UWM Online Research

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has a long history in exploring effective pedagogical and technological practices to enhance student support, faculty development, online courses and program design, and institutional services to improve access, instructional effectiveness, learning effectiveness, and satisfaction. Notably, UWM has secured external funding to support many of these research efforts resulting in national recognition for UWM’s research and innovation in blended and online learning.

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) works to advance UWM’s vision to “be a top-tier research university that is a best place to learn and work for students, faculty, and staff” by promoting innovation and research on teaching and learning among teaching assistants, teaching academic staff, and faculty through Scholarship of Teaching and learning consultations, the Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars Programs, and its grant opportunities. The CETL team investigates the effects of cutting-edge pedagogical practices and instructional technologies that have the potential to impact higher education, and disseminates the findings through seminars and webinars, white papers, journal publications, conferences, workshops, newsletters, CETL Virtual Teaching Commons, and the Online Program Council.

The National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) was established with an award from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) to UWM for $1.48 million over three years. The grant’s focus is on identifying instructional and institutional practices in online education across the United States that can increase student success. Working with several institutions across the country, the DETA Research Center conducts rigorous cross-institutional research to identify key factors influencing student success in blended, online, and competency-based education.

U-Pace is an award winning (NUTN 2012) technology-enabled instructional approach developed at UWM. U-Pace integrates self-paced, mastery-based learning with instructor-initiated Amplified Assistance in an online learning environment. Three randomized control trials (RCTs) in disciplinary introductory courses were carried out. The findings demonstrate that the U-Pace instruction produces greater learning and academic success across the disciplines for both students at-risk for college non-completion and students not at-risk. The consistent demonstration that U-Pace instruction produces student success is introductory courses has important implications as master of skills and knowledge in these courses potentiates students’ ability to complete their college degree.

For more examples of UWM Online’s research and innovation visit Points of Pride.