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Teaching, Testing, and Assessment in a Quantitative Reasoning Course: Taking Aim at a Missing/Moving Target

Presenter 1
Lisa Neidert
Population Studies Center, University of Michigan

This paper explores some challenges in teaching a class that satisfies the quantitative reasoning requirement at a large research university. The presentation has concrete examples from the classroom setting. These illustrative examples are to provoke discussion, rather than to be additional entries into a statistical literacy toolbox. The main issues to be covered are (a) determining the appropriate mix for class content (subject matter vs quantitative exercises); (b) testing the students; and (c) assessing the course – what did the students learn? The University of Michigan has had a quantitative reasoning requirement for students in the College of Literature, Arts, and Sciences (LSA) for almost 15 years, but there is no LSA-wide oversight of these courses – thus the “missing target” in the title. The “moving target” in the title describes my changing perspectives on what a quantitative reasoning course should be and a way to deliver this product. The presentation will describe some of the changes in the course focus and end with issues of student testing and course assessment.

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