Regardless of whether the teaching rating form your students use contains an item pertaining to the textbook selection, their feelings about the texts and other materials you require them to purchase are almost certain to affect how they feel about you as a teacher and, consequently, the ratings they’ll give you. If they really like you, they’ll tend to rate you a little higher on almost all of the items on the form. And if they really dislike you, they’ll tend to do the opposite. Consequently, one way to maximize your teaching ratings is to be cognizant of students’ likes and dislikes when selecting the textbooks and other materials (e.g., CD-ROM multimedia software) you’ll be utilizing.
Students’ likes and dislikes are, of course, not the only relevant considerations when selecting textbooks and other materials for teaching them. Content and organization are also. They are among the most important (if not the most important) considerations for textbook selection.
We’ll be focusing here on a number of issues you’d be wise to consider when selecting textbooks and other materials that students are required to purchase. The order in which they’re discussed isn’t intended to be significant. The ones pertaining to students’ likes and dislikes were derived from comments made by undergraduate and graduate students in a structured interview survey that dealt with the features of textbooks that they did and did not find helpful (see Appendix D in Silverman, 1998).