I am reading my campus's course catalog and looking at an interesting course. I want to take it, but it has a prerequisite course that I need to take. When I opened that prerequisite, there is another prerequisite that I need to fulfill. As if my opportunity to explore another field is blocked by these prerequisites.
Of course, to be able to sit on a chair, listening to the lecturer peels the materials layer by layer, we need to understand how she will use the 'knife'. We need to understand linear and geometry algebra so that we can understand complex computer graphic algorithms. But we need to ask, how deeply should we understand the concept?
When taking a course, we are committing to a semester-long journey of lectures, coursework, and projects. Giving us opportunities to deepen our understanding of the course goals. Taking Calculus I and II mean that you have an understanding of calculus. Doesn't mean a deep understanding, but at least you've ever been exposed to the underlying concepts and principles. And when you took Thermodynamics, it will be easier for you to understand the Navier-Stokes equation.
But we don't need to do 6 months of coursework to be able to follow this interesting course we want to take. We mainly only need to use some key principles and techniques, and most of them only the techniques knowledge and not fundamental definitions.
My take: Pre-quiz and Mini Course
Rather than obliging students to take the whole prerequisite course, why don't only assess the technique needed in the course? Assess this by pre-quiz and help the students by creating a mini low-effort course. The mini-course can only consist of short videos and notes. Any student can put use to them, as knowledge loss over time.
For the lecturers, this is a low-effort action and can be put into billable hours at the university. The change only goes in a positive way. Giving the widest opportunity to their students.
Put aside my opinion, I don't actually understand their reason to do this or understand the actual effect on the uni hierocracy. I am just annoyed by this rule.