"The textbook we used for Life Science 1 was quite possibly the best text purchase I've made throughout my college career. The chapters were straight-forward and to-the-point... the book was very readable, the illustrations were extremely helpful and perfect for visual learners, and the slides were of great use."
Umass Lowell Student
SituationCollege and university biology departments need an appropriate textbook to teach introductory biology courses to non-life science majors. Students taking these courses are learning biology either as an important complement for their major and/or as part of satisfying science requirements for most 4-year college degrees.
ChallengeCourse content challenges include:
SolutionAdopt "Life on this Rock" textbook, authored by Thomas Shea and delivered via the Trunity eLearning platform, featuring:
Benefits"The book is well illustrated with easy to understand pictures, charts, and graphs. The presentation of the various topics is in language that is not confusing to non-science majors. References are made to everyday experiences that “connect” the students to their experiences outside science but have relevance to their lives."
The accessibility features "are important for students who often find reason or fault with online books and use that as an excuse for their inability to study the material." ~ Umass Lowell Professor
"The book made complex concepts very easy to understand." ~ Student
"It was easily read (not too many technical terms, or way over my head) and I even found myself laughing at the humor and wit throughout the otherwise dry material covered in the chapters." ~ Student
"The book was beyond helpful! Loved it and it definitely helps with other science courses. The slides were very useful, especially for studying after/before class." ~ Student
"It's well organized and I like that you can click on bold words for instant definitions, it's very convenient. Nice work!" ~ Student
"I'm not good at science to begin with but the text had a format that made recalling information and memorizing... easy. Having the slides in there was massively helpful. It was an excellent resource" ~ Student
"Dr. Shea has included more graphics to update the online version and illustrate concepts. Being online also means students can see all graphics in full color and there is no worry that adding more graphics will increase cost to students. Moreover, Dr. Shea will able to update these online materials in a much shorter time frame compared to print version. Another nice feature of the online textbook is modifications to the review questions at the end of each chapter section. Dr. Shea has included answer options for students to select for each review question. These review questions can be modified or more question can be added by Dr. Shea in a short time compare to revisions of a print textbook.Dr. Shea has included a glossary of biological terms with their definitions at the end of each chapter section. This is not found in the textbook version. It is useful to students because they do not see the definitions until they click on the biological term in the glossary. This means students can quiz themselves on word definitions when studying.The last feature of this online book that is not found in the print version are the supplementary materials sections where Dr. Shea provides hyper links to websites relevant to the course material. There is even a link for selected videos of more complex topics. "
Reduced professor workload due to integrated instructor tools
Significantly improved student engagement and learning
Significantly lower cost to students compared to competing textbooks