6.17.2013

Textbook Changes


You may have noticed (or will soon notice) a number of changes in your textbooks and I thought I’d note some of these here.

1.      Quotations that often introduce our chapters or that appear in margins will be a thing of the past unless they’re very old; contemporary quotations will be gone. The reason: permission problems. The same is true of quotations from research studies that occur within the basal text.

2.      Research instruments that have been so common in our basic texts for illustrating the concepts and also for introducing the nature of research (and something that I like to take credit for introducing into our basic texts, tho’ I may be wrong here) will be gone. Again, the reason is permission problems, especially the difficulty/impossibility of getting digital rights. NCA journals, for example, will be off limits. You’re likely to see “adapted from” as a way around these restriction but that approach is not likely to prove effective in the long run.

3.      References to other chapters in the text are likely to disappear. The reason here is that custom books—the books that instructors create out of existing textbooks and their own materials—are becoming so popular that cross references will only make sense if the entire textbook is used; they’ll prove incomprehensible when they refer to deleted chapters.

4.      Third party URLs are being deleted because of their unreliability. Although this system requires extra clicks for those using a digital edition, the lack of permanence seems to have been the deciding factor in eliminating all URLs except those of the publisher. When citing a website article as a source, the organization, college, or agency rather than the URL is given.

5.      A more rigid organizational structure with numbered Learning Objectives prefacing each chapter, repeated in the chapter’s main headings, and again in the summary will become standard. I think one reason for this is the assumption being made that it’s good pedagogy. Another reason I’m sure has to do with digitizing and coordinating the varied materials that now come with the textbook.

6.      Cartoons will probably be cut back or eliminated entirely, largely because of cost (they’re much more expensive than photos) and digital permission problems.  Cartoons are also different in that some people really like them and others don’t.

7.      Media components will be increased.  Online videos, exercises, and vocabulary quizzes, for example, will become part of the textbook package.

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