For Psychology Professor Tom Link, traditional textbooks for his introductory classes do not always fit the needs of his students. In each of his classes, he works hard to make complex psychological concepts relatable, interesting and easy to understand.
Since many traditional textbooks cover such a broad array of topics, Link would often need students to read parts of different chapters from throughout the textbook in order to better understand each concept.
After attending a workshop by Pierce College’s Open Education Resources Project Manager Quill West, Link began to look into creating his own online textbook, saving his students money and providing them with learning resources that are customized to his curriculum.
Since last November, Link has been working hard to put together the text using information and material freely available on the Internet.
With the help of two work-study students, he designed and organized an online textbook that would allow students to read and study chapters in chronological order throughout the quarter.
“Creating this new text allows me to cover every word in the book now,” he said. “Traditional, 100-level psychology books are a mile wide and an inch deep, so I often would need to emphasize certain topics over others. This new text allows me to offer a more personalized learning experience for our students.”
Students are able to download a PDF of the text and access the information from whichever device they would like to use. They also have an option to print out a hard copy.
Link is looking forward to having the ability to continually update the content, adding new and relevant examples of core concepts as often as necessary. “I always want to make sure that I’m able to give my students examples they can relate to in their own lives,” he said.
He believes the diversity of students at Pierce College provides a unique experience that could be hard to find in other colleges. “We have so many different types of students here at Pierce College, and it is so important to me that each person can relate to the examples I give in class and in the text.”
For more information about Tom Link and his psychology classes, please visit www.pierce.ctc.edu/campaign/myclass/toml.
Story reprinted, with permission, from Pierce News website.