Textbooks And Its Digital Features – A Study

Textbooks And Its Digital Features – A Study



Research Supervisor and Head,,


Ph.D Research Scholar,

Department of Linguistics,

Tamil University, Thanjavur.



This research article deals with the role of textbooks particularly focuses the language textbooks and advanced features. It gives the vivid idea about the multimedia and its uses in the classroom teaching. This paper explains the learning through multimedia and its effect. Discussion made on quick response code and its historical background, development, uses, and its need. Further, the world is rapidly moving towards a digital culture where teaching and learning is migrated to cyberspace from a conventional brick and mortar classroom. Given that e-Learning and mobile learning are attractive which provides the mainstream digital methods of delivering education through various technological which are included in present textbooks.


Textbooks are an essential part of English Language Teaching (ELT). Most teachers follow textbooks in their classes and are often used as a syllabus, most teachers simply follow current textbooks. Textbooks also offer benefits such as activities, assignments, audio and video recordings, and lots of pictures. Furthermore, as books are usually prepared by a group of experts and interested parties, it can be argued that they tend to be of a certain level of quality. On the other hand, if teachers were expected to prepare their own materials all the time, this would not only be time consuming, but most teachers would have big problems as they are not familiar with the design and development of materials. Therefore, it can be argued that textbooks are very important components of ELT classrooms and therefore their quality should be checked carefully.

Textbooks are one of the most important tools for promoting effective teaching. They are defined as the basic written resource prepared to organize and develop systems to deliver a course, which contain certain criteria (Valverde, et al., 2002). They have a great influence on teaching practice and seem to be a vital ingredient for successful learning. Due to this characteristic, they intend to be mediators between the educational objectives of a given curriculum and the instructional activities in the classroom. Research has generally come to a consensus on two main goals of textbooks, such as helping teachers provide many systematic teaching processes and giving students the opportunity to repeat and follow up on what they have learned (Cunningsworth, 1995; Graves, 2003; Gelfman, 2003). et al, 2004 ) ; Richards and Rodgers, 2001; Valverde et al., 2002). This reality gave them an important role in shaping the perspectives of teachers and students on school subjects (Ravitch, 2003).

While the role of textbooks varies from educators’ perspectives, Gelfman et al. (2004) proposed a basic outline for the mediating role of the textbook: (a) encouraging and teaching students to create new knowledge, (b) balancing detail and accuracy of information, (c) To provide students with active, creative and versatile information (d) To create a coherent program of study. Researchers strongly stated that textbooks are not just a booklet containing written texts, but also an active participant in students’ educational processes (Harmer, 2007; McGrath, 2013) and have a direct impact on student learning (Robitaille & Travers, 1992). In most classrooms, they are essential educational tools that act as a bridge between teaching and learning.

It helps and motivates students to learn (Mikk, 2000) and allows them to follow the lesson, repeat the topics and evaluate themselves efficiently (Ceyhan & Yiğit, 2005; Cunningsworth, 1995; Demirel & Kıroğlu, 2008; Graves, 2003; ; Kılıç & Seven 2011; Ur, 1996). While textbooks play a fundamental role in the classroom, they also bear the responsibility of the linking role between the intended and implemented curriculum (Robitaille & Travers, 1992). This responsibility includes aspects that create value, motivators, accessibility, illustrations, etc. requires them to have a certain quality in terms of and encourage students to learn (O’Keeffe, 2013).

Definition of multimedia

Multimedia can be defined in several ways, depending on one’s point of view. Typical definitions include:

1) Multimedia is “the use of several media formats in a presentation” (Schwartz & Beichner, 1999, p. 8).

2) Multimedia is “information in the form of graphics, audio, video or film. A multimedia document contains a media element other than plain text (Greenlaw & Hepp, 1999, p. 44).

3) Multimedia includes a computer program that contains “at least one of the following with text: sound or enhanced sound, music, video, photographs, 3D graphics, animation or high-resolution graphics” (Maddux, Johnson, & Willis, 2001, p. 253).

Multimedia and learning

Multimedia has been successfully applied to many courses to provide a variety of learning styles or methods. Learning styles are defined as characteristic cognitive, affective, and physiological behaviors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how students perceive, interact, and respond to the learning environment. Students learn more comfortably in an environment that reflects their dominant learning style (Sankey, 2006). While students have a preferred method of learning—visual, phonetic, reading/writing, or kinesthetic—many students are multimodal (use a combination of these methods). Multimedia can be used to develop a more inclusive curriculum that appeals to visual, phonetic and kinesthetic learners and overcomes the differences in student performance that may be the result of different learning styles. Presenting materials in a variety of ways has been used to encourage students to develop a more diverse approach to learning (Morrison, Sweeney, & Heffernan, 2003). The transition from book to computer is an opportunity for greater interaction and new ways of thinking about a learning activity.

Technology provides more ways to represent concepts through different media formats. Such advances in technology require pedagogical research to validate the usefulness of such new activities in facilitating learning. Students with access to multiple representations improve understanding, learning, memory, communication, and inferences (Rogers & Scaife, 1996). Kozma (1991) argues that students will benefit most if teaching methods provide, perform, or model cognitive operations that are important to the task and the situation. Students will also benefit more if they can perform or provide the operations provided by these representative means on their own (Kozma, 1991). Providing the student with solid structure and content is more important than providing the interaction and animation that new media provides. Understanding and learning require a solid structure of content and teaching materials, not new media or forms of representation. The combination of text and image is effective when the information provided is complementary and adapted to any presentation. Making connections from multiple representations depends not only on the mode of presentation and the establishment of interrelationships between multimodal elements, but also on the characteristics of the task (Dubois and Vial, 2000).

The world is rapidly moving towards a digital culture where teaching and learning has moved from a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom to cyberspace. As eLearning and mobile learning are attractive propositions for countries with a strong technology infrastructure, the global south still struggles to incorporate digital education delivery methods due to various technological and financial barriers. This has been a possible slow death for printed material in developing countries where the medium is predominantly used to teach in schools, traditional universities, VET institutions and open universities.


Quick Response codes

Quick Response codes were developed in 1994 by Denso Wave, a Japanese company, as a type of symbol that can be easily read by a scanner. The term QR is an abbreviation for “Quick Response”. It can store various content such as texts, URLs, automatic messages and contact information. A Quick Response code stores information both vertically and horizontally and is therefore more useful than a standard barcode, which can only store information horizontally. Information in a Quick Response code can be decoded by a mobile device with an interior camera and software for reading QR codes (Savarani and Clayton, 2009). There are various websites for generating Quick Response codes on the Internet: qrcode.kaywa.com, qrkodolosturma.com, qrstuff.com and the-qrcodegenerator.com. The codes generated by these websites can be saved and printed.

The use of Quick Response codes in education provides many benefits such as low cost, ease of use, portability / mobility, immediate availability and immediate enjoyment. Problems related to the use of Quick Response codes are decline in internet speed, cost of mobile internet, visual similarity between Quick Response codes, software problems and brightness of devices (Leone & Leo, 2011). Ogen (2012) suggested that as an example of Quick Response codes used in education, “one connects to an audio file that gives the pronunciation of the object in a foreign language or a link that shows the meaning of the word in a foreign language. Place a Quick Response code on the object. ”

Theoretical framework for textbook evaluation for this study

Cunningsworth (1995) and Ellis (1997) divided textbook evaluation into three types: pre-use evaluation (pre-use), in-use evaluation (during use), and post-use evaluation (post-use). The first type, pre-use or predictive assessment, aims to assist teachers or those responsible for selecting the appropriate textbook(s) so that students can best achieve a set of learning objectives for a given lesson. During use evaluation, teachers can observe the strengths and weaknesses of the textbook used. The second type (post-use evaluation) focuses on evaluating the overall quality after the textbook has been used throughout the course. Clearly, an ELT textbook assessment across all three phases of a course implementation helps predict, evaluate and review the overall quality of a textbook used as a teaching and learning tool for students’ English language development.

Although an ELT textbook evaluation was introduced in the early 1970s, no systematic evaluations were made due to the lack of sufficiently detailed criteria (Harbi, 2017). Later in the 1980s, there was a significant increase in interest in textbook evaluation, which led to the launch of checkbooks for textbook evaluation in the foreground. This also made it possible for researchers in the field to evaluate textbooks more critically. During 2011-2013, despite an increase in the evaluation of ELT textbooks in primary and secondary school (both individual book and an entire series), the evaluations that took place were concentrated mainly on either a specific evaluation category or some evaluation categories.

While Dweilkat (2011) examined teachers’ and students’ views on learning activities and exercises in a tenth grade textbook titled English for Palestine, Al-Qazaq (2011) evaluated the content of the tenth grade textbook series called Lifelong Learning Action Pack. students. learning and academic skills. Alshehri (2012) evaluated secondary school English textbooks used in Saudi Arabia in terms of learning objectives, content, grammar, vocabulary and four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing). Phonhan, Prapan, and Chaiyasuk (2012) examined the application of language teaching methods after using My World 1-3 textbooks and found that the teaching methods used were based on the content-based teaching method (CBI). They also examined teachers’ perceptions of the theoretical framework of CBI, the types of activities and lesson design based on CBI, lesson planning, and applications of the CBI method. In late 2013, Alosaimi (2013) examined how successfully a textbook called KSA Primary EFL supported Active Learning principles, while Al-Thubaiti (2013) evaluated how the teaching and learning activities in the KSA Intermediate textbook supported a student-centered classroom. Additionally, Srakang and Jensen (2013) focused on a study on teachers’ perceptions of the tenth grade English Language Teaching textbook. Revised from the Urs (2012) criteria and Wongkaews (2009) questionnaires, the researchers developed a 5-point Likert scale containing 35 assessment objects covering three main categories: textbook evaluation (22 articles), textbook roles (7 articles), and teachers’ textbooks. (6 articles).

It is now clear that a checklist for evaluating the ELT textbook is considered an important tool for letting teachers or responsible persons choose a quality textbook for their students. The selected textbook provides appropriate language input for students to improve their English language skills. In addition, we agree with Gutiérrez Bermúdez (2014) that a checklist for future assessment should support structured qualitative assessment that has a descriptive character but is defined as a specific guideline. This will encourage teachers to express their views on various aspects of assessment, mainly according to language learning objectives based on an international framework or standard (here with reference to CEFR). As such, these ideas have been prominently embraced in a number of ELT textbook evaluation studies from 2014 to the present.


Textbooks are playing the vital role to the enhancement of the teaching learning process. Now-a-days textbooks are becoming most advanced and its features are updated. Textbooks are having colourful pages for each and every unit. It has unique and digital aspects.  It is easy to read, gain attention from the pupils, gives joyous reading, make them stress free mind, and etc.


  1. Law, C. Y., & So, S. (2010). QR codes in education, Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange, 3(1), 85-100.
  2. Saravani, S. A., & Clayton, J. F. (2009). A conceptual model for the educational deployment of QR codes. In Same Places, Different Spaces. Proceedings Ascilite Auckland 2009. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/ auckland09/procs/saravani.pdf


error: Content is protected !!