Special features of TAA award-winning textbooks: From the awardees

Textbook Excellence Award WinnerAt the 31st Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in Santa Fe, NM, TAA members Al Trujillo and Dave Dillon hosted a panel of textbook award-winning authors to share features that they considered instrumental in the success of their books.

The panel consisted of Karen Morris, co-author of Hotel, Restaurant, and Travel Law: A Preventive Approach, 8th Edition, Kathleen P. King, author of Technology and Innovation in Adult Learning, and the authoring team for Calculus for the AP Course, 2nd Edition, Michael Sullivan and Kathleen Miranda. Below is a summary of the textbook features they felt were most significant in the achievement of their 2018 Textbook Excellence awards.

Hotel, Restaurant, and Travel Law: A Preventive Approach, 8th ed.Karen Morris, co-author of Hotel, Restaurant, and Travel Law: A Preventive Approach, 8e.

For Morris, the key strengths of her book were embodied by the consistent start and finish to each chapter.

Chapter introductions were designed to include clear learning outcomes and establish key terms. Chapters ended with a summary, preventive law tips for managers, review questions, discussion questions, application questions, and tables and charts.

The award-winning eighth edition of the book was published by Kendall Hunt and featured new co-authors, Jane Boyd Ohlin and Sten T. Sliger.

Technology and Innovation in Adult Learning, 1st ed.Kathleen P. King, author of Technology and Innovation in Adult Learning

With a dual audience of both educators of adult learners and adult learners themselves, King noted that her book was designed to help non-technical people understand how to combine technology and innovative design with adult learning theory. To accomplish this goal with the two audiences, she incorporated the following outstanding features into her book:

  • Focus on engaging readers in understanding and application of content
  • Comprehensive engagement of theory and practice
  • Scenarios to leverage interest and comprehension
  • Variety of visuals (conceptual, screenshots, cartoons, metaphors, illustrations, and models)
  • Real life, problem solving approach to realistic issues and concerns in health care, workplace, education, information literacy, technology literacy, aging, and childrearing
  • Variety of recommended activities including reflections, activities in community, application, and problem solving

Calculus for the AP Course, 2nd ed.Michael Sullivan and Kathleen Miranda, co-authors of Calculus for the AP Course, 2e.

Sullivan and Miranda were faced with the challenge of adapting a CALCULUS book designed for college students taking calculus to meet the needs of high school students taking AP® Calculus. To meet this challenge, they focused on four Big Ideas in calculus and within each big idea addressed the following three elements.

  • Enduring understandings – Long-term takeaways from each Big Idea
  • Learning objectives – The topics assessed on the AP Calculus exams
  • Essential knowledge – Concepts necessary to master the learning objectives

They then added new features designed exclusively for preparing students for the AP® Calculus exams:

  • AP® Exam Insight – to help students succeed on the exam
  • AP® Practice problems in each section
  • AP® Review Problems at the end of each chapter
  • AP® Practice Exam after each Big Idea
  • Model AP® Calculus AB and BC Exams

Finally, their book was packaged with state-of-the-art technology features for enhanced learning through dynamic figures, videos of worked examples of review questions, and a classroom management system designed specifically for the book.

The complete session recording with author Q&A is available in TAA’s library of  Presentations on Demand.

The winners of this year’s TAA Textbook Awards will be announced February 22nd. Nominations for next year’s awards program will open on September 1st.


Eric Schmieder

Eric Schmieder is the Membership Marketing Manager for TAA. He has taught computer technology concepts to curriculum, continuing education, and corporate training students since 2001. A lifelong learner, teacher, and textbook author, Eric seeks to use technology in ways that improve results in his daily processes and in the lives of those he serves. His latest textbook, Web, Database, and Programming: A foundational approach to data-driven application development using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL, and PHP, First Edition, is available now through Sentia Publishing.