Research Findings Based on Assessment Data

Findings from Assessment of Student Work Prior to QuIRK

Among the most startling findings was how infrequently students used numeric evidence when such evidence would have powerfully set the context for an argument.

The Use of Quantitative Reasoning across the Curriculum: Empirical Evidence from Carleton College

(Forthcoming in the International Journal for the Science of Teaching and Learning)
by Nathan D. Grawe
Educational theorists have argued that effective instruction in quantitative reasoning (QR) should extend across the curriculum. While a noble goal, it is not immediately evident that this is even possible. To assess the feasibility of this approach to QR instruction, I examine papers written by undergraduates for submission to a sophomore writing portfolio. I distinguish papers in which QR is central to the main thrust of the argument ("centrally relevant") from those in which QR would strengthen the argument by providing context, enriching description, or presenting background ("peripherally relevant"). I find extensive potential for QR instruction across the curriculum. In 25% of papers QR was centrally relevant and in another roughly 20% QR was peripherally so. Of papers for which QR is centrally (peripherally) relevant, around 50% (95%) were written outside natural science courses. Moreover, 30% of papers written in arts, literature, and humanities courses were QR relevant.

Beyond Math Skills: Measuring Quantitative Reasoning in Context

(Forthcoming in New Directions for Institutional Research)
by Nathan D. Grawe
This article reviews several available tools for the assessment of QR and briefly summarizes what initial assessment results have taught us about "what works."