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Department of Higher Education and Center for Academic Excellence Host Quantitative Literacy Workshop

November, 2019

Faculty from across Central Massachusetts gathered at Quinsigamond Community College on October 25, 2019 for a dynamic workshop sponsored by the Department of Higher Education’s AMCOA team. The team, whose acronym stands for “Advancing a Massachusetts Culture of Assessment, demonstrated that “assessment” is a fundamental part of teaching excellence and student success.The topic of last month’s free professional development event was Quantitative Literacy, and featured two highly interactive workshops.

The first workshop, by Professor Matt Salomone of Bridgewater State University, was about why students need quantitative literacy skills and how educators across the curriculum can develop their own skills at designing and delivering quality quantitative learning experiences. Quantitative fluency has never been more necessary to the community college graduate, whether they transfer for a further credential or enter today’s labor force. This is why quantitative reasoning is one of QCC’s 10 general education goals. (Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning is also part of the MassTransfer General Education Foundation.)

The second workshop was led by Dr. Maryann Winkelmes, the nationally-regarded developer of a method for building more transparent learning experiences. The great diversity of skills and preparedness in today's students means that part of supporting their success is thinking critically about what skills we demand in our assignments, and communicating those expectations to all students clearly. Winkelmes’s national project, Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILT), is at the forefront of equity-minded higher education.

Those in attendance, who included faculty in STEM, business, the humanities and social sciences, along with instructional designers, spent the four-hour workshop delving into the nuances of quantitative literacy and how to build it into learning experiences in their courses and departments. They also got hands-on experience “TILT-ing” an assignment, making its expectations clearer and maximizing the potential for student success.

Colleagues wishing for more information may contact Quinsigamond Outcomes Research for Excellence at QORE [at]