QuIRK's NSF Project

Project Abstract

With support from the NSF, QuIRK is adapting for dissemination its innovative protocol for assessing quantitative reasoning (QR) in student writing. Toward that end, QuIRK will work with six partners–Iowa State, Morehouse, St. Olaf, Beloit, Edmonds Community College, Welesley, and Yale–to consider revisions of QuIRK's scoring rubric for application at a broad variety of institution types. We will then conduct feasibility studies at Iowa State, Morehouse, Beloit, Edmonds, and Welesley.

At the same time, QuIRK will be exploring the usefulness of the rubric in summative assessment. Our assessment protocol has proved invaluable in motivating faculty discussions of the connections between QR and written argument and in guiding subsequent faculty development. But we are still unsure whether the data generated by our rubric is fine enough to tease out the differential effects of alternative curricular strategies. Using transcript analysis along with student attitudinal and demographic data, we will begin to explore this question and identify the correlates of QR proficiency.

To provide data for this research, the project also includes resources for faculty development workshops and curricular reforms.

If you are interested in seeing the full NSF proposal, contact Nathan Grawe (QuIRK Co-Director) by email: ngrawe@carleton.edu.

Project Activities

Project activities directly supported by the NSF grant. (QuIRK has carried out many other activities with support from FIPSE, the Keck Foundation, Carleton College, and other sources. The full scope of the initiative is documented elsewhere on the website. This partial list documents NSF-funded work only.)

  • Dissemination

    • Completed a workshop, co-hosted with PKAL, to disseminated alternative QR assessment strategies
    • Feasibility studies have been completed at Wellesley, Morehouse, Iowa State, and Edmonds Community College. Planning is underway for a feasibility study to be conducted at Beloit (May 2011).
    • Consultation with QR programs and other institutions: Augustana College (IL), Berkshire Community College, Beloit College, Brigham Young University, Center for Academic Excellence (Fairfield University), The College of New Jersey, DePauw University, Emory & Henry College, Keene State University, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, New England Educational Assessment Network, North Iowa Area Community College, Oberlin College, Quinnipiac University, St. Francis University, St. Lawrence University, St. Olaf College, Scripps University, Spelman College
  • Related Research

  • Faculty Development Workshops

  • Learning and Teaching Center Talks

    • "What Can We Learn from Carleton's Alumni Survey" with Jim Fergerson and Cherry Danielson of Carleton College, May 27, 2010.
    • "Beyond the Data" with Mary Savina and Cherry Danielson of Carleton College, April 29, 2010.
    • "Unemployment, Childcare, and Manatees: Using Production Meetings to Support Curricular Development," Peter Brandon, Kristen Partlo, Kathy Evertz, Paula Lackie, Andrea Nixon, and Doug Foxgrover, February 25, 2010.
    • "The QRE: Making Your Classes Count," Greg Marfleet, Serena Zabin, and Adrienne Falcon, January 14, 2010.
    • "It's Just Lunch: Speed Data for the Busy Professional," Mary Savina and Chico Zimmerman, October 29, 2009.
    • "A Tale of Three Assessments," Nathan Grawe, October 8, 2009.
    • "High Stakes Assessment and Higher Education," Lloyd Bond (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching), April 21, 2009
    • "Translating Principles of Learning into Practice: Creating an Integrated Curriculum," Claudia Neuhauser (University of Minnesota, Rochester), February 19, 2009
    • "How do we teach quantitative reasoning? Foster a curricular conspiracy," Deborah Hughes Hallett (University of Arizona and Harvard University), April 24, 2008
    • "Empirical methods in humanities research - and music in particular," Eric Clarke (Oxford University), April 8, 2008
    • "Weasel words: Using QR to teach precision in argumentation," Nathan Grawe, January 10, 2008
    • "Critical Thinking About Numbers in the News," Milo Schield (Augsburg College), October 2, 2007
  • New Teaching Materials

    • New courses developed summer 2008:
      • Media and Electoral Politics, Barbara Allen (Political Science)
      • Political Psychology, Greg Marfleet (Political Science)
      • Comparative Party Systems and Elections, Al Montero (Political Science)
      • Sustainability Science, Tun Myint (Political Science)
      • The Black Death and How it Changed Europe, Martha Paas (Economics)
      • The Psychology of Numbers: A Fair and Balanced Look at Statistical Reporting, Mija Van Der Wege (Psychology)
      • Cliometrics, Jenny Wahl (Economics)
      • Global/Local Perspectives, Jay Levi (Cross Cultural Studies)
    • Course revisions completed summer 2008:
      • Microeconomics of Development, Meherun Ahmed (Economics)
      • Ethnic Conflict, Dev Gupta (Political Science)
      • Politics in America, Rich Keiser (Political Science)
      • Class, Power and Inequality in America, Nader Saiedi (Sociology and Anthropology)
    • New Coursesdeveloped summer 2009:
      • Political Communication: Election Campaign Advertising & Public Opinion, Barbara Allen (Political Science)
      • Statistical Tools for Quantitative Reasoning, Peter Brandon (Sociology and Anthropology)
      • Corruption, Authoritarianism, and Democracy, Al Montero (Political Science)
      • Working Across the Life Course, Annette Nierobisz (Sociology and Anthropology)
      • Environmental Economics and Policy, Aaron Swoboda (Environmental Studies)
    • Course revisions developed summer 2009:
      • Principles of Psychology, Ken Abrams (Psychology)
      • Political Economy of Latin America, Al Montero (Political Science)
      • Approaches to Development, Tun Myint (Political Science)
      • Politics in America, Steve Shier (Political Science)
    • New Courses developed summer 2010:
      • Sample and Survey Design, Katie St. Clair (Mathematics)
      • Economics and Environmental Studies First-Year Seminar, Aaron Swoboda (Economics & Environmental Studies)
    • Course revisions developed summer 2010:
      • Enhancing QR in the Introductory Psychology Course, Neil Lutsky (Psychology)
      • Environmental Justice and GIS, Kim Smith (Political Science)

A portion of the QuIRK initiative has been supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (#DUE-0717604). The contents of this portion of the web site were developed under this grant. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy or opinions of the National Science Foundation and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.