Quantitative literacy practices in civil engineering study: designs for teaching and learning

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Aalborg Universitetsforlag


University of Cape Town


5th International Conference on Designs for Learning

Higher education needs to produce increasing numbers of good quality graduates. Included herein is the need for graduates that can engage in high level quantitative literacy practices, which requires designs for learning that understand how texts are constructed through language, images and mathematical notation, which together form the meaning-making repertoire of quantitative literacy. This paper applies a framework for quantitative literacy events in the analysis of a particular graphical procedure used during undergraduate civil engineering courses throughout South Africa. The framework draws on the New Literacies Studies’ view of literacy as social practice and examines the specific practices that students need to engage with during individual quantitative literacy events. Application of the framework demonstrates that such graphical procedures constitute quantitative literacy events in which students engage in various quantitative practices, the implications of which inform designs for learning in civil engineering in several key respects.