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The Quantitative Reasoning for College Science (QuaRCS) Assessment: A Validated Instrument for Assessing Undergraduate Students’ Quantitative Reasoning Skills and Attitudes

Presentation #226.07 in the session “Education, Outreach, and Public Engagement”.

Published onJun 18, 2021
The Quantitative Reasoning for College Science (QuaRCS) Assessment: A Validated Instrument for Assessing Undergraduate Students’ Quantitative Reasoning Skills and Attitudes

The Quantitative Reasoning for College Science (QuaRCS) Assessment was developed to assess undergraduate students’ knowledge of basic quantitative skills, as well as attitudinal and affective variables related to math (e.g. math anxiety). Academic and basic demographic information is also collected. Through repeated field testing and revision, the QuaRCS has been refined and validated for use with undergraduate students in general education science courses. An abbreviated version (QuaRCS Light) has been shown to increase students’ overall effort level, while remaining a valid and reliable assessment. The QuaRCS and QuaRCS Light have been used to assess quantitative reasoning and affective variables, including numerical self-efficacy, numerical relevancy, and academic maturity, in almost 6,000 students across the US. Recent revisions also allow us to assess math anxiety level. New funding from the National Science Foundation will support revision of the QuaRCS to explore and improve the cultural competency of the assessment. We will discuss these new developments, as well as how astronomy instructors can enroll in and stay informed about the results of the QuaRCS study.


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