Course Submission Procedure
One of the components of the Liberal Learning Guidelines for Human Inquiry is Quantitative Reasoning (QR). The goal of QR, as currently defined at TCNJ, is that “students should understand quantitative reasoning so they can respond effectively to claims deriving from quantitative arguments.” Complete details are available at:
The Quantitative Reasoning Advisory Committee (QRAC) was established in 2006. The Committee is charged with a variety of tasks related to quantitative reasoning at TCNJ, one of which is evaluating courses and other academic experiences to determine whether they should be deemed approved vehicles for fulfilling the QR liberal learning component. Toward that end, the Committee has developed procedure to facilitate its work. QRAC recommendations are forwarded to the Liberal Learning Program Council (LLPC); it is the latter group that ultimately decides on liberal learning issues, including QR course designation.
The QR Course Application Form is designed to enable QRAC to reach an informed decision regarding the QR merits of the course under review. The information provided will also permit QRAC to give structured feedback to the person or group submitting the course for QR designation. The form includes a matrix in which the submitter shows how specific elements of the course relate to the following established objectives for QR at TCNJ:
· Students will understand how real-world problems and social issues can be analyzed using the power and rigor of mathematic and statistical models.
· Students will be able to evaluate representation and inferences that are based on quantitative information.
· Students will be able to interpret mathematical models such as formulas, graphs, and tables, and draw inferences from them.
· Students will be able to estimate and check answers to mathematical problems in order to determine reasonableness, identify alternatives, and select optimal results.
· Students will be able to use arithmetical, algebraic, geometric, and statistical methods to solve problems, but learn to recognize the limitations of mathematics and statistics as well.
At present QR is a course-based component of liberal learning; i.e., the QR requirement is met by passing a single course. Therefore, to receive QR designation a course must address the objectives listed above. In Fall 2007 QRAC developed the following interpretation of Quantitative Reasoning at TCNJ as it applies to courses intended to meet the QR requirement: The aim of courses in Quantitative Reasoning is to further students’ knowledge and understanding of mathematical and quantitative modes of thought. Some courses emphasize theoretical aspects of mathematics or statistical reasoning. Other courses in this area explore the application of quantitative methods to questions in disciplines across the curriculum.
In addition to evidence that the proposed course meets established QR objectives, QRAC invites submitters to suggest other course outcomes that the course designer believes are legitimate aspects of quantitative reasoning that may not be fully covered by the established objectives. These added objectives and outcomes are to be included in the matrix as well. The submitter must specify explicitly in the matrix what section or sections of the course syllabus pertain to each objective, both the established ones and those added by the submitter.
The QR Course Application Form also requires the submitter to provide the following information:
· A statement identifying the intended audience of the course.
· Representative assignments and tests.
· A plan for ongoing course evaluation and assessment that details how the course will be investigated to determine how well it is meeting its stated goals and objectives.
Currently the main activity of QRAC with respect to QR courses is to review submitted proposals to determine whether they meet the objectives of the quantitative reasoning requirement. However, curricula and requirements are always evolving and changing. Eventually TCNJ students might acquire QR competency through a composite of activities and experiences spread over several courses, experiential learning activities, or other academic pursuits. Accordingly, QRAC invites and encourages submitters to describe anything students may be doing in addition to the proposed course that contributes to knowledge and ability with respect to quantitative reasoning.