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



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 8-10, 2010

Application deadline: August 6, 2010.


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 national assessment protocol with QR connections that has been used by over 400 institutions and 165,000 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

Workshop participants:

  • Augsburg College
  • Beloit College
  • Berkshire Community College
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Colby-Sawyer College
  • Dakota Wesleyan University
  • Edmonds Community College
  • DePauw University
  • Edison State College
  • Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Hampshire College
  • Lehman College (CUNY)
  • Lewis & Clark College
  • Lynn University
  • Middlebury College
  • North Iowa Area Community College
  • The Ohio State University
  • Pomona College
  • University of Redlands
  • University of Texas-San Antonio
  • Transylvania University
  • University of Washington Bothell
  • Willamette University (Salem, OR)

Go to workshop overview.


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