And, if you are a believer that all textbooks are crap, you probably won't have much use for what I have to say here, either. I'm often surprised by the number of teachers (college and high school) who have no use for the textbook. And, sorry Frank, building ramps doesn't count:
(Although, Frank does have some good ideas of what a physics ibook could look like.)
I do believe that it is my responsibility to (as much as possible) choose relevant and well-written texts for use in my classes. I also believe that there is no perfect textbook.
I have introduced to my calculus-based class what I am calling active reading. The class has already been assigned readings from the text to complete before coming to class. They complete short reading reviews online before the class starts that I look at before class starts.
But this is not enough. Active reading requires:
- Note taking while reading. Both in the margins and in their notebooks. Underlining and judicious highlighting are also encouraged.
- Access to other reference materials, such as dictionaries or the web for looking things up.
- Repeated reading. My class knows that their first time reading through the material I don't expect them to become experts. I do expect mastery of the concepts we cover in class before the next quiz or exam.