Reviewing Prerequisite Material for a Course: How and When Should It Be Done?


Joint work and talk with Henry Escuadro. Abstract: When teaching a course with a prerequisite, we sometimes find that many students are underprepared on the prerequisite material needed. Whether we do a formal review or not is dependent on many factors. But if we are going to review the prerequisite material for the course we are teaching, two relevant questions that we should ask are how and when. In AY 2016, Henry Escuadro and Kim Roth worked on a project that they hoped would answer these questions in the context of Calculus 1. The standard prerequisite for Calculus 1 is Precalculus. Though Precalculus is offered at Juniata, many students taking Calculus 1 encounter the prerequisite materials in high school. However, due to various reasons, we find that many students come underprepared on precalculus material and doing a review of precalculus benefits a group of these students. Members of the Math Department do reviews two different ways — the first method is done at the beginning of the semester while the second method is done throughout the semester. This project was done to determine whether there was a difference in effectiveness between the two methods.