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Quantitative Reasoning

One of the goals of Old Dominion University's General Education Program is to "develop basic mathematical competence." Basic mathematical competence requires competence in quantitative reasoning. Competency in Quantitative Reasoning is defined by the following five skills and abilities that will be assessed across the three primary courses designed to meet this General Education requirement.

  1. Logical Reasoning
  2. Computational Skills
  3. Data Interpretation
  4. Problem Solving
  5. Quantitative modeling

Standards for Competency

  1. Logical Reasoning: Students will be able to interpret sentences that contain the logical connectives "and," "or," "some," "all," and "none". They will be able to use deductive reasoning to draw conclusions from a series of statements and to identify appropriate generalizations or trends.
  2. Computational Skills: Students will develop facility in the language and symbols of mathematics and will be able to perform basic calculations and operations related to the application of mathematics or statistics.
  3. Data Interpretation: Students will be able to read and interpret visual displays of quantitative information such as bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, pictographs, and tables. They will be able to use them to make predictions and draw inferences from the data.
  4. Problem Solving: Students will be able to read a word problem, set up the necessary equations that describe the problem, solve these equations using basic quantitative techniques, and interpret or draw a conclusion from the solution.
  5. Quantitative Modeling: Students will be able to model physical and natural phenomena and assess validity of a model, make predictions from the model, and draw conclusions based on the model.

Summary: (75 words, provide brief analysis of results)

Overall, 75% of the students who passed their general education math course were found to have at least a satisfactory level of quantitative reasoning competence. This varied across courses with 89% of the students in College Algebra and 77% of those in Precalculus demonstrating higher levels of competence while only 54% of the students in Elementary Statistics achieved competence. Faculty have started discussions about how to improve the performance of their students. Requiring more homework and attendance are a couple of the suggestions expressed early in the discussion. Faculty also plan to review the item analyses and fine-tune the tests as well.