McLeer is UW Colleges Wisconsin Teaching Scholar for 2013-2014

Her goal: Enhance learning

Dr. Karen McLeer, University of Wisconsin-Richland associate professor of English, was chosen as the University of Wisconsin Colleges Teaching Scholar for 2013-2014. Her application was selected from among all professors of the 13-campus institution who applied. It’s an opportunity for her to focus on enhancing student learning.

As a member of the Wisconsin Teaching Scholars program, McLeer participated in a Summer Institute held in Madison for a week in June. She was one of 31 faculty from all University of Wisconsin campuses who focused for that week on the topic of how students learn. McLeer found the opportunity to share with colleagues who teach a variety of subjects to be helpful. After considering all she learned as part of that program, McLeer shaped and developed her research plan.

“Teachers are always thinking about how to improve their teaching—and to enhance their students’ learning,” McLeer said. “I gained insights by learning how my peers look at student learning.” Her activities as a Teaching Scholar provide the basis for a systematic, research-based approach.

McLeer’s research will look at practices for teaching analytical writing skills in her English 101-College Writing and Critical Reading. Questions she aims to answer are: What's the connection between reading analytically and writing an analytic essay? Do students who learn from reading non-fiction gain the same skills as students who are reading fiction? How can students use these skills in their other classes, their careers, and their lives? She plans to begin the research this fall.

Energized by new ideas, McLeer said, “I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with my UW-Richland colleagues.” She plans, as well, to share what she learns with other teachers by publishing the results of her study.

For more information, contact McLeer by email at or by calling the campus at (608) 647-6186, Extension 237. ###


Dorothy Thompson
608.647.6186, ext. 231