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Quantitative Reasoning Flag Criteria and Interpretation

Criterion

The following criterion was developed and approved by the Faculty Council.

To satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning Flag, a course must require the student to apply quantitative skills (logical, numerical, statistical) to real-world problems. The course must also require students to demonstrate understanding of the fundamental concepts underlying those skills.

At least half of the course grade must be based on quantitative work.

*For three- or four-credit courses. For two-credit hour courses, 100% of the course grade should be based on Flag content.

Interpretation

The following interpretation was developed by the faculty committee that oversees the Quantitative Reasoning Flag and was approved by the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee.

Much of our current world involves quantitative data or ideas. The purpose of the Quantitative Reasoning Flag is to empower all of our students, regardless of major, to navigate that world with nuance and precision. In service of this mission, the committee is supportive of Quantitative Reasoning being taught across the curriculum, not just in traditionally quantitative disciplines. Quantitative Reasoning can involve advanced mathematics, but it can also involve using less advanced mathematics to do sophisticated things.

Proposals will be evaluated for two dimensions that should be part of every Quantitative Reasoning Flag course. First, courses must engage students in understanding the reasoning underlying the quantitative concepts in the course. The quantitative work should not be limited to rote or mechanical exercises. Second, courses must give students opportunities to apply quantitative skills to problems related to their everyday lives or future professions. These problems should not be formulaic, but rather authentically contextualized so that students develop quantitative reasoning skills that extend beyond the classroom. In any given course, the balance between these two dimensions will vary, but the goal in every case is for students to learn when and how to use logical, numerical, and/or statistical skills and to understand the reasoning behind them.

To see examples of successful proposals from a variety of colleges and schools, visit Sample Proposals.

The faculty committee that oversees the Quantitative Reasoning Flag has also developed a set of learning objectives, or goals for what students will learn to do in these courses. These learning objectives can be adapted to your course and help communicate course structure and goals to your students.