1) Reflecting back on our work this semester, in what ways are textbooks a challenge for students? It might be helpful to review The Textbook Manifesto and your initial discussion board post about it.
Textbooks could be a challenge for students in two aspects. The first challenge is that the textbook may be too hard for a student to understand. It may not provide enough explanation or the way the author presents the concept is confusing. The second challenge is the price of the textbook. Even when a book is required or is so well written, the students may not want to buy a book that costs them so much.
2) What is one way OER addresses these challenges? What is one way OER fails to address them?
OER tries to make a textbook that has both quality and easy access for the students. Students can get a textbook that is interesting and easy to read and they don’t have to worry about paying for something that costs them too much.
I don’t think there is something that OER fails to address. There is just one limitation is that OER may not be popular to college yet. There are many textbooks that OER could provide. The question is are those textbooks really as good as the one that is currently used for class and could it be really effective in helping the students actually learn and be successful in the course?
3) Should students evaluate textbooks as part of their regular classwork/education? Why or why not?
Yes. Students should evaluate textbooks as part of their regular classwork/education. Because textbooks serve as a good tool to help students learn and be successful in the course. Selecting a good textbook to learn could benefit them a lot as compared to just keep reading a chosen or requied textbook that may be hard to read.
4) Imagine your are a professor choosing a textbook for your class. What are three important ideas to consider when selecting a textbook for students?
First, I want to make sure that the textbook is affordable to the students. As I know many students don’t buy the textbook because of the price.
Second, I want to make sure that the textbook is easy to read. As I have seen many students who read a concept of the book for several days but still could not understand and they need to search for extra help. That could waste so much of their time and they have a lot of things to do besides just studying.
Third, I want to make sure that the textbook has the most important concepts that need to be addressed. Students should get a textbook that is easy to read and affordable. But they should also need to actually learn about the course.
5) What is the most important thing you learned from this seminar?
I never actually question a book that is required. When the syllabus tells me to buy a book, I just try to get the book. Exams are mostly made based on the required textbook. If I do not get the required one, my grade may be suffered. And I just thought that the required textbook is the greatest among many choosen ones. When I get to the seminar, I realize my thinking could have been wrong. There are actually textbooks that could be written even better and they are much cheaper than the required textbook. I like the seminar as it listens to the students’ concern about textbook challenges and try to overcome it. The most important thing that I learn maybe that there could be textbooks that are better than the required one but are cheaper. Students should take an active role in choosing a textbook for their study. However, I think it may be hard at some points. Because I can only evaluate well if a textbook is good or not after I have finished the course. So it may be one limitation.