NICHE > About NICHE/NICE

About the Numeracy Infusion Course for Higher Education (NICHE)/Numeracy Infusion for College Educators (NICE) Program.


The materials presented on this website represent one component of our Numeracy Infusion Course for Higher Education (NICHE)/Numeracy Infusion for College Educators (NICE) Project. In addition, we have developed a series of interactive online modules designed for faculty from across the disciplines that provide instruction for teaching quantitative reasoning (QR) to students. Our 8-unit online course focuses on the following topics:

  1. QR and Making Numbers Meaningful
  2. QR Learning Outcomes
  3. The Brain, Cognition and QR
  4. QR and Writing
  5. Discovery Methods
  6. Representations of Data
  7. QR Assessment
  8. QR Stereotypes and Culture

Whether called numeracy, Quantitative Literacy (QL) or Quantitative Reasoning (QR), the importance of infusing quantitative material throughout the curriculum is an imperative of higher education. This website is intended to provide a repository of resources and information for faculty from across the disciplines who are seeking to infuse numeracy/QL/QR in their course instruction.

More specifically, the materials on this website provide guidance for faculty to

  1. apply QL/QR within a disciplinary context,
  2. articulate QL/QR learning goals/objectives that reflect best practices for teaching quantitative literacy,
  3. identify and implement best practices for teaching QL/QR: active learning, collaborative student learning, writing with numerical information, etc.,
  4. develop and/or adapt exercises and instructional tools that incorporate quantitative reasoning, and
  5. assess the effectiveness of QL/QR instructional efforts and use the assessment results to further improve teaching.

If you have any questions about NICHE/NICE and/or are interested in participating in this course, please contact Esther Isabelle Wilder (Esther.wilder@lehman.cuny.edu). We also welcome feedback and suggestions for this website!

The CUNY NICHE PI/co-PI Team

  • Esther Wilder, Principal Investigator, Lehman College (ewilder@gc.cuny.edu)
  • Frank Wang, co-Principal Investigator, LaGuardia Community College (fwang@lagcc.cuny.edu)
  • Dene Hurley, co-Principal Investigator, Lehman College (dene.hurley@lehman.cuny.edu)

The NICE co-PI Team

  • Sarah Hoiland, Principal Investigator, Hostos Community College (shoiland@hostos.cuny.edu)
  • Esther Wilder, Principal Investigator, Lehman College (ewilder@gc.cuny.edu)

Senior Personnel/Consultants involved in the NICHE/NICE Projects

  • Laura Broughton, Bronx Community College (Senior Personnel, NICE Project)
  • Flora McMartin, Broad-based Knowledge, LLC (Assessment Coordinator, NICHE/NICE Project)
  • William Frey, University of Michigan (External Consultant, NICHE Project)
  • Katherine Rowell, Sinclair Community College (External Consultant, NICHE/NICE Project)
  • Stephen Sweet, Ithaca College (External Consultant, NICHE Project)
  • Corrine Taylor, Wellesley College (External Consultant, NICHE Project)
  • William Walters, Manhattan College (External Consultant, NICHE Project)
  • Elin Waring, Lehman College (NICHE Developer, NICHE Project)
  • Rebecca West, Graduate Center and Lehman College (Research Associate, NICHE/NICE Project)
  • Kate Wolfe, Hostos Community College (Senior Personnel, NICE Project)

Special Thanks

Special thanks to Stephen Castellano and Alyson Vogel at Lehman College for their technical support and enthusiasm for this project. We also acknowledge the extremely helpful feedback and support provided by the Lehman College Quantitative Reasoning (QR) fellows including Tzuhao (T) Huang, Joshua Rutter, Hsien-Tseng (Elvin) Wang, and Ruifang (Grace) Xu. Their assistance has been greatly appreciated!

Contact Us

Esther Isabelle Wilder, Principal Investigator
Lehman College
250 Bedford Park Boulevard West
Bronx, NY 10468
Esther.wilder@lehman.cuny.edu

Authorship and Terms of Use

Unless otherwise indicated, all pages are authored by Esther Isabelle Wilder.

This site is covered by the SERC Terms of Use

Sample Materials from NICHE

Exercise #1: Graphing your Course along a QR Spectrum. For this brief exercise, we want you to review the definitions of quantitative and reasoning from Merriam-Webster's dictionary (Acrobat (PDF) 53kB May2 13). After studying these definitions, please think about a specific course you teach (it could be anything)! After you have picked your course, please graph where you think it would currently fall based on (a) how quantitative it is, and (b) how much reasoning it involves. Please indicate where your course falls by placing a marking, such as a star (or your initials or some other symbol), on this graph. You can do this very easily by double-clicking on the graph and then inserting a shape (the insert option will automatically appear when you double-click on the graph). Then you will want to move the shape (or your initials) where it belongs (and you will likely want to reduce the size of the shape or the font of your initials). As an example, I have chosen a smiley face and graphed it on this chart. After you graph your course on the chart, please go to the bottom of the graph and identify yourself, indicate the symbol you used, noting what course it represents and why you graphed it where you did.

Exercise #2: The Monty Hall Problem.

The Monty Hall Problem gets its name from the TV game show "Let's Make a Deal," which was hosted by Monty Hall. In this problem/scenario, you are a contestant who is seeking to win a prize. There are three doors and there is a prize behind just one of them. You are given the opportunity to select one of the closed doors. The two doors that do not have the prize hide goats or some other item that is not desired. Once you have chosen the door you want, Monty Hall will always open one of the doors that is not the prize and ask you if you'd like to switch. The problem then is whether you should switch. To prepare for this exercise, please watch a clip of a video about the problem here:

A video produced by the University of Colorado at Boulder Journalism and Mass Communications students that discusses the educational practices that contribute to quantitative illiteracy and proposes solutions. This video features an interview with Sanjoy Mahajan, author of Street-Fighting Mathematics.

(1) first, write down what you think you should do (before you start!), given this problem, i.e., should you stay or should you switch?

(2) Next, let's do the Monty Hall problem!

We watch you to switch a total of at least 10 times and stay a total of at least 10 times. So you need to try this at least 20 times. Don't worry: It doesn't take long!

When you are done, you should have a table like this:

Switching

Number of times switched:

Number of times winning when switching:

Number of times losing when switching:

Staying

Number of times stayed:

Number of times winning when staying:

Number of times losing when staying:

Let's transfer the data to this spreadsheet: If you select the tab "summary and chart," we'll see the results from all the groups!

Exercise #3: Graphing the Three Little Pigs. Please watch the Kurt Vonnegut video which illustrates the use of a line graph to tell a story. After you watch that, please watch the "Three Little Pigs Silly Symphony" (also below). After you finish watching the video of the three little pigs, please graph the story using flockdraw and write about your graph here. You should graph the story in whatever way feels right to you (e.g., choose whatever perspective you want). Please follow the following directions.

(1) When you open up "flockdraw," click on "create your own session." This will open a drawing page and you can draw your graph. The drawing tools are pretty self-explanatory, but please label your graph.

(2) When you are finished with your graph, click on the floppy disk to the right of your graph to save it. When you do that, you get a URL that you will want to note.

(3) When you write about your graph, be sure to provide a link to the URL of the graph that you have drawn so that we can all see it.

(4) After you have graphed your story of "The Three Little Pigs," please explain why you graphed the story the way you did.

Kurt Vonnegut on the Shape of Stories

The Three little Pigs Silly Symphony

Exercise 4: Sample class assignment for Social Scientific Perspectives on Health and Disability (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 254kB Aug1 16). Here is the Census Workshop Presention

Financial Support

Support for the NICHE and NICE projects has been provided by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) (TUES) award #1121844 and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) awards #1644948 and #1644975. We gratefully acknowledge the support of NSF for these projects! Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this web site are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Science Foundation. Please email Esther Wilder (Esther.Wilder@lehman.cuny.edu) if you have any questions about this project.


« Previous Page      Next Page »