After extensive communication with instructors who have successfully implemented a corequisite course, we have found that common implementations typically follow one of the three models below.
Each of the following models can be designed with flexibility to allow for the following characteristics:
- One instructor or two instructors
- One grade or separate grades for credit-bearing and prerequisite content
Embedded Implementation Model
- Prerequisite content is taught just-in-time and is followed by the credit-bearing content. This process repeats over the course of the semester.
- The only students enrolled are corequisite students.
Stacked Remediation Model
- Prerequisite content is frontloaded.
- Students in the corequisite are in a separate course from students placing into credit-bearing course.
Supplementary Implementation Model
- Prerequisite content is taught just-in-time.
- Corequisite students are comingled with students taking only the credit-bearing course, but take an additional support course.
Corequisite implementation stories from your peers.
Where do I start?
"Gather data on your students (success rates, retake rates). Choose a format carefully. Perform detailed curriculum mapping. Consider revising your entire prerequisite chain. Consider the costs to students, especially the cost to retake the course. Have a group of faculty create, teach, and revise the pilot course."
"The advisers at your university need to understand how the corequisite course will be run so they know which type of student will be successful taking a corequisite versus a separate remedial course. Placement test scores should also be used to place students."
Course Planning & Pilot
What should our committee be thinking about as we build a corequisite plan?
How do I identify prerequisite content?
How do I build an effective syllabus?
"Backward mapping is absolutely necessary! [The] Corequisite does not cover all algebra, it's algebra that statistics problems use. Also, at least in statistics, use some corequisite time for extra practice on formulas from the main class. Corequisite students are generally weaker mathematically, so giving them another chance to ask about intervals and distributions and test statistics is beneficial."
"The amount of corequisite material has been reduced after backing away from the idea that the corequisite material should cover all of the prerequisite class's objectives. Instead, we chose to only cover material that is necessary for the target class."
"Having the course designed by a group of people is essential. It results in a better-designed course and results in more buy-in from the faculty. When corequisites are designed by individuals or small groups, it's hard to scale them to a larger group of faculty."
"All topics you wish to cover should be laid out in the beginning. A logical order for covering these topics needs to be established. A syllabus with a tentative day-to-day schedule should be developed and shared with students before the first day of class. These students will need a clear understanding of what is expected of them, as they are technically taking 2 math classes in one semester!"
"One of the most important aspects of designing a successful corequisite course is good communication. This is communication between the co-requisite instructor and, if not the same person, the course instructor. Good communication between the co-requisite course designer and all colleagues in the department, so that they know what is being taught in the co-requisite course and how it is sufficiently supporting the students in the course. Good communication between the co-requisite designer and the college advisors, so that students are properly placed into the co-requisite course and credit course, instead of placing students in a traditionally pre-requisite course. Good communication between the co-requisite course designer and all potential co-requisite instructors so that they all are teaching the same content."
"Plan ahead to get the alignment of topics to be covered in each course. Allow for restructuring when a flaw is found."
Launching and Managing Your Course
Setting Student Expectations
How do I keep my students positive, invested and informed?
What tools can I use to help tailor my instruction?
"Be open to try new experiences. Think about why you need the corequisite and what you hope students will gain by participating in the corequisite course. Request meaningful feedback from students. Collect data. Monitor student progress diligently!"
"The corequisite course provides instructors additional time to work with students to help them be successful in the course. The instructors get to cover the remedial material as they teach the regular course, instead of relying on the students prior knowledge of the material."
"Corequisite courses allow students to enroll in their required math courses sooner. It provides needed support so that they can be successful in the required course."
"Incorporate non-cognitive curriculum. Provide personal and academic resources to students. A lot of active practice."
"I have incorporated more group activity in the classroom. It has helped build community in the class and gives students an opportunity to learn from each other and teach."
"I have made [make] the supplemental time more active learning"
"I used to lecture more. Now, I have learned to be flexible with the needs of the students in the class and offer more help as needed. We treat the coreq time as more of a homework help lab than a lecture session."