Pedagogy Corner: How speedbumps can accelerate student learning

As a textbook author, have you ever asked your students how they read your book? An inquiry into how your students read their textbooks may reveal much information that can help authors design textbooks with students in mind.

I recall when I was a college student―yes, a very long time ago―how I read a textbook chapter for a college course: I set aside at least 3 hours of undistracted time, read the entire chapter word-for-word, took copious notes, spent time examining and understanding all of the figures, and then systematically answered every single end-of-chapter question. Only after this procedure did I feel like I had a good understanding of the material.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 1, 2019

Jane Yolen reminds us to “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” This week’s collection of articles from around the web provides some examples of just how to do that.

We begin our collection with a typical say in the life of five writers, planning scholarly visits, developing an academic home page, waiting on peer review, and counting down to thesis completion. We also found some articles of interest on the future of publishing platforms, books on pedagogy, and prioritizing organizational choices. Happy writing (every day)!

The stuff our books are made of – Part 1

There is terminological chaos in the education culture. Yes, this is about the words we use as authors. More specifically, it is about the language of instruction, not about cellulose and silicone.

As Aristotle put it,

“For as long as it is not clear in how many senses a term is used, it is possible that the answerer and the questioner are not directing their minds upon the same thing,… [and, therefore] It often happens that a difficulty is found in discussing or arguing a given position because the definition has not been correctly rendered.”

The stuff our books are made of is extremely important because classroom teachers rely instructionally on textbooks for engaging subject matter.

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: New Year’s Edition

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Featured Member Al Trujillo – Cutting edge: Using QR codes in a textbook

Al Trujillo is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Earth Sciences at Palomar College in San Marcos, California. He has worked with his co-author, Hal Thurman, on Essentials of Oceanography (Trujillo and Thurman, Pearson Education) since the 6th edition, and they have also co-authored Introductory Oceanography, which is now in its 10th edition.

Here Trujillo discusses the value and functionality of embedding QR code technology into textbooks: