Robinanne Scans LR-19.jpg

WHAT READERS WANT IN A TEXTBOOK - EVALUATION OF STYLE AND FORMAT

1999

I worked as a lecturer travelling to three different campuses, sometimes during the one day, and then took the opportunity to become head of department then director of upper school for a private secondary college, five minutes from home, to be more available for my child who was entering upper school.

During this time, I worked through a Master of Educational Management at the University of Western Australia where half of the master was completed by course work focussing on interpersonal relations and the other half was a dissertation. Having written textbooks, I was motivated to find out what formatting was most user friendly and to evaluate what style and formatting I had developed through writing the previous textbooks.

Small group highly qualitative data was collected where the group was shown an array of texts styles and format and asked to select what they liked about these. Using an overview at the beginning of a chapter, summary at the end, activities and exercises, cartoons, drawings and photographs, vocabulary list, heading and sub-headings, 14 sized font, suggestions of related films, were all features the group felt made the text appealing and easy to read.