by the College of Education at Illinois / Sep 28, 2016, 8:45 AM

University Primary School, the laboratory school of the College of Education, will host an open house for the community on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at Children’s Research Center, 51 Gerty Drive, Champaign.

Prospective families, researchers and community members may see the preschool class from 9 a.m. to noon and the kindergarten through fifth-grade classrooms from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Applications for the 2016-17 academic year will be available in January.  For more information, visit or contact director Ali Lewis at 333-3996 or


by (Nancy O'Brien) / Sep 23, 2016, 12:15 PM

Copyright Librarian Sara Benson, LLM, JD, is hosting a workshop about Copyright and Author’s Rights on Thursday, October 6 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Room 314 of the Main Library.  You can register for the session at this link, but you may also attend without prior registration: This informal session will cover what rights you own in your own academic work and how to protect those rights when negotiating with publishers.  If you cannot attend the session, but would like to chat, contact Sara at

by the College of Education at Illinois / Sep 22, 2016, 9:15 AM

The Campus Faculty Association will award up to five $1,000 scholarships to undergraduate students at the University of Illinois’ Urbana campus who demonstrate a commitment to social justice in the community. Applicants’ social justice work may take many forms, including volunteer or paid work performed through nonprofit organizations, but can include less formally structured activities.

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by the College of Education at Illinois / Sep 21, 2016, 3:45 AM

Eboni Zamani-GallaherEboni Zamani-Gallaher, a professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, will be the principal investigator in a study that seeks to advance knowledge beyond what is already known about underrepresented students studying in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

The nearly two-year research project, funded in the amount of nearly $300,000 by the National Science Foundation, will begin early next year.

The abstract of the project reveals there is a lack of literature on Hispanic-serving two-year institutions (HSIs). Zamani-Gallaher’s study, therefore, will explore what factors influence successful matriculation of underrepresented racial/ethnic minority students in STEM programs at HSI two-year colleges.

“The study will inform STEM pathways at two-year Hispanic-serving institutions by examining the individual and academic factors common to Hispanic students who transfer to STEM. I will be coupling data from the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS) and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to identify predictors of student persistence in STEM transfer and completion,” said Zamani-Gallaher, who is the director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership.

Zamani-Gallaher said the study will utilize data mining techniques and case studies that will contribute to the empirical knowledge in the area she’s exploring.

The broader goal of the study, which is titled Transfer and the Undergraduate STEM Pipeline at Two-year Hispanic-Serving Institutions, will be to identify predictors of underrepresented racial/ethnic minority students’ persistence in STEM at the selected two-year institutions.

“The knowledge produced by this project could inform program offerings, individual STEM disciplines, transfer articulation agreements, and best practices across STEM disciplines within two-year institutions that serve Hispanic students and for community colleges in general,” Zamani-Gallaher said.

by the College of Education at Illinois / Sep 20, 2016, 3:30 AM

Emma Mercier and Luc Paquette, both assistant professors in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, have received a $1.35 million National Science Foundation Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies grant for a study that will explore how tools to manage the teaching of collaborative activities can be developed and used to support collaborative problem-solving in core engineering courses.

The four-year study will also focus on whether receiving collaboration prompts during collaborative problem-solving improves students’ collaboration skills and learning experiences.

Mercier, the principal investigator of the project, said there is a growing need to educate teaching assistants on how to teach collaboration skills as STEM disciplines increasingly recognize the importance of using collaborative, problem-solving tasks in introductory courses. She added that supporting students during these learning activities is equally important.

“One particularly novel aspect of this project is the use of data analytics to mine the way that students are using the collaboration tools, and exploring whether we can assess their collaborative interactions and provide appropriate prompts while they’re working, thus improving their learning experiences,” Mercier said.

The project builds upon the work of Mercier’s previous NSF-funded grant on Cyberlearning, which focused on the research and design of collaborative sketch tools for engineering courses. In that study, Mercier and her collaborators found that students struggled to work collaboratively, and that the teaching assistants needed assistance in intervening when groups were having issues. 

For this new project, Mercier and Paquette will collaborate with Mariana Silva Sohn, a lecturer and curriculum development coordinator in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. The three scholars will work with engineering students in the Illinois Digital Ecologies and Learning Laboratory (IDEALL), located in the Education building.

Working in the IDEALL space will allow the researchers to capture audio and video of all the groups being studied, as well as the teaching assistants as they move between groups.

“As we develop the tools for the students and teaching assistants, collecting data on all groups will allow us to understand how the TAs and students respond to prompts, and what effect they have on the groups’ interactions and learning experiences,” said Mercier.

Read the abstract of the project “DIP: Improving Collaborative Learning in Engineering Classes through Integrated Tools.”