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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Textbook Evaluation

Mathematics Form 3 Textbook

1) Yoong Kwee Soon
2) Sim Kwang Yaw
3) Ding Hong Eng

4) Noorliah bt Ahmat
5) Lai Jun Siew
Publisher: Ebiza Sdn Bhd

Textbook is the main component for teachers and students. The textbook provide manual instructions based on syllabus produced by our Ministry of Education. The validity and reliability of textbook is important to achieve the learning outcome. Therefore, textbooks should be checked time by time to know the effectiveness to students and teachers. In order to measure the reliability and validity of textbook, I evaluated the textbook based on 3 criteria’s which are organization, content and physical aspect.

The first evaluation to this textbook is based on organization. The textbook provide a useful table of content, glossary and index. The table of content was systematically arranged according to chapter. It provides easy way for student s to find needed chapter without wasting time to open one page to another page. Other than that, the table of content shows a logical arrangement and development of subject. It’s followed the syllabus of subject which starts from easy level of topic to the difficult one.

The glossary provided at the end of textbook help students more. It’s function like a mini mathematic dictionary allow students to find meaning of mathematic term like Cartesian plane, exterior angle, inequality and many more. The simple explanation of glossary is appropriate with students at that level. Besides glossary there are also index at the end page of this book. Like table of content, index helps students to find the pages of mathematical term they are looking for.

The next organization is the appearance of textbook and its content layout. First appearance is uniform in writing. Each chapter used the same font type, font size, color, design and shaped to represent the topic and exercise. Second appearance is uniform in arrangement of content. The content was arranged systematically and not crowded. Each chapter start with introduction, followed by lesson, exercise and ending by summary.

Similar to other textbooks, this textbook provides reference as well as bibliographies. In reference there were list books were used as source to build the lesson of this textbook. There are about 14 references and most of them are international reference mathematic books. Having reference is quite important to some parents to make sure the textbook is useful for their children.

The next organization is introduction and summary. Each chapter of this textbook provides clear and comprehensive introduction and summary. The introduction provides some information and mathematical background related to the topic. It enables students to know and understand what there are going to learn. Students tend to get prepare their self before learning session take place. The introduction also stated some learning outcome of the topic that student should achieve. Like introduction there are summary chapter in this textbook. The summary summarizes facts, definitions, and formulae, give brief revision of important principles and explain the mathematical concepts of the topic. Therefore students can recall back what they have learned previously.

The second evaluation is based on the content of textbook. The content of textbook meet local and national standard. This textbook is written strictly based on the curriculum specification laid down by the Curriculum Development Centre of the Ministry of Education Malaysia. The textbook is written by experience authors whose have written many mathematic reference books. Among of them are senior mathematic teacher. They are give great contribution to comply with the sequence of learning objective and learning outcomes as stated in the curriculum specification. this textbook satisfied the local standard because it have complied with the requirements of Syllabi and the Curriculum Specifications produced by the Ministry of Education to ensure learners acquire the necessary knowledge and skills and to help teacher towards effective teaching.

Other than that the content of this textbook is accurate and up-to date. The textbook that I evaluated is new textbook. It is first edition which published in 2004 regarding to the implementation of English language in mathematic and science subject. These textbook was developed based on the revised Integrated Curriculum for secondary school and contain topics from the previous curriculum, revised topics as well as new one. Then this textbook undergone due process in publication to ensure quality is maintained before approval for use is given by the ministry.

These textbook is the only one textbook used by form 3 students in Malaysia. Mathematic teachers teach based on the content of these textbook. However the content the content be supported by other mathematic reference books published by others publisher such as Pelangi, Fajar Bakti, and Longman. The content of reference books is similar with this textbook but represent in different way. The lessons in reference book were explained in creative form like mind map or in table. As a result, students will understand more clearly. Other than that, these reference books provide more example and exercise.

Language using in the textbook is very important in order to achieve learning outcome. One of an interesting part when I through out this textbook is its language. The language is appropriate and suit with age of student at that level. The language used is easy and clear. Authors of this textbook make the short sentences and do not use the bombastic and complicated words. So students unable understand the topic easily rather than understand the meaning of words. However there are some grammatical errors in language. Some words were spelled wrongly. But I think such error do not effect students understanding and make them confuse to the sentences because students focus more to calculations.

This textbook provide end of lesson question or exercises at the end of each lesson. The simple exercises test the student’s ability toward the topic they have learned. There are also summative exercise which is an evaluation exercises for students at the end of chapter. Besides there are one corner called “fun of Mathematic” in this textbook. The corner provides some fun activities which enable students to appreciate and apply mathematical concepts in the real life context. All of these activities engage students in active learning and encourage them to provoke critical thinking through the problem given. Another column involve students in active learning is a group discussion column. Through that column, are asked to discuss the tasks given in group. Students tend to think creatively, critically and exchange ideas to each other. Automatically student will enjoy the learning in fun environment.

The syllabuses of this textbook provide the basic calculation which students should master. Some calculation will be applied by students in the other subjects like science, physic and chemistry.

The last evaluation to this textbook is according to physical aspects. The sizes and weight of this textbook suitable for form 3 students. The textbook was designed appropriate with student’s age and their ability to carry it. Even though it is quite heavy for some students nowadays to bring to school. Sometimes, they just leave the textbook at hostel or home. According to that matter, I suggest this textbook should be divided into two books which one book consist half chapter. So students just only bring one book to school.

The font and style age of the textbook is appropriate. The font type using in this textbook is Times New Roman PS with the font size of 11 points. Students unable to read without confusing what they read.

Other than that, the binding pages and cover of textbook is durable. The pages of textbook are quite thick, so the potential pages to torn is high. Therefore, this textbook can be used several years.

The next physical aspect is the appearance of textbook. This textbook is not quite interesting. There are only black and blue colors using in these textbook. The attraction of students to used this textbook is might decrease. The colorful pages will attract the students to using the textbook because they will not get boring. The colorful pages also avoid student to get sleepy.

However, the pictures provide in this textbook is very interesting even not colored. The level of learning of students might higher with having the pictures and figure in this textbook is relevant and functional. Their appearance provides clear explanation to students. It will help students to deeply understand the lesson because some students cannot imagine without the graph, table or figure.

Through the evaluation of this textbook, I can conclude that the textbook is useful for students nowadays as well as for next generation. This textbook provides knowledge and mathematical skills for students from various backgrounds and with different abilities. This textbook complete with suggested strategies, teaching and learning activities.