Data is Good for You!

The Quantitative Literacy Program (QLP) team is hard at work helping faculty redesign core courses

By Tyler Dunn
UTSA Library Assistant IV

Behind the door of JPL 4.03.04, the Quantitative Literacy Program (QLP) team is hard at work helping faculty redesign core courses in an effort to develop the quantitative literacy skills of UTSA students.

“The goal is to find where data exists naturally in a course,” says Kimberly Ward, QLP Administrator. The team helps faculty members revise their assignments to include data analysis and quantitative writing components.

Ward offers an example from Introduction to World Civilization to 1500, a course where faculty previously had to explain charts and graphs in relation to the topic. “Now students do the work of historians by researching data available in the Domesday Book, a historical book that determined who held the material wealth for taxing purposes in England,” she says. “They use the data to chart the patterns, and then integrate the charts into a report.”

In addition to students and faculty benefiting from increased interactivity and enriched learning experiences, the QLP is an important component of UTSA’s accreditation process.

Furthermore, skills learned in these “Q-Courses” are transferable to everyday situations. Dr. Raj Boppana, QLP Project Director, offers the example of a student interacting with a car salesperson. Instead of feeling overwhelmed when the salesperson states an “avalanche of numbers,” the student will have the ability to analyze and understand these numbers in order to confidently make an informed decision.

Thanks to the QLP team’s expertise, dedicated efforts, and the enthusiastic participation of faculty members, Q-Course enrollment has nearly tripled over the past three years. This year the QLP will extend its range to include quantitative literacy in the curriculum of upper level undergraduate courses.

In addition to Ward and Boppana, QLP project team members include Ermine Orta, Kim Massaro, Dr. Gail Pizzola, Dr. Danielle Lyles, and our own Dr. Patricia Verdines.

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