Comprehensiveness rating: 5 read less
Having spent a bit of time working my way through other textbooks to arrive at one that seemed to fit my style of teaching, I am pleasantly surprised at the comprehensiveness of this text. It covers all the main principles that would typically be covered, but also includes some chapters on subjects that would be great to implement given enough time. At the very least, they are a resource for students that have taken a greater interest in the course work. I am speaking specifically on the chapters toward the end relating to poverty and income inquality. Additionally, the book contains a good review of graphing and some of the mathematics utilized within the book.
Accuracy rating: 4
I will not suggest that I am providing a thorough review in accuracy, but from what I have reviewed, nothing seemed remiss. Perhaps a typo here or there - not enough to interrupt the flow of the material. But everything seemed in order from a content perspective.
Relevance/Longevity rating: 4
The ability to update material would be the part most concerning to me as I do not know the updating practices for the authors. There seems to be good coverage of more recent events, and certainly there is good coverage going further back. I do not take issue with it as it stands. Even with the more expensive textbooks, it is the obligation of the professor or lecturer to keep students current while applying the principles being taught.
Clarity rating: 5
I think that what I appreciate most with the textbook is that it seems to be written in a very straightforward manner. One common complaint that I hear from students is that textbook explanations can be tedious to get through. Given all the examples that are provided, and all the sample problems utilized, in addition to the actual writing, I think that students, including international students, would find this a generally approachable source.
Consistency rating: 4
Again, with the caveat that I have not read through every single part of the book, in my examination of the text, I did not enounter any inconsistencies within the book. Also, I felt that the presentation seemed consistent, yet more comprehensive, than most textbooks I have utilized.
Modularity rating: 5
The breakdown of the text makes it very approachable from a learner standpoint. It is clear what the objectives are within each small section, and the objectives never seem overwhelming. This is useful from a teaching standpoint to keep students from feeling overwhelmed.
Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 3
The organization of the book does not align with the current way that I teach. While I am open to making adjustments, I do think that the order of some chapters could be rearranged. For example, the topic of economic growth could easily be combined with development rather than treated as an afterthought. With an increasing focus on internationalization in higher education, separating the two suggests a sense of other from my perspective. I find it confusing to have GDP included in the chapter on inflation and unemployment, but then treated separately afterward.
Interface rating: 4
There were a few distractions for me in the layout that seemed to be issues with how it displayed on my computer. These were not so serious that they would prevent me from utilizing the materials. I have not had the chance to see how it presents on an ipad, tablet or phone.
Grammatical Errors rating: 4
I spotted one or two errors, but not enough to deter me from using the book.
Cultural Relevance rating: 4
I certainly did not encounter anything that seemed culturally insensitive or offensive. I would encourage greater use of international examples, particularly when looking at policy tools. The book is U.S. focused; although this is the case with virtually every textbook that is presented to me. Internationalization of the curriculum seems to be an increasingly popular theme.
That said, the book certainly utilizes enough international examples for me to consider it.
I am pleasantly surprised by this book. As I prepare for the 2015-2016 academic year, I will certainly consider using this text. I would need to get a better idea of how easily one can access the specific materials needed on demand.