Two mathematicians study how they can improve quantitative reasoning skills in their students by comparing different approaches to implementing “performance tasks”, assignments where students engage in a real-world scenario and use both disciplinary content and higher order thinking skills to arrive at a judgment or decision. The authors find that course modifications to incorporate performance, along with a reframing of the course with explicit emphasis on critical thinking as a course goal and extended experience with the rubric used to score the performance tasks, made the most appreciable difference in student learning outcomes.