Most educators today rely on digital textbooks for their students, but what effect are they having on education?
How Instructors Use Etextbooks In Online Learning
Ever wonder what you could be doing if you majored in Politics, History, Religion or Business in college? Well, this may be your chance to do it.
A new site called etextbook.com is providing short articles that talk about the difference between a real textbook and a Wikipedia document. In both, there’s huge discrepancies and you’re expected to play along with some easy-to-follow guidelines. But how do you actually use the website? Read more about it below!
How Is This Simpler Than a Wikipedia Document?
Both Wikipedia and etextbooks.com (for example) are all about engaging users with a quick, simple, easily understandable explanation of something. But at first glance, students will be tempted to think that with a Wikipedia document, you can just stick to “Right, Wrong, or Uncertain” or as Steve Arnold explained to Ars Technica, “There’s plenty of room for teacher involvement, so teachers can add definitions and contextual information, which would make any wikipedia document a fascinating resource.”
Readers must search through a whole lot of filler sentences to find the main story and, as the author Paul L. Johnson added to Ars Technica, “subsequent sections could also supplement the narrative, for example by instructing on how you select and improve the book’s data, or pointing out important mistakes that need to be corrected before publishing.”
Interestingly, part of this process took place even though the author wasn’t the one editing the description of the original book. You see, the guidelines for Wikipedia are so loose that one user simply agrees that the author tried his best and so off we go.
With etextbooks.com, teachers and students are able to easily include terms and sections on only the actions and basic information they will need to use the book for. What’s more, all the information is clear, because you see that the entries of certain pages are labeled under the headings, which gives a clear, written, approach to what they need to do.
eTextbooks.com really provides a good value for online learning, as most people assume that these kind of sites will not be educational. After all, what’s the point of going to the library in the morning and then downloading a book if you only learn from Wikipedia? However, this is not the case at all, and both of them are a perfect resource if you’re looking to improve how you learn and give lessons in relation to your class’s theme or topic.
In fact, etextbooks.com is suitable to teach anyone anything, and they don’t provide a biased perspective, as it’s always “correct.” In a Reddit post about what it was like to use, Brian Kay wondered, “How did the editors of this site receive their education? I would understand if they were pulled straight out of the UW English department. That’s what they look like on the site, and I appreciated the review quotes, at least the ones who said ‘Your work is detailed, honest, and genuine’ and ‘It seems like you’ve had a lot of practice in learning how to read the text, chapter by chapter, section by section.’ My only question is, where were they before that?”
Other topics that are currently available on etextbooks.com include Artificial Intelligence, Motivational Media, Art & Music, and Health. The website is constantly updating, so expect an influx of new topics as you head towards the semester. As readers can expect, there are plenty of articles on brand new topics that can be used to supplement their instruction with.
Overall, etextbooks.com is a useful tool for teaching online. It helps you to learn content more quickly, engaging users in shorter segments, it gives administrators a clear idea on who is using the website and it also adds a different dimension to just about any topic that can be taught on the website. It’s a great resource not only for professors, but also for students looking to learn about topics from an expert, regardless of the exact topic.