IDEA Objective 13: Learning appropriate methods for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting numerical information
What is this objective?
The current age is becoming increasingly data-rich and people need to critically read and understand the numerical information.
This objective deals with creating opportunities for the college students where they can develop the ability to i) work with, ii) understand and iii) make arguments based on numbers (“quantitative literacy”).
How can one teach this objective?
- Appreciate the students’ need to understand the value of this objective.
- Don’t leave the introduction to “quantitative literacy” to be addressed at the end of the unit or “if time permits”. Use numerical questions as motivation to use the quantitative skills to answer specific questions, throughout the semester.
- Be sensitive towards students’ mathematics phobia. Use exercises that can help students overcome their anxiety.
- Use appropriate examples to introduce numerical literacy to the students.
- Quantitative situations often require assumptions to be made prior to computing/solving. Clearly explain the assumptions and discuss the pros and cons of the assumptions made.
- Encourage the students to think about the audience when sharing their work and conclusions. Representation of the data and the conclusions is a very important part of interpretation.
How can one assess this objective?
- Use Quantitative Literacy and Reasoning Assessment instrument that is specifically designed to assess students “quantitative literacy” habits.
- Grounding assessments that are evaluated based on the VALUS rubric can also be used to assess students progress.
Reference and resource:
Author: Praveena Kanchupati, PhD. Candidate & GTA Consultant
Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning
Contact: Kevin Sackreiter, Ed.D., Director
Center for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning
Contributions: Shelly Bayer, Ed.D.