Quantitative Reasoning Module Development FAQ

Pleaser refer to this FAQ for details about the development process for the NIQB-IUSE quantitative reasoning modules.  

Q1: How will the modules be structured?

A1: Each module will follow a template that can be found HERE.  The module should include sections that instructors can choose to include in their class given their unique situation.  The learning objective(s) that each module section aligns to should be clearly denoted in the “Module Activity Mapping” table.  Furthermore, the section(s) of the module that need to be covered that are related to the required module assessment question(s) should also be indicated in the required summative assessment question(s) section. This is discussed further in Q3 below.

Q2: How will students engage in the modules?

A2: Students will work in groups (not individually) on the modules (group sizes will vary based on the class and institutional context).  While a face-to-face class setting was the original intention of the module, given the COVID-19 mediated transition to online instruction in the Spring of 2020, we are exploring how best to transition to the modules for an online environment.   We therefore encourage module development teams to think about how their module could be implemented in both an in-person and online environment.

Q3: How will the module learning objectives be assessed?

A3: Each module will include a “module wrapper”, or one or more mandatory summative assessment questions that will be administered at the start of the next class period in which the module was implemented.  Students will complete the mandatory summative assessment (or “module wrapper”) individually.  These questions will be asked in all classes (and each institution) that adopt the module.  It is important that the specific learning objective(s) that the question(s) measure(s), as well as the relevant module sections related to the question, are clearly denoted for each question.  To protect the validity of the assessments, we encourage faculty to avoid posting the assessment questions online and to consider not returning the assessments to students after grading.

In addition to the above-mentioned required “module wrapper” questions, additional suggested questions will be included with each module that faculty can use as they wish (e.g., unit exams, final exams, and/or quizzes).  These questions should be mapped to specific learning objective(s) and sections of the module.

Q4: How do we get feedback on our module drafts before piloting the module in our classes?

A4: When you are finished with the first draft of your module and are ready to receive feedback, please work with the facilitator of the appropriate Curricular Awareness Team to arrange to present your module to fellow biologists, mathematicians, and faculty development team representatives.  This should take place before piloting modules in your class.

Q5: Do I have to implement the entire module in my class?

A5: Faculty can be selective as to which module sections they implement in their class, as long as they implement the section(s) that align(s) to the required summative assessment questions that will be asked at the conclusion of each module (see Q3 above).  Each faculty member will need to report which module sections they implement, in addition to other information that will be collected each semester via the Module Implementation Questionnaire.

While we encourage faculty to consider implementing the modules in each section of the course they teach, faculty can decide if it is appropriate to implement modules in their individual course sections.

Q6: What pre-work should I assign to my students before a module?

A6: The purpose of the pre-work is to have students review math competencies and relevant biology topics that are needed to be able to complete the module activities.  Given differences in math pre-requisites for the various courses, the pre-work can vary by institution.  Faculty are encouraged to work with the Math Curricular Awareness Team to ensure that the proper pre-work is assigned for each module.  

Q7: What information should I collect about how modules are implemented in my class?

A7: Each semester, faculty should complete the Module Implementation Questionnaire, which collects information on how faculty implemented the module in their classes.  In addition to completing this survey, faculty should work with their institutional PIs and institutional data personnel to collect course rosters for courses where modules were implemented so that we can evaluate impact on students.

Q8: What is the timeline of the module development process?

A8: Teams will finalize the first draft of their module and arrange to present their modules to the appropriate Curricular Awareness Team for feedback.  Please discuss presenting your module with the appropriate Curricular Awareness Team facilitator, who will arrange to have a representatives from the Math and Faculty Development Teams present, in addition to fellow biology faculty.

Based on the pilot, teams will then revise their module and, if necessary, pilot again before the module is implemented throughout the consortium at all institutions.

Q9: What is the timeline for Module Implementation?

  • Start of the semester of intended module implementation:
    • Administer the Math Biology Values Instrument and Module Consent Form
    • Identify the date that you would like to implement the module
  • One to two weeks before the module implementation date:
    • Administer module pre-assessment questions to students
  • One to two weeks after the module implementation date:
    • Administer module post-assessment questions to students
    • Complete the Module Implementation Document
  • One to two weeks after the administration of the module post-assessment:
    • Confer with your PI or CAC facilitator for instructions for submitting the course data
    • We recommend submitting the course data one to two weeks after administration of the post-assessment, but strongly encourage submission of the data before the end of the semester in which the module was implemented