting of students to realize the benefits of online instruction. While online credit recovery programs potentially provide a cheap technical solution to the problem of low graduation rates, especially for upperclassmen who appear to replace failed courses with credits earned online more quickly, our results suggest this may come at the cost of learning, with longer-term implications that we are currently investigating.”


Puzzling Over “Game of Thrones” Character Motivations?

May 8, 2019   |   By Janet L. Kelly

A new interactive visualization tool created by University of Wisconsin–Madison data scientists helps fans make sense of the motivations of more than 50 main characters in HBO’s hit fantasy series, “Game of Thrones,” based on the books by George R.R. Martin. It is available free for public use at: https://got.epistemicnetwork.org/

But the team’s purpose in creating and expanding the tool goes beyond interest in the Seven Kingdoms. “As much as we are fans of the show and enjoyed working on this project, our primary goal is to help people see the power of ENA and the other tools we’ve developed that allow researchers to work with large sets of both qualitative and quantitative data,” says Andrew Ruis, the lab’s associate director.


Girls Inc. Asks O’Keeffe Girls About Social Media

May 7, 2019   |   By Cora Kruzicki

Eastside News reports on a leadership class of sixth grade girls at O’Keeffe Middle School learning to research a social justice topic relevant to them; Annalee Good, co-director of the Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative at the University of Wisconsin–Madison helped the girls learn how to hold a focus group, as well as write and administer a survey.


Toward an Understanding of Working Memory and Math Performance In and Out of the Classroom

May 2, 2019

Dana Miller-Cotto studies factors and opportunities that shape children’s readiness in math and science by applying a psychological, ecological systems theory. In this lecture, she will discuss her longitudinal research testing current theories about why working memory has long been associated with math performance. Her ongoing works tests such theories within various contexts, and focuses how these associations may differ according to important demographic variables.


RERIC Partners With Rural Wisconsin

May 1, 2019   |   By Lynn Armitage

Last fall, the Wisconsin Center for Education Research launched the Rural Education Research & Implementation Center, or RERIC (rare-ik)—a first-of-its-kind center in Wisconsin dedicated to improving educational outcomes for rural students, families and schools through rigorous, partnership-based research.


Metacognitive Awareness of Estimation Across the Lifespan

May 1, 2019

Clarissa Thompson explores awareness of whole number and fraction estimation in children and adults and how this awareness impacts their later decisions.She investigates whether confidence judgments are more strongly related to actual performance or perceived familiarity with numbers. She also will discuss the educational implications of metacognitive awareness in mathematics.


CCWT Spring Seminar Series:  Participatory Action Research as a Grassroots Challenge

April 29, 2019

Gary L. Anderson dicusses Participatory Action Research (PAR), which is growing in popularity due to its commitment to doing research with rather than on or for participants, its potential for challenging policy and practice from the bottom-up, and its multiple goals of knowledge generation, concrete action and critical pedagogy.


WCER Evaluators Find Literacy Program for Low-Income Kids Creates ‘Safe Place’ for Learning

April 25, 2019   |   By Karen Rivedal

Odyssey Junior is wrapping up its third full year offering a literacy and arts enrichment program for low-income children in Madison, with WEC evaluators monitoring its progress every step of the way. The program, a campus-community hybrid, aims for continuous improvement fostered by ongoing evaluation.


Gloria Ladson-Billings, Educator and Theorist, Named Towson University Commencement Speaker

April 23, 2019   |   By Libby Solomon

The Baltimore Sun reports that Gloria Ladson-Billings, an educator and theorist whose work focuses on educating African-American students, will be Towson University’s spring commencement speaker.The professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who is also president of the National Academy of Education, will speak at the College of Education’s commencement ceremony on May 22.


Why We Should Focus More On Refugees’ Goals In Higher Education

April 22, 2019   |   By Rachel Vasquez

For refugees resettling in the U.S. a big emphasis is on finding a job and finding one quickly. Wisconsin Public Radio’s Central Time talks with Matt Wolfgram, assistant director of the Center for Research on College to Workforce Transitions in UW-Madison School of Education’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research. A linguistic anthropologist of education, he says some could benefit from a shared focus on higher education.


Why the Educational Dreams of Refugees Get Put on the Back Burner

April 18, 2019   |   By Matthew Wolfgram and Isabella Vang

In an invited piece for WisContext.org, CCWT researchers Matt Wolfgram and Isabella Vang share key findings and some back story from their recent study of how federal resettlement policy emphasizing immediate employment can work against refugees’ bid for higher education.


Madison Community Schools Look to Be An ‘Extension of Home’

April 14, 2019   |   By Chris Rickert

WCER’s Annalee Good was quoted in a story in the Wisconsin State Journal about whether and how students and parents are benefiting more than two years after the Madison School District launched community schools.

“One of the central tenets of community schools is around changing the power structures on whose voices are engaged,” Good said, as the structure of traditional schools “privileges white youth and families.”


6 Reasons You Can’t Design Great Learning Games without Teachers

April 11, 2019   |   By Field Day Lab

In Medium, WCER’s Field Day Lab shares key reasons why great teachers are the “secret ingredient” in all great learning games. Because they understand the pressures of the classroom, know the standards and know their students are just a few of them.


WIES Lecture | Developing and Testing Interventions to Increase Racial Equity in School Discipline

April 11, 2019

Kent McIntosh shares details of a deliberate, theory-driven line of research producing rare and promising empirical data on school interventions that reduce the disproportionality of exclusionary discipline practices directed at students of color.