100

I wouldn't phrase it in terms of "effective prerequisites". But it's certainly fine to discuss with the professor whether you are adequately prepared. You could visit their office hours, or send an email: Dear Professor So-And-So: I am interested in taking your course MATH 4321. I see that no prerequisites are listed, but I was wondering what ...


56

. . . the first time I was in a statistics course, I was there to teach it. - John Tukey In my experience, it's definitely better to learn about it beforehand. If you are really pressed for time, then start reading the textbook or course material from the back, because you really need to know the direction in which the course is going before you teach ...


48

Yes; as mentioned in the UK it is expected that assignments (usually those greater than a certain proportion of the overall mark) is both internally checked and externally checked before being sat by students. I have acted as an external examiner involved in the checking of the exam papers of another university. It is a valuable role that experienced ...


40

A common system works roughly as Najib Idrissi describes: courses numbered 100-199 are first-year courses, which either have no prerequisites or only high school-level prerequisites. Courses numbered 200-299 are second-year courses, which have 100-level prerequisites, and so on. But this system is by no means universal in the US, nor does the rough ...


35

Some reasons we've eliminated courses in my department: The professor who created the course is no longer at the college or is no longer interested in the material. College-wide requirements have changed, and the course was created to meet a requirement (such as for interdisciplinary work). As new courses are added, other courses have to be removed, unless ...


34

Think about this from the lecturer's point of view. If you are the lecturer, would you rather: Have a student email you about what the prerequisites are and whether she meets them, or Have a student not email you, enroll, then find out she cannot understand what you are saying at all? I think most reasonable people would prefer #1. If you are concerned ...


32

This seems to be very dependent on location. I think it is a good idea, but in the US, at least, it seems to be very uncommon. Lecturers might need to have exams looked at by a more senior faculty member in some institutions, but mostly the faculty is trusted to get it right. In some institutions that teach very large classes, exams may be created by a "...


31

I think you can distinguish between required and optional materials For required materials (students will be expected to read regularly, have exams on the content, solve exercises from the book, etc), I'd say they should by default be in the "working language" of the university, unless there is a clear educational reason to do otherwise (e.g. the course is ...


27

A real scholar is a lifelong student. But you should know the material that you are teaching sufficiently broad (like you won't be caught ignorant of some relevant factoids) and sufficiently deep (like you won't be caught not understanding some relevant factoid) that your authority of the subject is not questioned and you won't be embarrassed. (And the ...


25

Theoretically you can, but practically I doubt you will find someone qualified who is willing to do it for a reasonable price. Designing a course is hard work and pretty individualized. Look at how many different ways there are to teach the same course. Everyone does it differently and I hate teaching to someone else's syllabus and cannot image using someone ...


24

A couple of universities that I've worked and/or studied that described the courses as having equivalent content. So, the prerequisites for an upper-level course might be listed as "MATH 344 or equivalent content." The reverse descriptor also came up sometimes. For example, the degree requirements for a given major might include: "Four additional courses ...


23

TL;DR: You owe your students to well-familiarize yourself with the subject matter before teaching it. Should I have full understanding of the subject before I teach them or can I learn about the topics before I go to the class and then teach them? While it is usually not impossible to teach a subject as you study it yourself, or immediately after you've ...


16

The numbering system isn't nearly that consistent across American universities. "Subject 101" isn't really the introductory course in Subject at most schools. Based on my experiences on a few schools, here are the consistent patterns I'm aware of: Course numbers are typically three digit numbers The first digit does typically indicate the level of the ...


15

I think anti-requisites might be a good choice, since it would fit with other necessary concepts in the context (pre-requisites and co-requisites). Moreover, it seems to me to have a reasonably intuitive meaning even if it isn't the word you normally use (in this context it is very important that words are not misinterpreted). A quick search suggests it is ...


13

It's important to check the license used by the author to make sure that it's compatible with your use of the open access textbook. Issues to check include: Does the license allows you to redistribute the book to your students (e.g. by putting it on your course web site) or whether students have to get it from the author's web site. I would not be ...


13

The underlying idea of a flipped classroom is that you use face to face time for things that require it and nothing else. You don't "present" or "cover" material when face to face. This requires a number of things, but it will probably require buy-in from your colleagues as well. I used to teach an entire degree program with these ideas. As you note, you ...


13

Very common in my experience. just to note I am in Switzerland... And even if it is not prescribed by the university, common sense does seem to get most of my colleagues in the past to ask one to "have a look at x" on an ad hoc basis. We tended to do this for each other, even before "moderation systems" were "forced upon us" or the existing relationship was ...


12

They refer to the number of classes you teach in each semester. ie 2:1 would mean two classes one semester and one the other. Three numbers (like 3:2:3) refer to the number of classes in each quarter for schools on the quarter system (i.e., three terms per academic year). [Thanks to Mark Meckes] Not all courses are the same size, although I suspect that ...


12

Its worth noting that some universities attempt to automatically enforce pre-requisites either by machine or by administrative review at the time of enrollment. Some professors may not want formal prerequisites because they can create administrative barriers to enrollment for a student that may have all the necessary knowledge without having some specific ...


11

When people in the U.S. talk about a generic introductory course, say "Underwater Basket Weaving 101", we often give it the number 101. This is just a linguistic shorthand; introductory courses are labeled 101 at relatively few colleges and universities. The actual numbers depend on the university, and the systems vary wildly, and can even vary somewhat ...


10

Anyone who cares what these courses are will know what a Special Topics course is, i.e. that it's a course placeholder in the scheduling and reservation system for courses that may be taught infrequently or even once, and ask you about the topic(s). This is a very common construct at universities in the US that I am familiar with, and shouldn't be a problem ...


9

The answer to this question is "Sometimes." Given that an instructor has roughly X hours/week to devote to this course (given their other responsibilities), sometimes the best way to utilize that time may be to write a code base for students to use in some fraction of those hours (even though it will be buggy and not up to best practices) and devote the ...


9

For many classes, one doesn't have the students read the material beforehand. I personally am having students do that in my classes this semester, but I'm also not typically lecturing. If you are lecturing, I feel it is often counterproductive to make students read the material you will lecture on in advance (the ones that get the reading won't get much ...


8

To answer the part of the question about preps: It's easier to teach two sections of the same course than it is to teach two entirely different courses. A 3:3 load with two preps means that you teach 3 sections per semester but two sections are of the same course. For example, you might teach two sections of Calculus I and one section of ordinary ...


8

I strongly recommend backwards design as a way to plan and build a course. The key idea is to start out by clearly laying out for yourself what results (skills, concepts) students in the course should end up with, then figuring out the assessments that will assess this, and then course activities, assignments, etc., that will feed into this. This works very ...


8

Sometimes, the course information is not detailed enough. A lot of course information in the catalog contains no or unreasonable prerequisite. Many courses are self-contained and should be accessible to any student that has studied the discipline in preceding years. I am not sure whether it would be rude to email the lecturer in advance, asking whether ...


8

In the United Kingdom, the quality assurance process imposed by the UK Quality Assurance Agency requires both internal and external moderation of assessments. Internal moderators are academics from the same unit or department as the lecturer. External moderators are academics from outside the university (and may be international experts in the field). ...


8

Definitely location and resource dependent. I have never seen this done for midterm assignments or exams at the two institutions where I've taught (USA community colleges in Boston and New York; 5 years, 12 years respectively). For final exams my current department does have uniform department finals, which are viewed by all instructors beforehand. ...


8

Yes, I would say that at the beginning of the course. In my case that was received positively, and when the day came they were very flexible in handling any schedule changes (much more so than students normally are). I would also discuss this early on with your collegues. In my case they were very willing to help out (people are much less irreplacable as ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible