Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Beyond Traditional Textbooks

College students are being offered a wider variety of learning materials as new solutions are developed and tried, but students aren’t adopting all solutions as quickly as one might think. For example, according to Converge Magazine’s Jessica B. Mulholland, less than 17 percent of community college students found e-book collections useful or very useful, and 80 percent of students say they still prefer an actual book. Do you think e-books will ever be widely adopted by college students or even replace traditional textbooks?

Some textbooks are being developed that blend learning methods; that is, the texts offer traditional reading but also incorporate other media. Mulholland described a college student at the University of Massachusetts whose textbook has an e-book component, as well as interactive online quizzes and flash cards. The student says that textbooks like that are “targeted much more toward today’s generation of college students who are taking on more and more.”

Besides simply being targeted at a generation who is more comfortable than ever using technology, textbooks that offer interactive learning methods have the potential to reach and teach students who struggle learning through traditional textbook reading alone.

Help us understand your experience by giving us feedback about these questions:
  • In your technology training, what materials have been most helpful in supporting your learning?
  • How useful have you found textbooks? E-books? Interactive online materials? Labs?
  • Have you used technology training that combines methods or lets you choose?
  • Thinking specifically about technology training, how effective would it be to learn from a textbook alone?

Emily Howard, TestOut

1 comment:

  1. As a student and a reader for pleasure, I appreciate any text that has voice to text options. The opportunity to hear and to see the content from a textbook reinforces learning to a greater degree. There is research that supports multi-modality presentations, and some textbook publishers have made this possible, but there are still too many who need to come on board.