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In the News

2016
WCER’s Connolly to join National Academies committee on STEM education 
February 2016
School of Education News

Mark Connolly is serving on a National Academies of Sciences committee where he will join 13 other experts in education to develop a framework for evaluating the state of postsecondary STEM education on a national level. The results of this two-and-a-half-year study will ultimately help to assess the state of STEM education as well as track changes over time. More information on this project can be found here .

2015
Education Experts Point to Inadequacies in STEM  Teaching 
April 2015
Badger Herald

Retaining students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields depends on the quality of teaching; this is something that is often neglected at large research institutions, notes WCER scientist Mark Connolly. He suggests that graduate students in STEM fields should be supported and taught teaching strategies in order to increase undergraduate student retention rates.

How Personality Type Affects Your Student’s Experience in the Classroom 
April 2015
Badger Parent

Positive classroom dynamics, especially in smaller discussion-heavy classes, are important in order for students to get the most out of their learning experience. This article explores the role of managing introverted and extroverted personalities and facilitating classroom discussions. WCER’s Mark Connolly contributes insight into how classroom dynamics affects STEM majors in particular.

2014
Connolly Appears in Videos to Support CIRTL MOOC

Talking About Leaving, Revisited co-PI Mark Connolly was a featured presenter in a massive open online course  titled “An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching: Coursera Course”. Sponsored by Vanderbilt University and the Center for the Integration of Research, Training, and Learning (CIRTL), this course was held during Winter Term of 2014. Connolly discusses what is known about student motivation for learning based on the 1997 Talking About Leaving study and other research. The course had 4,000 active participants in the United States and elsewhere.

2012
Study Looks at Why Students Leave STEM Majors 
October 16, 2012
University of Wisconsin- Madison News

Rates of undergraduate students switching out of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors have been largely unchanged since the late 1990s, despite recent efforts to improve these outcomes. “Talking About Leaving, Revisited”, a study led by Mark Connolly of WCER and Anne-Barrie Hunter of CU-Boulder, seeks to understand why this phenomenon is so prevalent and what can be done to improve STEM education.

Seely on Science: UW Researcher to Study Why Students Drop Out of Sciences 
October 18, 2012
Wisconsin State Journal

The shortage of college graduates in math and science fields is a growing problem and has become an important political and economic issue in the United States. UW-Madison researcher Mark Connolly seeks to discover why so many students switch out of math and science related majors in college.

Studying Why Some Shy Away from Math and Science 
October 22, 2012
Wisconsin Public Radio

There is an increasing need in America for students to study math and science. Understanding why students shy away from these fields is important for the future of the U.S. in a complex, global economy. Researchers at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research are examining whether learning experiences in introductory, “gateway” courses could influence retention in these fields.

Collaborative Study Aims to Decode High STEM Dropout Rate 
November 6, 2012
The Daily Cardinal

“Talking About Leaving, Revisited,” a new study out of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, examines why there is a persistent high rate of switching out of STEM majors among undergraduates. By looking at foundational courses and factors outside the classroom, researchers hope to provide recommendations for improving STEM education to a variety of stakeholders.