The goal of the Numeracy Infusion Course for Higher Education (NICHE) project is to increase the level of quantitative reasoning (QR) instruction and assessment in undergraduate courses across a broad range of disciplines throughout the City University of New York (CUNY) system. The primary tool of the project is a course that teaches faculty: (a) to apply Quantitative Literacy/Quantitative Reasoning (QL/QR) within a disciplinary context; (b) to articulate QR learning goals/objectives that reflect best practices for teaching quantitative literacy; (c) to identify and implement best practices for teaching QR, for example active learning, collaborative student learning, writing with numerical information, etc.; (d) to adapt and implement strategies for incorporating quantitative reasoning into course instruction; and (e) to assess the effectiveness of QR initiatives and use the assessment results to further improve instruction. The intellectual merit of the project has several components. First, faculty enrolled in the NICHE course engage in active and collaborative learning using real-world data, thus experiencing the same progressive teaching methods that have proven effective in undergraduate QR courses. Second, the effectiveness of the project is being evaluated using a rubric that assesses the participating faculty member's QR assignments and assessment materials; and then those faculty are using the Critical Thinking Assessment (CAT) test with their own students. Finally, the project is led by an interdisciplinary group of experienced STEM faculty from throughout the CUNY system who are leaders in the development and application of techniques for progressive QR instruction and assessment. The broader impacts of the project lie primarily in its demonstration of a model for engaging faculty throughout a large and diverse university system of campuses. By identifying and cultivating a cadre of faculty leaders, who then serve to recruit colleagues, the resulting community of faculty is expected to improve the educational experiences of several thousand CUNY students annually. The project is also providing tested QR learning materials and disseminating the NICHE course materials to other institutions who are similarly committed to improving the quantitative literacy and reasoning of their students.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Lee L. Zia
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CUNY Herbert H Lehman College
United States
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