Remember, the goal of the support course is to offer additional academic support to students who may otherwise struggle to successfully complete the college-level course. Therefore, the two courses should align in terms of content and timing.

We often call this just-in-time-remediation. With just-in-time remediation, students receive the needed support —instruction and/or remediation — at the exact moment they need it. This shows relevance to students and gives meaning to the material.

The most efficient way to determine what you should include in your support course is to backward-map the material. Start with your syllabus, or learning objectives, for the college-level course. For each item, decide what material is pre-requisite to that topic. Ask yourself, what do students need to know in order to be successful with that learning objective? Knowing the answer allows you to create a set of topics for the support course.

Because students in the support course may need more than just academic skills, it may be beneficial to include soft skills throughout the course. These may include time management, growth mindset, study skills and post-exam reflection, just to name a few. Building these skills gives students the chance to become more aware of themselves as students, increasing their chances of success in the college-level course.

Backward mapping is just one step to successfully developing content for the support course. Choosing the right instructional tool is also important. There are dozens of options, and choosing the right one may be difficult. Make sure to check your list of wants and needs before making your decision! Knewton’s alta offers just-in-time instruction and remediation, giving students the support they need at the exact time they need it. Because alta integrates and embeds remediation and instruction into the adaptive experience, students are simply able to follow the learning path that alta has designed for them.



We understand that assigning the appropriate learning objectives is important for all levels of the co-requisite model. That’s why we provide a backward-mapping service free of charge. Our mission is to help students master course learning objectives while filling in knowledge gaps, preventing students from ever falling behind. Ask your Knewton representative, or email us at



Faculty Tip

Developing the curriculum for your institution’s co-requisite courses starts with clearly outlining your team’s roles and responsibilities.

Liz Scott of Angelina College explains how her institution put this idea into action.

“Each co-requisite course is assigned a lead instructor who is responsible for creating the content with input from other instructors who will also teach the course.”


Step 7. Communicate

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