We have a very specific methodology when it comes to reviewing our text books.
The first question we ask is: who is the author? We believe that if you are going to spend your parent's hard earned cash on a book that someone wrote, the author better have a good review from more than just his mother. We at the site judge and review not only the credentials and reputation of the author, but also the credentials and reputations of the authors that the author sites in the peer review section. We also review the honesty and transparency of the author. If we smell that the author is biased or has an agenda that leans a certain way, we let you know about it. We also review the bibliography of the author. If the author has crummy sources, then the textbook is crummy. Period. One thing that separates a textbook from a coloring book is information. We look for tons of it: Stats! Figures! Charts! Lions! Tigers! Bears! Oh my! We want you to have as detailed information and the technical stuff might be dull but it is accurate and honest. We let you know if the author is detailed or just gives you general information you can get for yourself on google.
We have a few pretty smart cookies here at the site and we don't review a book unless we know something about the topic (And if we don't, We know a guy, who knows a guy.... ), so not only do we judge what is in the book, we look for what isn't in the book. If there is a piece of data that is relevant, is widely known, or is widely accepted while we don't expect each author to agree with it, we do expect that the author at least recognizes the information and say why it is or is not included. Let's just say we don't like lack of information. If the author is leaving out something important we let you know about it.
One thing we also dislike is a book that is hard to read. Ever read a book so difficult to read that it makes you grab your forehead like that guy in the aspirin commercial? We have. LOTS. My fingerprints are permanently fossilized on my skull. Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a book that uses difficult language, we just want you to know about it before you lose your mind from boredom. We also check to see if the author has direction when writing. Sure, 500 pages for a textbook sounds like a lot but how much of it is actually useful. When I look go through a textbook, I do so with a yellow highlighter, looking for important points. If my I finish reading the book before my trusty yellow Sharpee is out of ink then I know the book is a hot, steaming, pile of....filler. (Got ya.)
Ultimately, we just give our opinions on the book. This is something we can't quantify. How did it make us feel? Did I learn something from the book? Did the author make it easy to "get?"
Importance of having quality books during study
Textbooks are important and really good to have around. Trust me. They don't just write textbooks to keep textbook review writers off the unemployment lines, they are actually good for you and they taste better than broccoli.
Although it goes without saying that a textbook is something that you should learn from,quality textbooks allow you to want to do two things: to learn on your own, and to learn more. A textbook that allows you to learn on your own is critical for self study. It frees up both time and resources of the reader. A textbook shouldn't need you to have a professor to explain its concepts to you, the textbook should be self contained and self-explanatory. The book should also be so accessible that you based on your level of knowledge of the subject, you shouldn't have to read a second book to understand what the heck is going on in your textbook.
Finally, a book should want you to learn more about the subject you are reading. A book, yes, even a textbook, should fire your passion and interest in the topic and make you want to read more about the subject and more about yourself. The unexamined life is not worth living it is said.
Driving awareness and adoption of open textbooks web site. The College Open Textbooks Collaborative, a collection of twenty-nine educational non-profit and for-profit organizations.
Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Silicon Valley will be the number one geographic area in California, in percentage of high school graduates academically prepared to complete post-secondary education.
Bridgepoint Education harnesses creativity and the latest technology to re-engineer the modern student experience.
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