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EIU Assessment

Quantitative Literacy


EIU graduates produce, analyze, interpret, and evaluate quantitative material by:

  1. Performing basic calculations and measurements
  2. Applying quantitative methods and using the resulting evidence to solve problems
  3. Reading, interpreting, and constructing tables, graphs, charts, and other representations of quantitative material
  4. Critically evaluating quantitative methodologies and data
  5. Constructing cogent arguments utilizing quantitative material
  6. Using appropriate technology to collect, analyze, and produce quantitative materials

In Spring 2023, EIU began beta testing a new quantitative literacy instrument, which is a brief assessment composed of 10-15 questions that address the 6 quantitative learning goals above.


Principles of the Quantitative Literacy Instrument

During task creation, there were three principles applied:

  • As much as possible, the tasks should be in real contexts using real data.
  • The tasks should be content neutral.
  • The tasks should be novel to the student.

Principle One is important to making the tasks meaningful to students. This was achieved by utilizing publicly available data (e.g., the 2020 U.S. Census) and setting contexts local to EIU.

Principle Two is important because we want to create a fair playing field for our students, where the specific courses taken by students wouldn’t have undue influence on their scores (e.g., asking an English major to solve differential equations would not meet the purpose of the QRLG). Though content neutrality is both a practical and theoretical impossibility, mathematical content has been minimized by limiting the mathematics required by a student to Pre-Algebra topics.

Principle Three is important because novel problems require novel reasoning. If a student recognizes a “problem type,” they may perform a quantitative procedure correctly, but this doesn’t necessarily require any quantitative reasoning. By presenting tasks that are novel to the student, the student is required to reason through those tasks.

--from the Quantitative Literacy Report AY23

Quantitative Reasoning Reports







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