1. What is the status of Quantitative Reasoning programming on your campus?
The Quantitative Reasoning program has been a part of the academic curriculum at DePauw University for nearly 30 years. There are many faculty members who instruct Q designated courses. Prior to doing so, they must complete our Quantitative Reasoning faculty workshop. Q courses are offered in Mathematics, Physics, Geosciences, Psychology, Computer Science, History, Philosophy, Economics, Kinesiology, Sociology Communications and Theatre, Education Studies and Political Science. This fall, 18 different Q courses will be available to students (44 sections in all). During the past 10 years, an average of 82 sections of Q courses have been available to students each year. All Q courses are approved via committee. Students are required to complete at least one course that has been designated to meet the Quantitative Reasoning requirement by the end of their 3rd year. 1st year students whose Quantitative Reasoning skills may need additional development have the option of taking an Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning course (Univ 101) prior to enrolling in a Q course. Over the past 10 years, an average of 40 students have enrolled in the Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning course each year.
2. What are the key learning goals that shape your current programming or that you hope to achieve?
We want students to gain experience and confidence with regards to working with numerical information while simultaneously becoming more adept at both quantitative and logical problem solving. Ideally, many of the skills that students develop in Q courses may be transferred across disciplines, as well as a variety of contexts. While at DePauw, some students will enroll in multiple Q courses during their 4 years and others complete only a single course. Q courses differ in content, context and the degree of focus on Quantitative Reasoning. The development of effective assessment protocols will help us gauge our student's Quantitative Reasoning abilities over a span or range of completed courses and determine their Quantitative Reasoning abilities prior to beginning at DePauw and again upon graduation.
3. Do you have QR assessment instruments in place? If so; please describe:
We currently do not have formal assessment instruments in place. Integrating effective assessments of our students QR abilities into the curriculum would yield valuable information regarding their degrees of success. This information may also help us improve our QR program by enabling us to identify current strengths and weaknesses. We are able to assess the success rate of students participating in Q courses and how students who were recommended for the Univ 101 course (and either enrolled in the course or not) fare in Q courses. These types of assessment yield useful information, but they are relatively superficial.
4. Considering your campus culture; what challenges or barriers do you anticipate in implementing or extending practices to develop and assess QR programming on your campus?
Perhaps the greatest challenge will be having faculty members who are not sure how they can support the program participate in QR programming and events. Proper assessment information should be of interest to a great majority of faculty members as we continue discussions related to QR in our curriculum.
5. Considering your campus culture; what opportunities or assets will be available to support your QR initiatives?
DePauw has a long-standing tradition of supporting QR initiatives. The DePauw administration consistently funds summer faculty workshops and formal discussions, as well as faculty development seminars during the academic year. Many faculty members are eligible to instruct Q courses. Currently 86 faculty members across the curriculum (about 37% of faculty) have attained certification. During past year, the DePauw faculty invested a large amount of time discussing general education requirements, including the competency requirements (Q, writing, speaking and listening). They will continue to do so over the next year. The impression is that a majority of faculty members view the Q requirement as an important component of the academic curriculum. We are interested in discussing ideas regarding how we can better support QR across our curriculum, engage both our current Q faculty and those faculty members who may be unsure of how to incorporate QR into their courses and build upon the existing Quantitative Reasoning program in engaging and meaningful ways.