Edmonds Community College
1. What is the status of Quantitative Reasoning programming on your campus?
Edmonds Community College led and participated in two National Science Foundation funded projects integrating mathematics across the curriculum from 1999 to 2010. Edmonds faculty from political science, sociology, chemistry, art, art history, biology, English, mathematics, physics and business participated by integrating a variety of levels of mathematics in a variety of ways into their curriculum. The two social science faculty applying to attend this PKAL conference at Carleton were participants in the MAC projects. Unfortunately many of these QR opportunities were made possible through a learning communities program which is no longer funded due to budget cuts. Some faculty have continued to teach assignments which have QR influence and courses created under the MAC project are still taught but the level of implementation is less than it was three or four years ago. The impetus for this application comes with our participation in a QuIRK workshop which revitalized our interest in working with quantitative reasoning and writing coupled with the development of our undergraduate research program for quantitative social sciences in association with our new honors program.
2. What are the key learning goals that shape your current programming or that you hope to achieve?
As mentioned above the proposed team is currently working on developing a Undergraduate Research Program (UGRP) at the college that serves as a pipeline to UGRP's at the Four-Year Transfer Institutions. Initial work will be done in the Social Sciences but the hope is to eventually naturalize the program where appropriate across the college including the Honors Program. More specifically our learning goals will coincide with two of our new college-wide outcomes. EdCC has 4 College Wide Abilities with associated outcomes. Two of them, Communication and Reason, along with their associated outcomes are especially germane to the revitalization of QR across the curriculum (see 1 above) and assessment thereof (see 3 below).
"Communicate and interact respectfully through critical and imaginative expression"
* Exchange or present information, thoughts, feelings, insights, and perspectives to multiple audiences through a variety of written, verbal, non-verbal, visual, symbolic, and aesthetic means
* Communicate findings or results of analytic, quantitative, and creative models and processes
* Demonstrate an understanding that communication involves both sending and receiving information through active reading, speaking, and listening
* Use creative and critical processes to create common understandings, present multiple perspectives, explore divergent viewpoints and evaluate the effectiveness of one's own and others' communication
* Work effectively in face-to-face and online group settings
* Use appropriate tools, techniques, and technology to communicate effectively
"Reason clearly using varied analytic and creative approaches"
* Locate, acquire, evaluate, and apply information in response to an identified need or problem
* Analyze data by reshaping it as a quantitative model or other analytic framework in order to deepen understanding of information and to solve problems
* Use facts or premises to form conclusions, judgments, or inferences
* Use new observations, interpretations, and perspectives to reexamine or revise initial conclusions or to reconsider perspectives
* Engage in imaginative and critical inquiry to explore concepts and perspectives and to construct new knowledge, insights, or models
* Analyze, synthesize, integrate, and evaluate ideas and information from multiple perspectives in order to make complex decisions, solve problems, evaluate actions, adapt to changing situations, and plan for the future
* Use appropriate tools, techniques, and technology to solve problems
3. Do you have QR assessment instruments in place? If so; please describe:
Edmonds assessment of quantitative reasoning is performed within the context of individual courses. However, in response to the latest accreditation recommendations, the college has spent the last year redefining its college wide outcomes and new efforts are underway to make the assessment of these outcomes (quantitative reasoning included) more explicit and college wide. With respect to the UGRP our assessment will include the changes in student learning and attitudes with respect to the quantitative learning outcomes of the new methods and projects courses.
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?
* As noted in areas 1 and 3 (above) the college is experiencing a transition in the way that it assesses student learning and curriculum design. Current efforts are fragmented because of the end of support for a learning communities approach. Building a new system of curricular design, sharing, and assessment will take time.
* Lack of compensation for faculty participation during period of budget scarcity.
* Current lack of infrastructure to support student participation specific to QR and undergraduate research
5. Considering your campus culture; what opportunities or assets will be available to support your QR initiatives?
* Faculty is very interested in assessing student learning, especially in QR areas as a function of general outcomes AND in the development of the student research program
* Expertise exists via the MACCC Project (currently underutilized)
* College is currently revamping assessment programs, a result of recommendations received during most recent Accreditation process