Dates: June 3 – 6, 2007
Because we live in an increasingly quantitative world, inundated by numbers, data, and new technologies, all students need quantitative reasoning skills and facility using technology. Many students learn best when they are actively engaged in solving real and relevant problems. This workshop is intended for faculty who want to motivate and engage their general education quantitative reasoning students as critical thinkers with activities that investigate real-life situations and use real data.
Quantitative Reasoning: Tools for Today’s Informed Citizen will serve as text for the workshop. The book was developed to help students understand and solve problems that are relevant to their family, their community, their workplace, their country and their world. It contains background readings, worked-out examples, a set of exercises called “explorations” and two versions of activities that allow students to explore and solve problems. One version of the activities uses Microsoft Excel and the other version uses a TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator. Instructions for using Microsoft Excel and graphing calculator technology are integrated into the activities carefully so that students can concentrate on ideas rather than on computational details when investigating problems.
Participants in this workshop will investigate existing topics and activities contained in the new text and discuss other possible topics for a quantitative reasoning course. They will have the opportunity to explore the existing activities and develop additional activities using either Excel or the graphing calculator. We will also discuss pedagogy issues surrounding such quantitative reasoning courses. The goal of this workshop is to help participants develop their own quantitative reasoning courses and activities and give them a collection of topics and activities that will help them educate students who will be responsible, informed citizens and who will never again ask “What is this good for?”
This workshop is an MAA PREP activity funded by NSF (grant DUE-0341481).