Prerequisites are knowledge or skills that should be

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Unformatted text preview: ask (Dick, Carey, & Carey, 2001; Gagne,+ 1975; Jonassen, Tessmer, & Hannum, 1999). Prerequisites are knowledge or skills that should be learned before the skills or knowledge in the current lesson are learned. For example, dividing fractions requires several prerequisite math skills such as subtraction, multiplication, and division. A learning hierarchy analysis is useful, therefore, for sequencing instruction for a series of behaviors, as is required in planning a series of units or a curriculum. Learning hierarchy analysis can help you avoid teaching a lesson for which your students are unprepared. 15 You can identify prerequisites for a learning task in a number of ways (Yelon, 1996). For simpler lesson goals, it may be sufficient to just examine the objective for prerequisites. For example, if you want students to add two-digit numbers together without regrouping, students should already know how to add single-digit problems. For more complicated tasks, you can create a task description or procedural analysis for that task. Then for each step in the procedural analysis, you would identify the prerequisites. For example, assume that as part of a complicated project students need to use the internet to research a topic. Using the internet successfully implies a number of prerequisites such as knowing how to log on to a computer, how to use a search engine, and how to critique information provided in a website. Once these prerequisites are identified, you would determine whether or not your students possess these required prerequisites before you teach your lesson. Cognitive Theory and Information-Processing Analysis An information-processing analysis is a procedural task analysis of the mental processes involved in an activity such as composing a story or analyzing a story problem (Jonassen, Tessmer & Hannum, 1999; Smith & Ragan, 1993). For example, an information-processing analysis of how students write revealed that they engage in the three process of planning, translating and...
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