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Quantitative Reasoning

At the end of the spring 2016 semester, Merritt College faculty met to discuss their assessment of the Quantitative Reasoning ILO. Six faculty from a variety of disciplines brought samples of student work and scoring rubrics that allowed us to consider student achievement in this area. An additional five faculty and one classified attended the discussion.

Quantitative Reasoning Assessment Meeting Summary
May 27, 2016

Participants: Jennifer Shanoski (chemistry), Tom Renbarger (astronomy/physics), Fereshteh Mofidi (business), Heather Casale (nutrition), Jennifer Yates (radiologic science), Laura Forlin (landscape horticulture)

Present: Tom Rossi, Ann Elliott, Dan Lawson, Mario Rivas, Susan Andrien, Clifton Coleman (classified)

Summary of Strengths:
– Systematic approach to problem solving
– Unit conversions
– Correct application of complex mathematical equations
– Ability to keep big picture in mind
– Using graphs/creating graphs
– Making tables of data
– Discussion of consequences of wrong numbers

Summary of Weaknesses:
– Analysis of reasonability of results
– Grammar/writing
– Attention to detail – recognizing missing steps in calc. sequence
– Insufficient math skills
– Incomplete research
– Details of graphs: titles, axis labels, data distribution
– Scientific interpretation of data & error analysis

Proposed Actions:
– Inform students of available facilities – computer labs for graphing
– Require students to check-in to ensure that those needing help get it and that
time is being managed properly
– Provide additional opportunities to practice computations – do the
computations need to be incorporated more into the course
– Development of a math course for LANHT & NUTR
• Could student groups be conducted with the opportunity to earn extra

Issues That Need to be Addressed and Possible Actions:
– There is no math requirement for LANHT courses
• Could a 0.5 unit course be developed and added to the certificate

– Could we develop math modules?
• There is a grant that we have to develop an allied health math course –
Dan Lawson is part of the committee charged with this and will ensure
that biology, chemistry, nutrition, radiology, etc. faculty are included
• Could we use OER funds to support module development? Mario will
determine if this is an appropriate use of funds.
• Do we have the capacity to develop modules? Tom will ask Courtney
about building these.
• Jennifer Yates will organize a work group to see what math concepts are
common to many disciplines so that we can start with a general module
for use in many different disciplines. Could the module branch off into
different examples depending on which subject the student plans to

– We need a way to incorporate math into courses better
• How do we incorporate number literacy into non-math courses?
• Dan Lawson heard speakers from OUSD on this – can we invite
them to our professional development days in August? Dan will
send contact information to Jennifer and Jennifer will contact the
PD committee to discuss possibilities for spring