Course Materials Check
Before jumping into something new, it’s good to get a firm understanding on what materials are currently being used by the faculty member.
It is possible that the materials are strong but the price is high, or perhaps the materials are inadequate altogether independent of the cost.
Five Questions to Ask Faculty
What materials do you require students to purchase in your course?
Purpose: This may be a mix of items, such as a print textbook, courseware (such as McGraw-Hill Connect), or homework systems (such as WebAssign).
If you add up the cost of the course materials, about how much do student spend in your course?
What are the strengths of each resource?
Purpose: Perhaps it does a great job at communicating with students at the undergraduate level. Maybe it gives some great examples that students can relate to. Maybe it comes with awesome media.
What are the weaknesses of each resource?
Purpose: Perhaps it’s a book that isn’t organized in the way the faculty member would like. Perhaps it doesn’t cover the topic the way the faculty member would have covered it.
Do you ever get the sense that students are not purchasing the materials?
Follow-up: If ‘yes’, you can ask: “Why do you think that is?”
Note: Hearing the answers to these questions can help determine whether the existing resource should continue to be considered.