News by Year: 2019

Study Shows Mixed Test Results For Technology In Classrooms

June 17, 2019   |   By Shamane Mills

Rich Halverson, professor of leadership and policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, was interviewed by Wisconsin Public Radio about a study that found Wisconsin fourth graders who used tablets in most classes had reading scores nine points lower on a standardized test than those who didn’t use tablets in class.


Low Internship Participation Indicates A Need For Change

June 14, 2019   |   By Jackson Schroeder

WCER researcher Zi Chen was interviewed for a report on The University Network (TUN) about on a new CCWT working paper on barriers to college internships that was co-authored by Chen and CCWT Director Matthew T. Hora, with graduate students Emily Parrott and Pa Her, plus study collaborators Mindi Thompson and Matthew Wolfgram.


UW-Madison Study Recommends Closer Look at ‘Long-Term English Learner’ Label

June 13, 2019   |   By Susan Endress

After finding a wide difference across states, researchers at the University of Wisconsin are recommending more research be done on how students are classified as “long-term English learners” — those who haven’t reached proficiency in the language after at least five years in a U.S. school.


Apply for Funding Up to $30K to Study Early Childhood Education by July 15

June 12, 2019

The Center for Research on Early Childhood Education (CRECE) is offering two funding opportunities of up to $30K each to UW—Madison faculty and research staff interested in studying early childhood education. Applications are due July15 with more information available here: https://crece.wceruw.org/funding-opportunities/


Study on Barriers for Student Internships

June 11, 2019   |   By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf

In a recent issue of “Inside Higher Ed,” a new working paper on college internships is spotlighted. Co-authors and WCER researchers Matt Hora, Zi Chen, Emily Parrott and Pa Her recommend that universities make internship programs more accessible for students.


New Study Finds Successful Student Internships Require Careful Design, Equitable Access

June 10, 2019   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

A new working paper co-authored by Matthew T. Hora based on student experiences at three diverse colleges describes what works in successful college internships. It also provides demographic data on students who take internships, identifies key barriers for those students unable to participate in these on-the-job learning experiences and provides a model for developing better internships.


OPINION: Is This Minority Group Too Small to Have a Voice on Campus?

June 6, 2019   |   By Matthew Wolfgram, Bailey Smolarek

The Center for Research on College to Workforce Transitions’ Matthew Wolfgram and Bailey Smolarek penned an article for The Hechinger Report about the educational experiences of HMoob (Hmong)-American students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Their study found the students’ experiences are influenced and organized into spaces of belonging and exclusion, and that this geography of campus had consequences for students’ well-being, career development and educational attainment.


Teachers at the Table: Voice, Agency, and Advocacy in Educational Policymaking

June 3, 2019   |   By Julie Kallio, New Books Network

Evaluator and researcher Annalee Good, co-director of WCER’s Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative, is interviewed about her book, “Teachers at the Table,” in a New Books network podcast episode, starting with her own journey from teaching middle school social studies to studying teacher engagement in policy advocacy. Annalee’s book is a systematic inquiry into the institutional forces that make it hard for teachers to engage in policymaking, and how that hurts policy quality and legitimacy.


Online Credit Recovery Fuels Higher Grad Rates, But Learning Suffers, Report Finds

May 28, 2019   |   By Alyson Klein

Research on the pros and cons of learning in K12 online credit recovery classrooms by WCER’s Annalee Good and Emily Chang, with colleagues at Vanderbilt University, in a recent article for the American Educational Research Journal was highlighted in Education Week’s Digital Education blog.


Itinerant English-Learners Pose Challenges for School Systems

May 23, 2019   |   By Corey Mitchell

Education Week reports that a new 15-state analysis found that 1 in 5 English-learners move so frequently or so far that schools and state education agencies are unable to track them over the course of their academic careers, placing the students at greater risk of struggling in school. The revelation is one of the key findings of new research from the WIDA Consortium, a group of nearly 40 state education agencies that share English-language-proficiency standards and assessment for ELLs.


First Extensive Study of Long-Term English Learners Finds Significant Differences Across U.S.

May 23, 2019   |   By Lynn Armitage

The broadest study ever undertaken of long-term English learners (LTELs) in U.S. public schools underscores the need to better understand how students receive this classification, and why the size of the LTEL population varies widely across and within states.


UW-Madison Team Received ACTS Distinguished Educator Award for Research Mentor Training Programs

May 20, 2019

The Association of Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) awarded its annual Distinguished Educator Award to Chris Pfund, director of WCER’s Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER), and her colleague, Christine Sorkness, UW–Madison Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy and Medicine, for their decades long partnership to improve research mentor training.


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.