Quantifying Quantitative Reasoning in Undergraduate Education: Alternative Strategies for the Assessment of Quantitative Reasoning

Crowd at Quirk-PKAL Workshop 08

Carleton College, Northfield MN 55057

"[Quantitative reasoning] requires creativity in assessment...."
-Lynn Arthur Steen, Achieving Quantitative Literacy

a workshop co-sponsored by Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) and the QuIRK initiative

October 10-12, 2008

Application deadline: The 2008 workshop is now past. Here's the [ link http://serc.carleton.edu/quirk/pkal_workshop10/index.html 'Application Page'] for the 2010 workshop.

Quantitative reasoning clearly requires facility with a set of mathematical skills. But it also demands the ability to apply these skills in context. While long-existing standardized tests can easily assess QR's basic skills, it is much more challenging to evaluate its application in context. In "'Get Real!': Assessing for Quantitative Literacy," Grant Wiggins points out "standardized conditions are decontextualized by design." At its 2003 Forum on Quantitative Literacy, the National Council on Education and the Disciplines concluded, "[QR] is largely absent from our current systems of assessment and accountability."

The QR community has been busy since the NCED report, developing various means of QR assessment. We invite schools to send teams of 3 to 5 for a 3-day workshop to explore alternative QR assessment strategies that may be applied in a broad range of institutions. Discussions of QR assessment and program design will be led by a team of facilitators with extensive expertise in the area. In particular, participants will be introduced to alternative QR assessment methods including:

  • An assessment of QR in student writing
  • A sophisticated standardized test that tests QR in contextualized case studies
  • A QR assessment protocol that has been used by 210 institutions in 46 states allowing for cross-school comparison
  • Assessment tools that can be used at the program, course, and student level

Workshop conveners:

  • Nathan Grawe, Carleton College
  • Jeanne Narum, Project Kaleidoscope

Participating institutions:

  • Augsburg College
  • Bates College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Central Michigan University
  • Central Washington University
  • Colby-Sawyer College
  • Colorado College
  • Fairfield University
  • Knox College
  • Linfield College
  • Macalester College
  • Miami University
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead
  • Mount Saint Mary College
  • Roanoke College
  • Smith College
  • St. Lawrence University
  • St. Olaf College
  • The College of New Jersey
  • Trinity College (Hartford, CT)
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Massachusetts-Boston
  • University of Queensland
  • Vassar College

Go to workshop overview.