UW-Madison School of Education - In the Media

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Wisconsin Public Radio notes the work of UW-Madison’s Department of Kinesiology

July 29, 2019

Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) shared a report that notes the work of UW-Madison's Julie Stamm and the Department of Kinesiology's efforts to better engage with students in large lectures.

Started in 2016, the Redesigning for Active Learning in High-Enrollment Courses (REACH) initiative at UW–Madison is aimed at increasing engagement and attendance in large lecture classes. While some teachers are choosing not to implement REACH in their classrooms, Stamm, who is an associate lecturer with the School of Education's Department of Kinesiology, has embraced it. 

Julie Stamm
Classes that utilize REACH have less lecturing and emphasize group work. In the large lecture hall where Stamm teaches, students sit closer to the front of the room and sit every other row so teaching assistants can roam the room and answer questions. 

During the spring 2019 semester, Stamm taught an introductory REACH course on human anatomy that had several hundred students in it.

Stamm tells WPR that “the student doesn’t always know how helpful the class was until later and they realize, ‘Oh I actually remember a lot of this. I’ve gotten emails from students who are now in physical therapy or physician assistants or nursing school who are reflecting back and saying, “Wow, am I glad I took this class.’ And that’s the goal. We want them to be extremely prepared when they get to their next step.”

As of the 2019 spring semester, UW-Madison had 20 REACH courses. According to WPR’s report, 17,000 students have taken REACH courses since the program started, seeing an increase in attendance as high as 90 percent from below 50 percent. 

Read the WPR article here.

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