Text Selection and Course Design


For those who might be considering developing a course over the summer, I would like to share the article, "Text Selection and Course Design: Faculty Perspectives on Critical Reading and Critical Thinking" by Collins-Dogrul and Saldaña (2019) seems useful. In this article, the author surveyed 36 sociology professors at 12 private institutions, inquiring as to their textbook use. "Faculty explain that textbooks provide a breadth of material that is organized and streamlined in a way that promotes consistency across instructors, facilitates content delivery to students with a range of abilities, and reduces course preparation time. Despite these benefits, faculty have a strong preference for textbook alternatives."

Further, the authors found that faculty believed alternatives to textbooks, like "monographs and articles, as time-intensive to teach, but the best way to advance students’ critical reading and thinking skills." Faculty understood that additional "preparatory work was involved with alternatives, noting it is now the professor’s job to ensure materials align with course outcomes.” Ultimately, the authors remind us that "this approach requires more investment in course design, including choosing readings, and creating assignments and lectures that provide synthesis, organization, and background."

Collins-Dogrul, J., & Saldaña, K. (2019). Text Selection and Course Design: Faculty Perspectives on Critical Reading and Critical Thinking. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 19 (2), 88-101. doi: 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.23713

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