1996 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
A Student Survey on the Essential Selection Criteria of Eleven Textbook Selection Models
David W. Chang, EdD, RRT, College, Columbus, Georgia
Introduction In 1992, there were more than 177 respiratory care related textbooks. For this reason, selecting a textbook can be time-consuming and difficult. Some instructors use textbook selection models because they provide an objective evaluation of the essential criteria of a textbook. Since textbooks are intended for use by the student, I sought to evaluate the opinion of students on the selection criteria described in the recent textbook selection models.
Methods Eleven textbook selection models published in peer-reviewed journals since 1988 were used in this study. The essential selection criteria in these models were classified and grouped into eight areas: (1) appropriate contents, (2) low cost, (3) useful examples, (4) clear illustrations, (5) good organization, (6) well known publisher or author, (7) easy to read, and (8) clear writing style. A survey was developed using these eight areas. One question in the survey asked the respondents to "select from these eight areas three most important criteria of a textbook." The survey was administrated to 31 undergraduate students (3 freshmen, 10 sophomores, 11 juniors, 7 seniors). All but two students majored in allied health programs (11 respiratory therapy, 9 nursing, 9health sciences, 1 communication, and 1 education). The response rate was obtained by frequency count and its percentage was calculated by dividing each response frequency count by 31, the number of respondents.
Results: Frequency count and percent of the responses are shown in the table.
Selection Criterion Number Percent
Easy to read 26 84%
Appropriate contents 16 52%
Useful examples 15 48%
Good organization 14 45%
Clear writing style 9 29%
Clear illustrations 8 26%
Low cost 5 16%
Well known publisher or author 0 0%
Conclusions In the opinion of the survey respondents in this study, readability of the textbooks is the most important criterion. Well known publisher or author is the least important criterion.