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Scholarly Teaching Grant 2014-15: Angela James

Angela James, African American Studies

Active Learning to Teach Quantitative Reasoning: Revamping Social Research Methods AFAM 208

The purpose of this grant is to support the substantial redevelopment of the course "Social Research Methods: Quantitative Methods in the Study of Race and Ethnicity" to incorporate direct research experiences to a far greater degree. It is my expectation that course incorporation of a group research project, that asks students to work collaboratively in small teams on a shared project, will deepen student's understanding of key statistical concepts, as well as provide much needed experience in direct research. My primary goal with the course overhaul is to intellectually engage students as 'active learners'. This goal, in my view, is particularly critical towards promoting quantitative literacy. Many students come into the course, because it is required, as opposed to being attracted to the course by their intrinsic interest in the subject matter. Consequently, students often have severely leveled expectations in terms of subject mastery. Innovative strategies that encourage engagement are therefore an essential component of provoking student interest and accomplishment in the area of quantitative reasoning skills.