ERIC Number: EJ1032820
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
A Relationship Analysis: A Professor, 500 Students, and an Assigned Textbook
Swanson, Ryan A.
History Teacher, v47 n2 p289-302 Feb 2014
This study emphasizes an often overlooked avenue of inquiry in the increasingly escalating textbook debate: What is the relationship between the instructor, the students, and the assigned text? And correspondingly, how does one go about analyzing this crucial relationship? Over the past two years, Ryan Swanson gathered data from 549 students in his survey courses. Using this data along with the practices of the "self-study of teaching" in order to assess not only the textbooks he assigned, but also his role as an instructor in determining how students used course materials. Swanson's primary method of obtaining student feedback was conducting multiple in-semester surveys in each course he taught. Additionally, he made his textbook optional one semester and required the next, tracking student scores and responses along the way. A summary of the recent state of the textbook debate is presented. With the publishing and textbook industries undergoing rapid transformation, teachers and scholars should be up to date on the proposals and predictions surrounding textbooks. The key textbook question for many instructors has little to do with digitization or cost. Rather, inquiry should focus on how a textbook fits into the design of a particular class, taught by a particular instructor, to a unique group of students.
Descriptors: Textbooks, College Faculty, College Students, Higher Education, Student Surveys, Textbook Evaluation, Teacher Role, Student Attitudes, Feedback (Response), Scores, Introductory Courses, Electronic Publishing, Costs
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site: http://www.societyforhistoryeducation.org/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia