News from WCER

Project to Produce Roadmap for Teaching Elementary Grades Algebra

October 29, 2017

Study will produce a prototype Grades K-2 instructional sequence, related assessments and characterizations of progressions in students’ thinking


Iowa State University Selects Jerlando Jackson for Alumni Achievement Award

October 25, 2017

Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences has selected Jerlando F. L. Jackson, professor of higher education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, for its 2017 Alumni Achievement Award.


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.


“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.