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About this project

In Spring 2018, the LaGuardia Community College Library department was awarded a New York State grant to train students to evaluate textbooks. The project was led by Professor Christopher McHale, with Professors Ian McDermott and Steven Ovadia serving on the project team, as well as Elizabeth Arestyl.

The seminar lasted 16 weeks, with 15 students completing the hybrid seminar, which was hosted in the CUNY Academic Commons, using a combination private group/public blog. Each student received an $1,100 tuition credit and digital badge for their participation and completion of all assignments. Students were selected using a two-step interview process (email and in-person).

The seminar introduced students to the economics and politics of the textbook industry and gave them tools to evaluate textbooks. Once students were up to speed, they evaluated chapters from nine textbooks (three anatomy and physiology, three biology, and three pre-algebra texts; each set of three featured two OER works and one commercial one.

This repository contains the material used during the seminar. We have chosen Markdown as the format, wherever possible, so that the work can easily be transformable, using either a Markdown editor or Pandoc:

The goal of this project is to give faculty tools to help students evaluate the books being used in their classes. It is not expected that all of these tools will be used in a single class, but rather that faculty will use some of these tools to determine how textbooks are working, and not working, for their students.

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Educational material related to a Spring 2018 LaGuardia Community College Library department New York State grant training students to evaluate textbooks.

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