Textbook Design in the Information Age: Is there a Future for the Textbook?

By Susanna Carter, Diana Quinn and Gregory Yates.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The textbook tradition has stood the test of time since the basic features of texts have remained stable for the past 400 years. However, the role of the textbook as the major authority in the transmission of knowledge is under severe threat. Interviews with students undertaking a compulsory topic in immunology indicated that the majority of students did not study their textbook in the manner expected by their professor. In this paper we attempt to examine the role of textbook in relation to advent of modern technologies that these students proved adept in using.

Keywords: Design, Education, Information Design, Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, Visual Learning, Digital Media, Multimedia Learning, Textbook

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp.195-208. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.422MB).

Susanna Carter

Lecturer Learning Advice, Learning and Teaching Unit, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

I am interested in teaching and learning and my professional task is work with students and academics to improve learning outcomes. This is where my interest in materials design and graphic representations of knowledge began. I became increasingly aware of the potential of well designed text and graphic techniques like mindmapping for example to help students who were struggling with their studies, their assignments or managing their workload. I am also aware that students struggle with text books and learning materials designed for the last century and are disadvantaged by the way knowledge is presented in written text and poorly designed power point notes. I am presently enrolled as a Phd canditate in the School of Education at the University of South Australia. I hope to to deepen my understanding of design, graphic representations of knowledge and discoveries in cognitive neuroscience and to pursue their application to teaching and learning in the tertiary sector.

Diana Quinn

University of South Australia, South Australia, Australia

Diana Quinn is a Senior Lecturer in Academic development at the Learning and Teaching Unit of the University of South Australia. Her research interests lie mainly in the applications of technology to support learning and teaching.

Gregory Yates

University of South Australia, South Australia, Australia

Greg Yates is a Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology at the Magill Campus of the University of South Australia. His research interests lie mainly in the applications of cognitive social learning principles to educational issues.


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