Measuring Habits of Mind: Toward a Prompt-less Instrument for Assessing Quantitative Literacy

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In this study, we offer a new “prompt-less” instrument for measuring students’ habits of mind in the field of quantitative literacy. The instrument consists of a series of questions about a newspaper article the students read. The questions do not explicitly solicit quantitative information; students’ habit of mind is assessed by their use of quantitative reasoning even when it is not asked for. Students’ answers were graded according to a modified version of the Quantitative Literacy Assessment Rubric (QLAR) published in this journal (vol. 4, issue 2). We applied the instrument and rubric to assess pre- and post-intervention habits of mind in opportunistic samples of two cohorts of students: the general (non-STEM) student body and (non-STEM) honors students at Central Washington University. The intervention was a QL course designed around a collection of newspaper articles to provide authentic context. The pre- and post-course assessment showed no statistically significant improvement in either group. We close with a discussion of practical aspects of using the rubric based on our experience of using it in this QL class.


This article was originally published open access in Numeracy.



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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License