For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop



Michael Harwell

Acting coordinator, quantitative methods in education program & professor
CEHD Distinguished Teaching Award
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Educational Psychology
176 EdSciB
56 East River Rd

Tel: 612/625-0196

Research Interests

My research interests are defined by three lines of work.  One focuses on developing meta-analytic effect sizes and tests that extract information from a pool of studies beyond traditional measures like standardized mean differences for two groups.  Two examples are an effect size and test that capture differences in variability across two-group studies, and an effect size and test extending Hedges g to multi-group studies.  A second line of research examines the role and impact of conceptual and empirical models for socioeconomic status (SES).  This work has revealed that traditional measures of SES tend to show modest correlations with educational achievement, which undermines the value of including these measures as control variables when modeling educational outcomes.  Currently I am studying several conceptual and empirical SES models with the goal of constructing a measure that more fully incorporate the SES-related factors that affect achievement.  A third line of research examines nonparametric estimators and tests for complex statistical models particularly linear (mixed) models that serve as competitors to normal-theory-based methods.  This work uses computer simulation methods to study the behavior of these statistics for realistic data conditions.

Selected Publications

  1. Harwell, M.R. Including differences in variability in assessing the achievement gap in reading. In R. Horowitz & J. Samuels (Eds.), The achievement gap in reading: Complex causes, persistent issues, possible solutions. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis (in press).

  2. Harwell, M.R. Not so fast my friend: The rush to R and the need for rigorous evaluations of data analysis software in education. Educational Research Quarterly (in press).

  3. Harwell, M.R., Post, T.R., Medhanie, A., Dupuis, D.N., & LeBeau, B. (2013). A multi-institutional study of high school mathematics curricula and college mathematics      achievement and course-taking. Journal of Research in Mathematics Education, 44, 742-774.

  4. LeBeau, B, Harwell, M.R., Monson, D, Dupuis, D, Medhanie, A, & Post, T.R.  (2012). Student and high-school characteristics related to completing a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) major in college. Research in Science & echnological Education 30, 17-28.

  5. Medhanie, A., Dupuis, D.N., LeBeau, B., Harwell, M., & Post, T.R. (2012). The role of the ACCUPLACER mathematics placement test on a student’s first college mathematics      course. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 72, 332-351.

  6. Harwell, M.R., Medhanie, A., Post, T.R., Norman, K. & Dupuis, D.  (2011). The preparation of students completing a Core-Plus or commercially developed high school mathematics curriculum for intense college mathematics coursework. Journal of Experimental Education, 80(1), 96-112.

  7. Harwell, M.R. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods. (2011). In C. Conrad & R.C. Serlin (Eds.), The Sage handbook for research in education: Pursuing ideas as the keystone of exemplary inquiry (Second Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  8. Harwell, M.R., & LeBeau, B. (2010). Student eligibility for a free lunch as an SES measure in educational research.  Educational Researcher, 39, 120-131.