Presentation #226.09 in the session “Education, Outreach, and Public Engagement”.
General education science courses are often the last formal opportunity for undergraduate students to develop their knowledge, skills, and attitudes in quantitative reasoning (QR). As enrollments in general education astronomy courses are high, this is an ideal environment for students to develop “real world” numerical skills; this development has broad and life-long impacts, as quantitative skills have been tied to a number of important competencies. The Quantitative Reasoning for College Science (QuaRCS) Assessment has been shown to effectively measure undergraduate science students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the QR domain. We will introduce an NSF-funded effort to conduct a large national QR study in general education science courses. A central goal is to identify and research the courses and instructors, particularly in general education astronomy, whose students demonstrate measurable improvements in QR and to better understand how these courses support students’ QR learning. In order to build capacity for astronomy instructors in teaching QR, our goal is to then create a network of virtual faculty learning communities to facilitate and support learning about and implementing evidence-based QR teaching in astronomy courses.