Wednesday, November 18, 2015


The Prereq Temptation

(“The Prereq Temptation” was a rejected John LeCarre title.  A lot of people don’t know that…)

In my imagined, more perfect world, there would be exactly one reason for a prerequisite to attach to a class: the students would need to know material from the prior class to be successful in the second one.  For example, a student wandering into a calculus class who had never taken algebra or trig could be expected to be lost.  (“Why are you doing math with letters?”)  In sequences of courses that build on each other, the folks who teach the later courses should have some reasonable assurance that they don’t have to go all the way back to square one.  

But in this world, that’s not the only reason prerequisites get put on classes.  For example:

Leaving aside the more sinister and self-serving reasons, people often argue for prereqs out of a sincere, if unproven, belief that they’ll set students up for success.  The argument could be tested empirically, but almost never is.  It should be.

Individual prereqs can make sense, but when they proliferate -- as they tend to do -- they make timely completion of a degree much harder.  A student who has to wait for a prereq class to fit her schedule may add a semester or a year to her time-to-completion, just because she’s following an unproven rule passed through a combination of ego and wishful thinking.  

To my mind, the burden of proof should be on prereqs.  In the relatively rare cases in which the relevance is obvious and well-demonstrated, keep them.  But subject all of the existing ones -- not just new ones -- to actual empirical tests.  If our four-year counterparts would do the same -- hint, hint -- we could drop the prereqs that are only there to appease them.  

The prereq temptation is subtle and pervasive, but it does real harm.  If we could get that long list of reasons down to a single one -- where it actually helps -- students would benefit tremendously.

You left out what seems to be the biggest one here: reducing the size of over-enrolled classes by making long prereq chains in front of them in the hope of discouraging the less dedicated before they get to the class.
We used to get yelled at that too many students were failing/withdrawing from our class. So we added calculus as a prerequisite. That fixed our numbers.
I like this website very much. Great info. Hi and thanks for the blogs. I liked the reading through the blog. the pictures in the blogs were awesome.Thanks for sharing such an awesome idea. Really enjoyed this blog post.Really thank you! Great.
Pregnancy Homework Help

Thank you of some of the articles I find this is one of the very interesting article to read, I like this.
Value-Added Theory Sociology Help

Thanks for posting such a great and informative article, i get more knowledge from this.
Linear Programming Assignment Help

I must agree with things you just wrote although I never thought about it before. Take a look at this web-site, maybe you will find more interesting stuff.
Professional Ebook Writing Service

I agree with this informative article. Sorry I have no irrelevant link.
Another reason I have seen is wanting to ensure students take a sequence in a specific order. Adding pre-read was the easiest way of doing that at my former university within the limits of PeopleSoft/Oracle's student system.

Some Students were putting their (mandatory) co-op off until the end of their degree, which made them non-compliant in the eyes of our coop accreditation. Solution: certain key courses added co-op as a requirement. This also happened with a physics course for engineers that had a high failure rate Because too many were putting the course off until the end of their degree and rolling the dice on bein stranded.
Do your friends make fun of you for staying at home on weekends? Assignments make a lot of people work like this. Get them done from
Assignment Help

I am very happy to find this website which have nice and informative stuff for read. Thanks for sharing. Homework Help
This comment has been removed by the author.
This comment has been removed by the author.
I regularly suffer from troubles with writing college papers, which is why when one of my friends offered me to buy essay on the Web, I detected that suggestion quite useful.
Assignment Help

Couldn't be written any better. Reading this post reminds me of my old roommate! He always kept talking about this Assignment help| Need Assignment help
Very Informative post you gave to us, really helpful I would like to share something really helpful for education Maths Assignment Malaysia
You don't need to take a gander at life as if you have to stress what will occur with your next financial crisis. Payday advances can help you dispose of your money related issues productively. Check Cashing
Payday advances are intended to work for the here and now. They are unsecured credits intended to hold you over until your next paycheck.
This is not a disengaged circumstance and is, unfortunately, the revolting some portion of title loaning. In spite of the fact that there are numerous great vehicle title credit moneylenders out there, not all are the same.
A few foundations may charge preparing expenses, not so with a loan credit. Applying is free and takes just a couple of minutes of a man's opportunity in the solace of his or her home.
For instance, a borrower needs to get a payday advance. The borrower will compose a post-dated individual check for $500 to acquire $570 for up to two weeks. The payday loan specialist consents to hold the check until the borrower's next paycheck date.

Thanks for this article. It contains the information i was searching for and you have also explained it well. We are also a service provider that deal in the assignment writing help sector. So, the students struggling to write their college assignments can opt for our online assignment help and can get a quality assignment written from us.
Assignment Help

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?