Publication Title

Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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This study of sociology faculty in twelve private colleges and universities compares teaching with textbooks and textbook alternatives in undergraduate classes. Faculty explain that textbooks provide a breadth of material that is organized and streamlined in a way that promotes consistency across instructors, facilitates content delivery to students with a range of abilities, and reduces course preparation time. Despite these benefits, faculty have a strong preference for textbook alternatives. Faculty argue that readings, like monographs and journal articles, develop students’ critical reading and thinking skills. Additionally, when instructors design courses with alternative readings they engage their own critical reading and thinking, as they critique and synthesize the literature in their discipline in order to curate texts for the syllabus. We argue that teaching courses with alternative readings creates course experiences where students and faculty engage with a discipline together

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Sociology Commons