University of Washington Bothell
1. What is the status of Quantitative Reasoning programming on your campus?
The University of Washington Bothell (UWB) has long been committed to quantitative literacy. We've had a Quantitative Skills Center for 10 years which supports faculty in developing QL curriculum and also provides peer tutoring for students practicing QL at all levels. Many faculty have used this resource and developed QL modules in their courses. However, we've yet to attain a more holistic approach across campus. To help fill in the gaps, a committee will be appointed in the Fall to investigate and suggest models for our campus.
2. What are the key learning goals that shape your current programming or that you hope to achieve?
UWB is a student-centered campus. While each program has unique learning goals, here are some that are shared by most:
1. Interdisciplinary research – seeking out multiple perspectives and sources of knowledge to solve problems.
2. Communication – Using verbal and written communication to effectively convey ideas and create new knowledge.
3. Critical Thinking – To examine issues from multiple view points and reflect on the meaning and implications of those ideas.
4. Collaboration – To work together and assume shared leadership.
5. Community engagement – practicing the theory in real world settings.
Our freshman program also lists quantitative literacy as a learning goal, but it is described in a very fundamental, skills based way. We would like to find a way to make QL more central to all campus degree programs.
3. Do you have QR assessment instruments in place? If so; please describe:
We have a QR assessment for incoming freshman based on the Wellesley QR exam. It is optional and is used primarily for placement into mathematics courses. A few professors also have rubrics for individual assignments. But, again, this is isolated work and not a campus wide effort.
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?
Our campus is a growing campus in a time of limited resources. Everyone is on three too many committees and teaching courses without the aid of graduate students since we do not have any PhD programs at our branch. So, time is the biggest barrier. We also deal with an attitude that questions why QL is more important than other literacies. Writing, information literacy, media literacy, scientific literacy, etc. are also seen as equally important.
5. Considering your campus culture; what opportunities or assets will be available to support your QR initiatives?
Our campus is a new, growing campus. We are not steeped in years of tradition. We take risks, often in very creative and innovative ways. We are truly student-centered with relatively small class sizes and permanent faculty doing the majority of teaching.