Baard, V. and Watts, T., The value of prerequisites: Providing the links between understanding and progression, School of Accounting & Finance, University of Wollongong, Working Paper 9, 2006.
This paper contributes to the debate about understanding and progression provided through the use of discipline specific prerequisites. The results were compared of those students from 2003 2004 and 2005 completing the subject Principles of Finance and who had, or had not, completed the subject Business Statistics, a desired but not a formal prerequisite for Business Finance. First, the average mark in Principles of Finance for all students who had completed Business Statistics was compared to the average mark of all students who had not completed Business Statistics. Second, the average pass mark for all students in Principles of Finance who had passed Business Statistics was compared to the average pass mark of all students who had not passed Business Statistics. Third, the average pass mark for students who had been granted exemption from Business Statistics, based on prior learning, was compared to the average pass mark of students who had passed Business Statistics. The results indicated that students who completed Business Statistics performed better overall than students who had not completed Business Statistics and that students who had passed Business Statistics received significantly better grades in Principles of Finance than did students who had not undertaken Business Statistics. Students who had been granted exemption performed as well as those who had passed Business Statistics. The findings imply that the use of discipline specific prerequisites reinforce the view that such a prerequisite provides the student with a minimum level of understanding required to undertake advanced subjects and in doing so improves the student’s chance of success.