Exploring the use of textbooks with first year students: are they springboards for learning
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
Textbooks have traditionally been a fundamental part of a university course and integral to student learning. This paper presents findings from a study on first year university students' evaluations of a new series of textbooks for first year marketing and management courses. These textbooks offer a shift from the mainstream to a fresh and innovative approach in terms of format, writing style and content. The aim in designing these textbooks was to engage students by ways that they are comfortable with - using media and social savvy communication tools. Focus groups and a survey of students were carried out during the first semester of using the textbooks. Student reactions were summarized under three major themes; magazine format, emotional connection and usage of the text. Findings indicate that a shift away from traditional approaches to a product that meets the unique and different needs of a new generation of students can be attained by relatively simple solutions. First year students' demands for immediate, concise content coupled with integration using a multimedia approach might more fully satisfy the learning needs of the so-called new Gen Y learners.