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Title: Designing and Assessing Numeracy Training for Journalists: Toward Improving Quantitative Reasoning Among Media Consumers
Authors: Ranney, Michael
Rinne, Luke
Yarnall, Louise
Munnich, Edward
Miratrix, Luke
Schank, Patricia
Issue Date: Jun-2008
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.
Citation: Ranney, M., Rinne, L., Yarnall, L., Munnich, E., Miratrix, L., & Schank, P. (2008). Designing and Assessing Numeracy Training for Journalists: Toward Improving Quantitative Reasoning Among Media Consumers. In Kanselaar, G., Jonker, V., Kirschner, P. A., & Prins, F. J. (Eds.), International Perspectives in the Learning Sciences: Cre8ing a learning world. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference for the Learning Sciences – ICLS 2008, Volumes 2 (pp. 246-253). Utrecht, The Netherlands: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Journalists inform multitudes of people. However, they sometimes over-focus on the narrative, failing to integrate critical quantitative information effectively. The Numerically Driven Inferencing (NDI) paradigm's research (e.g., Ranney et al., 2001; Munnich, Ranney, & Appel, 2004) suggested that a curricular module highlighting evidential/scientific thinking might enhance reporters' quantitative and analytic skills. The resulting controlled experiment involved 55 first-year journalism graduate students, our "Numbers, News, and Evidence" module, 4.5 classroom hours, 20 homework hours, and several (e.g., Pre-, Mid- and Final-test) assessments. Post-module findings indicate success: Relative to control data, the experimental group improved on the main numeracy measures: 1) estimation accuracy and 2) math competence involving simple problem solving, data analyses, and exponential growth. Students and faculty both concluded that future students should also receive numeracy modules. The module apparently influenced students' attitudes about numerical information, too. The collective results may benefit journalists, their instructors, and media consumers.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2008

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