Those teaching in higher education can choose among a wide range of texts for students to read: textbooks, journal articles, blogs, different kinds of websites—all of these are potentially valuable. These days, depending on the subject, standard textbooks are being re-examined. Some reasons for this include the fact that textbooks contain only a narrow type of reading, and that traditional textbooks do not exploit the kinds of multimedia that can provide context for any academic subject.
This paper describes the development of an on-line introductory linguistics course, with a focus on how the readings were chosen and incorporated into the course goals and structure. Two central questions are: Is a traditional textbook still a viable choice for university teaching? How can I best evaluate and make use of new forms of computer hardware and on-line resources to explore different aspects of language in my classes?
New conceptions of reading as well as the state, evolution, and future of the textbook are also explored. Although traditional textbooks may still have their place, electronic resources for teaching are here to stay, and those who use the new technologies in higher education have the responsibility to make smart and pedagogically sound choices.
|Keywords:||Textbooks, Higher Education, Technology, Course Materials, Distance Education, Teaching Linguistics|
Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA
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