Resource Evaluation Form
Instructions
The authors of Differentiating Textbooks have identified the elements that they believe are essential to a good textbook and their information has been compiled into this textbook evaluation form. Used as a general guideline, it will evaluate textbooks across curriculum areas using a measured, or quantitative, method. It is assumed that the textbooks being evaluated are intended for all learners.

Using a scale from 1 (poor) to 4 (excellent), you will rate each category based on its accompanying description. Occasionally, you may find that some do not apply to the subject area you are considering, and in such instances simply mark N/A (not applicable rather than assign a numerical rating. After completing the form, tally your ratings, so you can quickly note which text-books receive the highest marks. Forms need to be kept on file for supportive documentation of this process.

Textbook Information
Course Number
Your answer
Book Title
Your answer
Author
Your answer
Publisher
Your answer
Edition
Your answer
Evaluation
Using a scale from 1 (poor) to 4 (excellent) rate the textbook in each category.
Table of Contents
Material is presented in an order that makes sense for teaching. For example, a building approach is used with math and science subjects; new material is based on previously taught skills or already defined / discussed information.
Poor
Excellent
Glossary
Unfamiliar or specialized terms are well-defined and their pronunciations are included.
Poor
Excellent
Bibliography
List of books and other reference works used by author(s) is comprehensive and up to date. (Check publication dates to see if materials are current.)
Poor
Excellent
Recommended Reading
Includes works that enable the reader to pursue further information.
Poor
Excellent
Web Sites
Includes direct links to pertinent information. (Randomly check a sampling of sites for current availability and to see if they indicate how recently they were updated.)
Poor
Excellent
Index
Index is thorough and easy to use, and consists of entries that are detailed and cross-referenced.
Poor
Excellent
Writing Style
Writing is descriptive and thought-provoking, and fosters visualization, sparking the reader’s imagination on many levels. Vocabulary consists of words that are both familiar and challenging, and words the reader may not know are clearly defined. Main ideas are explicit, not embedded in the text.
Poor
Excellent
Headings/subheadings
Headings are subheadings support the content and preview what is coming so that the reader gets a clear idea about the section and can make predictions and read for purpose – helpful with before-reading activities. Wording is explicit rather than vague or ambiguous.
Poor
Excellent
Captions and labels
Captions and labels are accurate and informative, and supplement the text or main ideas in that part of the book.
Poor
Excellent
Sidebars
Sidebars augment the text by highlighting incidental or little-known information, or by expanding upon points or ideas mentioned in the text.
Poor
Excellent
Topic sentences and section/chapter previews
These communicate what is being discussed / developed in the paragraph or section/chapter; allowing the reader to establish, identify, and absorb main ideas; and provide helpful information for before-breading activities.
Poor
Excellent
Section / Chapter Summaries
Key ideas and main points supporting the topic discussed in the section / chapter are clear and accurately restated.
Poor
Excellent
Extension Activities
Includes relevant activities offering sufficient practice so that the student can reinforce and retain what has been taught. Activities focus on different ways in which students might continue their study based on various learning styles.
Poor
Excellent
Page Layout
The text is complemented /supported by graphic elements (Illustrations, photographs, maps, charts, etc.) that follow the less-is-more rule: they do not crowd the page or overwhelm the student with too much textual or visual information.
Poor
Excellent
End-of-Section / Chapter Comprehension and Critical-Thinking Questions
The questions make connections between the learned content, allow the reader to reflect on main ideas, and extend critical thinking about past and future events. Questions also are multi-leveled, i.e., there are questions that the reader can answer by looking in a specific place in the text, some that require the reader to look in several places to find the answer, and others that require the reader to look for clues in what they have read and combine these with their prior knowledge. The number of questions included provides ample practice for students.
Poor
Excellent
Type Style, Line Length, and Leading
The point size of the type, length of the line of type, and space between each line all work together, producing a page that is not only visually appealing but also readable and accessible. (A line of Text is usually easier to read if it does not span more than half the width of the page.)
Poor
Excellent
Graphic Elements (photographs, illustrations, maps, charts, etc.)
Graphics are located with the text that they refer to rather than pages before or after it. Graphics are consistently identified with call outs, such as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. Maps and charts include keys or legends that explain what the symbols mean. Each photograph includes a caption that succinctly identifies it and makes a direct connection between it and the text. At least half of the graphics are in color.
Poor
Excellent
Elevator Information
Faculty Name
Your answer
Evaluator Title
Your answer
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