Using your textbook as the foundation for an online course

How to Use Any Textbook as the Foundation for an Online CourseIn a recent TAA webinar titled, “How to Use Any Textbook as the Foundation for an Online Course“, mathematics textbook author Pat McKeague shared a process for building an online course from textbook content and associated ancillaries.

As many instructors found themselves forced into online learning environments as a result of the pandemic in 2020, quick, but effective, transition of teaching methods through online courses became an essential skill. Using examples from his own publishing company, XYZ Textbooks, McKeague demonstrated the benefits of using LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) to integrate an electronic textbook into an LMS (Learning Management System) to develop a foundation course and then expand upon that foundation by having instructors “put yourself in it”. [Read more…]

Building content dexterity into your textbook

all you need is lessRecently my mentor, Paul Martinelli, was talking about creating and delivering content for various audiences and in a variety of ways. As part of his lesson, he said, “Content dexterity is key. You need to be able to speak on your subject for 3 seconds, 3 minutes, 3 hours, or 3 days”. Having taught many 3-hour class sessions in more than 20 years of teaching experience, that time period certainly is comfortable for me, but what about the others?

As textbook authors, we often write the book around the expectation of class sessions. We envision the classroom audience, the common structure of classroom time where our book will be used, and the depth and breadth of coverage of concepts necessary to meet the curriculum standards of the course. We then have a tendency to structure chapters and units around those constraints.

But I question whether that approach is effective in our current educational environment. Below I offer some ways that you might want to consider building content dexterity into your next textbook. [Read more…]

Q&A: How to research content for your textbook

Study competing textbooksQ: “How do you go about researching content for your textbook?”

A: Janet Belsky, author of Experiencing the Lifespan, 2e (2009):

“I go to a library database where I can get every single article on the topic I’m writing about in every journal in my field. If I am updating a book, I will only look for articles that were published from the time of the last edition to the present. This strategy gets me about 100 or 200 new articles for each chapter. I do a cursory look at everything, but I won’t need to read all of those articles. [Read more…]