Definition Essay

What Makes An Effective Textbook?
Venus Velasquez Pascal
University of Maryland University College – Online Campus
WRTG 101
Professor Linda Brender
February 7, 2010

What makes an effective textbook? This particular question has significance amongst many within the academic community from authors, publishers, teachers and students. Students who are seeking to build their knowledge of biological psychology in the area of perception will find that E. Bruce Goldstein’s Sensation and Perception, exemplifies what an effective textbook is. The pedagogical principles of this textbook are sound and effective, its quality of content is comprehensive, and its design and presentation provides a solid balance of text and visuals. “Efficiency is doing things; effectiveness is doing the right things.” (Drucker, 1909). Effective: mean producing or capable of producing result. Textbook: a book used in the study of a subject a: one containing a presentation of principles of a subject b: a literary work relevant to the study of a subject.
Pedagogy involves instructive strategies that are utilized to enhance the overall learning experience. According to the author of Psychology Concepts and Applications, “Learning begins with focused attention. A textbook can be an effective learning tool only if it succeeds in engaging and retaining the student’s interest. Without focused attention, information is not likely to be encoded or retained.” (Nevid, 2009).
Jeffrey S. Nevid (2009) though information must be encoded to be learned, new learning needs to be strengthened to ensure long-term retention. Retention of newly acquired information can be strengthened through rote memorization, such as by repeating particular words or phrases. But deeper processing in the form of elaborative rehearsal often leads to more enduring memory. Elaborative rehearsal involves focusing on the meaning of the material rather than mere repetition,...