COURSEBOOK EVALUATION CHECKLIST I. II. III. IV. V. VI. Section I. General Impression A. Flick through the book briefly. The overall appearance is attractive and will be appealing to learners. B. Overall, the book appears to be up-to-date. C. The book’s description of itself appears to match the contents. Section II. Technical Quality A. The book is durable, with a strong cover, and is printed on good quality paper. B. The printing and illustrations are of high quality and the book has an attractive layout, without densely cluttered pages. It has been well edited. C. Color is used but not to a districting event. Section III. Cultural Differences A. Any cultural bias is restricted to a degree acceptable to your teachers. B. (Teaching in a non-Western culture) Cultures other than European or American are also portrayed in the book. C. The cultural tone is appropriate for use in your setting. Section IV. Appropriacy A. The materials, language focus and activities are in general appropriate for your learners B. The coursebook will meet the long and term goals specific to your learners. C. Learners are not asked to perform roles or activities unacceptable in your setting. D. The activities are adaptable to personal learning and teaching styles. Section V. Motivation and the Learner A. Materials used in the book are authentic and up-to-date to an acceptable degree. B. Materials used have intrinsic interest and will appear relevant and interesting to learners. C. Materials with variety and pace are used. D. Personal involvement of learners in encouraged. E. The book encourages learners to assume responsibility for their own learning. F. There is a problem-solving and competitive element. G. The book exploits the social nature of classrooms. Section VI. Pedagogic Analysis A. Methodologically, the book is in line with your school's approach to language learning. B. Methodologically the book is in line with current worldwide theories and practices of language learning. C. Pronunciation: there is sufficient work on recognition and production of individual sounds. D. Pronunciation: there is sufficient work on recognition and production of stress patterns and intonation. E. The balance between listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills development in book is appropriate to your particular learners and learning situation. F. Skills integration receives sufficient attention. G. The development of discourse and fluency skills is given suff1cient attention. H. The book contains adequate formal learner achievement tests. I. There are activities for communicative interaction and the development of communicative strategies J. The balance between individual work, pairwork, groupwork, and whole-class work in the book is appropriate for your learning situation. K. One goal of the book is enabling learners to use English outside the classroom situation. L. New structures are presented systematically and in a meaningful context. M. New items receive sufficient and varied practice. N. The meaning of new vocabulary is presented in context. O. The grading of new items is not too steep or too gentle for your learners. P. In general, the activities in the book are neither too difficult nor too easy for your learners. Q. The book is sufficiently challenging to learners. R. There are mechanisms for giving regular feedback to learners. S. Units are not based around a storyline, which may force the teacher to use every unit in sequence. T. There is variety in the makeup of individual units. COURSEBOOK EVALUATION CHECKLIST VII. VIII. IX. X. U. Useful guidance is given to learners on correct use of the book. V. The style of speech and texts used is appropriate for our learners. W. There is provision for the book to be used for self-study by lone learners. X. New items are reviewed and recycled throughout the book. Y. The book matches the syllabus of your school to a sufficient extent. Section VII. Finding Your Way Through the Student's Book A. There is an adequate contents page. B. There is a comprehensive index. C. There is a complete summary of functions. D. There is a summary of new and reviewed grammar. E. There is a list of topics used in the book. F. There is a list of new vocabulary. G. If tapes are used, there is a transcript in the student’s and/ or teacher's book. H. Sufficient guidance is given for the needs of both experienced and inexperienced teachers. Section VIII. Supplementary Materials A. A teacher's book is available and it gives useful and complete guidance, along with alternative activities. B. A workbook is available and it contains appropriate supplementary activities. C. Cassette tapes are of good quality construction. D. Sound quality of tapes is good with no hissing, distortion, background noise, or other problems. E. Tapes have a variety of voices and they are native speakers talking at normal speed. F. If the book is part of a series, other books in the series are also suitable for use in your school. G. The coursebook, teacher's book, tapes, and workbook are not prohibitively expensive for your students/school. What materials or activities are missing from the book which should be included? What helpful ways of learning are missing from the book which should be included? GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATING TEXTBOOKS I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. Specific disciplines will develop selection criteria appropriate to the content area in addition to the following general guidelines. Textbooks and instructional materials shall be selected by the appropriate professionally trained staff employed by the District, taking into consideration recommendations from parents and students. Textbooks and other materials shall support and be aligned with the curriculum standards for the course and appropriate for the learning level of the audience. The material will also support the mastery of standards taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, learning and maturity levels of students served. Materials shall reflect and support best instructional practices for the discipline. Materials shall be factual in content, well written, organized, and engaging to students. Materials shall have aesthetic and literary add social quality. Materials shall reflect diverse perspectives, including the many ethnic, religious, and cultural groups in our society. Presentation of the controversial issues shall be fair, honest and directed toward maintaining a balance in viewpoints. Recommendations shall support and be consistent with general education of the District and goals and objectives specific courses. Physical format and appearance of materials shall be suitable for their intended use. CHECKLIST OF EVALUATIVE CRITERIA FOR TEXTBOOKS DIRECTIONS: This Evaluation List presents 12 of information that should prove helpful in judging the relative merits of textbooks. Blank spaces are provided for comments by the evaluator in connection with each evaluation criterion. As an example, the evaluator writes in II, Number 6, A point scoring system is not recommended because it would be quite possible for a textbook to have the highest total score and still not merit selection in the judgment of the evaluator. For instance, the evaluator might feel that the highest scoring textbook is too weak in one or more crucial areas to be adopted (although it might he used as a supplementary reference). Final judgment regarding a given textbook or textbook series will he made by examining the constellation of individual item judgments. Name of Evaluator School Current Assignment(s) (Grade Level/Subject) Subject/Grade Level(s) for which the textbook is intended Briefly state or attach the goals and/or aims of the course/subject for which this textbook is being considered. I. II. III. IV. V. INFORMATION A. Textbook Title B. Authors C. Publishers D. Copyright date E. Number of pages F. Unit Cost G. Cost of support materials IS THE MECHANICAL MAKE-UP ADEQUATE? A. Clarity of type B. Interlinear spacing C. Paper opaque, durable, non-glare D. Durability of binding E. Quality of illustrations F. Attractiveness of cover G. Book format IS THE CONTENT APPROPRIATE? A. Authenticity B. Current information C. Covers the subject D. Material challenges problem abilities E. Appropriate for intended “age group” F. Relevance to use in contemporary adult life G. Bias free H. Multi-cultural approach to the material ARE THE MEANINGS PRESENTED WITH CLARITY? A. Appropriateness of vocabulary? B. Ease of comprehension C. Interesting style D. Development of concepts E. Development of technical terms F. Reading level appropriate for the intended group HOW GOOD IS THE ORGANIZATION OF THIS BOOK? A. Sequential development throughout B. Logical organization for instruction CHECKLIST OF EVALUATIVE CRITERIA FOR TEXTBOOKS VI. VII. VIII. IX. IS THERE AN ADEQUATE SELECTION OF VARIED TEACHING AIDS? A. Clear overview of units. B. Succinct summaries C. Questions stimulating a variety of thinking sheets D. Practical related activities E. Adequate word lists F. Aids for reviewing G. Aids for evaluation of student learning H. Pertinent instructional references I. Value of teacher’s manual ARE THE AIDS TO LOCATION OF INFORMATION ADEQUATE? A. Is there a preface? B. Organization and completeness of table contents C. Accuracy and completeness of index D. Score and usefulness of appendices E. Listing of illustrative materials HOW EFFECTIVE ARE THE GRAPHIC AIDS? A. Accuracy B. Adequate number C. Appropriateness D. Related to context E. Variety of types F. Current G. Eye appeal H. Clarity GENERAL OBSERVATION AND REMARKS: This section should include a statement regarding: (1) the extent to which this textbook meets the goals and/or aims of the course/subject for which it is being considered., (2) an assessment of continuity of concepts developed between grade levels (if a series), and (3) general factors to be considered in selections. X. XI. XII. DID THE EVALUATOR READ THIS BOOK IN ITS ENTIRETY? GENERALEVALUATION I recommend this book be APPROVED/NOT APPROVED for adoption. Textbook Evaluation Form Introduction. The authors of Differentiating Textbooks have identified the elements that they believe are essential to a good textbook and their information has been complied into this textbook evaluation form. Used as a general guide, it will enable you to evaluate textbooks across curriculum areas using a measured or quantitative method. It is assumed that the textbooks being evaluated are intended for all learners. Using a scale from 1 (poor) to 4 (excellent), you will rate each category based on its accompanying description. Occasionally, you may find that some do not apply to the subject area you are considering, and in such instances you would simply mark N/A (not applicable) rather than assessing a numerical rating. After completing the form, tally your ratings, so you can quickly note which textbook received the highest marks. You may want to keep the forms on file for future reference within a department, as they could be used to compare existing textbooks with possible rep????? I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. Table of Contents. A. Material is presented in an order that makes sense for teaching. For example, a building approach is used with math and science subjects: new material is based on previously taught skills or already defined/discussed information. Glossary. A. Unfamiliar or specialized terms are well defined and their pronunciations are included. Bibliography. A. List of books and other reference works used by author(s) is comprehensive and up to date. (Check publication dates to see if materials are current.) Recommended Reading. A. Includes works that enable the reader to pursue further information. Web Sites. A. Includes direct links to pertinent information. (Randomly check a sampling of sites for current availability and to see if they indicate how recently they were updated. Index. A. Index is thorough and easy to use, and consists of entries that are detailed and crossreferenced. Writing Style. A. Writing is descriptive, thought-provoking, and fosters visualization, sparking reader's imagination on many levels. Vocabulary consists of words that are both familiar and challenging, and words the reader may not know are clearly defined. Main ideas are explicit, not imbedded in text. Headings/subheadings. A. Headings and subheadings support the content and preview what is coming so that the reader gets a clear idea about the section and can make predictions and read for purpose - helpful with before-reading activities. Wording is explicit rather than vague or ambiguous. Captions and labels. A. Captions and labels are accurate and informative, and supplement the text or main ideas in that part of the book. Sidebars. A. Sidebars augment the text by highlighting incidental or little-known information, or by expanding upon points or ideas mentioned in the text. Topic sentences and section/chapter previews. A. These communicate what is being discussed/developed in the paragraph or section/chapter; allow the reader to establish, identity, and absorb main ideas: and provide helpful information for before reading activities. Section/Chapter Summaries. A. Key ideas and main points supporting the topic discussed in the section/chapter are clear and accurately restated. Textbook Evaluation Form XIII. XIV. XV. XVI. XVII. Extension Activities. A. Includes relevant activities offering sufficient practice so that the student can reinforce and retain what has been taught. Activities focus on different ways in which students might continue their study based on various learning styles. Page Layout. A. The text is complemented/supported by graphic elements (illustrations, photographs, maps, charts, etc.) that follow the less-is-more rule: they do not crowd the page or overwhelm the student with too much textual or visual information. End-of Section/Chapter Comprehension and Critical Thinking Questions. A. The questions make a connection between the learned content, allow the reader to reflect on main ideas, and extent critical thinking about past and future events. Questions also are multi-leveled, i.e., there are questions that the reader can answer by looking in a specific place in the text, some that require the reader to look in several places to find the answer, and others that require the reader to look for clues in what they have read and combine these with their prior knowledge. The number of questions included provides ample practice for students. Type Style, Line Length, and Leading. A. The point size of the type, length of the line of type, and space between each line all work together, producing a page that is not only visually appealing but also readable and accessible. (A line of test is usually easier to read if it does not span more than half the width of the page.) Graphic Elements (photographs, illustrations, maps, charts, etc.) A. Graphic elements are located with the text to which they refer, rather than on preceding or following pages. B. Graphic elements are consistently identified with callouts, such as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. C. Maps and charts include keys or legends that explain what the symbols mean. D. Each photograph includes a caption that succinctly identifies it and makes a direct connection between it and the text. E. At least half of the graphics are in color. Education Scholar Program Module 2: Facilitating Learning in a Traditional Classroom Setting Checklist for Evaluating Instructional Materials Criteria for Evaluation I. II. III. IV. V. VI. Authorship A. Is the author well-known and well-regarded in your field? B. If the author is not known, has another person you trust as an authority mentioned him or her in a positive way? C. Does the product provide or link you to biographical information, including the author’s position, institutional affiliation, and address? D. Has contact information been provided so you can request further information on the author’s work? Publisher A. Is the publisher or sponsoring organization well known and respected in your field? B. Was the product created as part of the author’s professional duties? C. If not, was the product developed on a fee-for-service basis? Point of View A. Does the material tend to be biased in a particular way? B. If yes, does the author acknowledge this bias? C. If yes, is this bias acceptable with the learner population you are teaching? Knowledge of the Literature A. Does the product cite sources used in development? B. If yes, do these citations reflect the appropriate level of scholarship? C. Does the product adequately reflect the content of current theories, schools of thought, or techniques? D. Does the author acknowledge that his or her treatment of the subject is controversial? Accuracy A. Does it appear that the content of the product is based on a solid foundation of literature? B. Can the accuracy of the content be verified? Currency A. Is the date of publication within reasonable limits, given the nature of the content? B. Does the product avoid references to information that is clearly dated? Evaluating Textbooks Curriculum Materials Center Rohrbach Library Kutztown University of PA. Introduction This brochure provides you with some points to think about when evaluating textbooks. The questions to ponder are broken into 4 different areas including content, organization, physical aspects and teachers editions. Under each category, there are questions to think about to make sure you are selecting appropriate textbooks. This is only a selection of criteria and does not cover every aspect that needs to be considered. I. II. III. IV. Organization A. Does provide a useful table of contents, glossary, and index? B. Does the table of contents show a logical arrangement and development of subject? C. Is the textbook uniform in appearance and content layout throughout the book as well as within each chapter? D. Does it contain references, bibliographies, and other resources? Are they helpful and sufficient? E. Do the chapters provide introductions and summaries that are clear and comprehensive? F. Are all the pages numbered? If not, is this confusing? Content A. Does the content meet local and national standards? B. Is the content accurate and up-to-date? C. Will the content be supported by other textbooks that students have or will use? D. Is the language appropriate for the intended age group? Is it clear? Is it grammatically correct? E. Does the textbook contain age appropriate reading level? F. Does it contain end-of-Iesson questions or quizzes? G. Are lessons linked to other Subject areas? H. Will the activities engage students in active learning? Are they appealing to a wide range of abilities and interests? I. Do the lessons encourage higher-level thinking? J. Could this textbook be used for several years? Physical Aspects A. Are the size and weight of the textbook appropriate for students who will use it? B. Are the font and style age-appropriate? C. Are the binding, pages, and cover durable? D. Will the textbook appeal to the students? E. Is the page layout uncluttered and balanced? F. Do illustrations, tables, figures, graphs, charts, etc. provide appropriate representations of age, ethnicity, sex, socioeconomic level, and physical/mental ability? G. Are the illustrations, tables, figures, graphs, charts, etc. relevant and functional? Teacher’s Edition A. Does the textbook provide a separate teacher's edition or resource package? B. Is the teacher's edition helpful, comprehensive, organized, and easy to use? C. Are the resource materials organized and easy to use? D. Is the teacher's edition reasonably sized? E. Does the teacher's edition include the student edition? F. Are objectives clearly stated? G. Does the teacher's edition provide a variety of suggestions for adapting lessons to meet individual needs? Does it provide any specific resources for this (handouts, aids, charts)? H. Does the teacher’s edition provide assessment ideas or tools? Are they sufficient? I. Are answers to exercises, tests, etc. provided? Are they listed on the imprint of the student's edition or are the located elsewhere? J. Does the teacher's edition or resource package include any technology such as a CD or video? If so, are they useful and able to run on your equipment? Textbook Evaluation Form Riddle School District 70 V. VI. VII. Is the author’s viewpoint consistent with the Board’s statement of educational philosophy? Is the author’s viewpoint consistent with the teaching and learning objectives for the subject? Does the book substantially meet these 10 criteria for selection? A. B. C. D. E. F. G. VIII. IX. X. Is the material needed by the school, department, or course/ Is it among the best of its kind available for the use intended? Does it help to implement the course of study? Are its contents, vocabulary, and format generally suitable for the students? Does it have literary merit and interest appeal? Have any available reviews been examined? Have staff members read and examined the material and recommended the title for purchase? H. Has the area specialist or department chair reviewed the material???? I. Does it contribute to a balanced presentation of the subject matter? J. Does it fairly portray ethnic, racial, religious and sex roles? Appropriateness of material for student learning. A. Interesting and challenging at level of student comprehension. B. Correct and up-to-date. C. Logical organization of content. D. Pertinence of pictures and graphic presentations. E. Discussion topics, questions, student activities F. Student references and bibliographies G. Tables of content, indexes, glossaries, appendixes, annotations H. Summaries I. Suggested student activities J. Student manuals and workbooks K. Student self-tests Appropriateness of materials for instruction. A. Teacher’s guide or manual B. Teacher references and bibliography C. Suggested supplementary materials and aids. D. Separately published diagnostic tests E. Provision for teaching different ability groups F. Content generally free of material that may be considered offensive according to accepted community standards Physical characteristics A. Cover design and use of color throughout book B. Style and size of type C. Layout of pages D. Clear pictures and graphic illustrations E. Binding, quality of paper, and size of book Textbook Adoption Form XI. XII. XIII. XIV. XV. XVI. Directions. This checklist is designed to help you evaluate the appropriateness of the texts you are considering for adoption. Your goal is to find out what aspects of the text is not less than ideal. Please rank the statement below using the following rating system: 3 = excellent, 2 = acceptable, 1 = poor, 0 = not acceptable, NA = not applicable, NF = not found Overall structure A. Text has table of contents, glossary, index, appendix, & other appropriate aides. B. Text is durable, size of book & print are appropriate & illustrations and format are appealing. C. Content reflects essential concepts/skills, of course content & district, curriculum goals. D. Text has clear organizational pattern that follows throughout & relates chapters to each other. E. Subject matter is thoroughly covered & presented in a logical, clear sequence. F. Material reflects current trends, information, & instructional practices. G. Teacher editions are easy to use, clearly formatted, and provide instructional methods & activities to meet the needs of all students. H. Supplemental materials are available & stress the concepts presented in the text. Content & Organization A. Instruction & activities reflect different learning styles, interests, & ability levels B. Instruction & activities help students make connections between prior knowledge/experiences and new information presented in the text. C. Instruction & activities show students the relationship & application of skills & concepts to real life. D. Materials are free of bias related to sex, race, culture, & stereotype. E. Directions are written clearly & explicitly. F. Materials contain affective objectives. G. Instructions guides students from concrete to abstract & general to specific. H. Instruction gradually releases independence for learning to student. I. Content specific terms are well-defined & include descriptions and/or examples for clarification. J. New concepts are explicitly linked to a student’s prior knowledge & experimental background. K. Vocabulary & concept density is within the ability of the students to gain meaning from the text. L. The main ideas, concepts, & important information are clearly stated & explained. M. The author’s writing style provides students with aids that guide them through the text. (Some of these include: marginal notes, glossing, pre-reading plus purpose setting introductions, guided reading questions, summary questions/statements, extended reading activities, study techniques, writing activities, thought level questions, others. N. Education for Employment skills is reflected. O. Illustrations, graphs, maps, charts, etc. enhance the understanding of text & clarity or relate to key concepts. Assessment A. Assessment is centered on knowledge of the main ideas, concepts, & skills. B. Student’s knowledge of content is assessed in a variety of ways & from information taken at all levels of cognitive & affective thinking. C. The major goals & objectives of the course curriculum are evaluated. D. Questions & activities draw attention to the organizational patterns of the text & other learning strategies. E. Assessment centers on the student’s understanding of the process as well as the product. Motivation A. Content & manner of presentation are interesting & relevant to the students. B. Activities are meaningful, motivating, & challenging to students at varying levels of learning. C. Materials allow students to think critically & creatively.