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Level Up Your Textbooks with Enhanced Editions

Categories Ministry Christian Education

Bible classes and theology courses rely on text-heavy curriculum. While your lectures play a significant role in your students’ instruction, students spend a lot of time with a book in their hands.

And sadly, if they’re not strong readers, they’ll often struggle to absorb everything required to do well in the class. (We’ve all known—or been—that otherwise brilliant student who struggles with textbook readings.)

Zondervan’s Enhanced Editions help boost the effectiveness of your typical textbooks. These robust ebooks offer both students and instructors features that make text-based learning more valuable.

Making students active readers

Active reading is a skill that some students have in spades, and others never truly developed. People of all backgrounds and skill sets feel the call to ministry—which means many who pursue theological education have a great deal of passion for learning, but lack academic skills. For many of these students, text-based learning requires a form of active reading that they’re just not used to. They can find themselves struggling to pull out the significant details and overarching themes from a written text.

Enhanced Editions textbooks make active reading easier. Instructors can highlight sections to draw their students’ attention to specific passages. You can also annotate the text by adding your own notes, video, and audio. This provides road signs and landmarks in textbooks to assist students on their journey.

These kinds of tools help readers focus on the right parts of the text and come away with the insights they need to participate in class. While it’s easy for one’s mind to wander while reading a textbook, instructor notes, comments, and highlights are incredible tools for pulling readers back into the text.

Improving the reader’s comprehension

Getting through the required reading is essential, but it has little value if students don’t understand and remember what they’re reading. Enhanced Editions ramp up comprehension by providing regular quizzing throughout the text.

These editions come packed with quizzes—and instructors can also fine-tune those quizzes by editing, removing, or adding questions. You can even create your own quiz from scratch. On top of that, customizable reflection questions throughout each chapter help students think more deeply about what they’re reading, and professors get a suite of analytics to gauge how well students are grasping what they’re reading.

The challenge of unfamiliar words

One of the biggest challenges for students jumping into unfamiliar territory like theology, history, or archaeology is that they end up wading through insider language. Ideally, we’d like to think that students will look up words they don’t know. But often they race through them, hoping to pick up the meaning from context. And even if they do look up these terms, if they don’t use the right resources, they may come away with a very different understanding of important terms. Without knowing it, this can set them down a path that undermines the rest of their reading.

With Enhanced Editions, instructors can interject notes at any place where students might get hung up. If an author drops the term “ontology” in the text, you can add a note that offers a brief definition, or how students should understand it in the context of your class. They’re much more likely to benefit from an in-text note than from going to a secondary source to look up a definition.

Enhanced Editions are also integrated with Cerego’s adaptive learning platform. This equips students to do self-reviews to ensure that they’re understanding and retaining what they’re reading. It lets them see whether they can forge onward, or go back and re-read critical sections.

Integrating text and lectures

Every student learns differently. If you give some a textbook and send them off to do self-study, they shine. Others are in their element when they’re listening to a lecture. For both groups, it can be difficult to integrate the lecture and the text.

Enhanced Editions help bridge that gap. As an instructor, you can add reminders in the text to revisit topics that were covered in class or annotate the text with your own videos from lectures to help bridge the gap between what students are learning in class and what the text has to say.

These editions not only feature the complete digital text of the book, but they also include video lectures from the textbook authors for each chapter. This offers your students another way to connect with the material.

Keep track of their progress

One element missing from traditional textbooks is the ability to see how students are doing. You might not know that some students are struggling with the text until you start seeing poor test scores. But what if you knew earlier—like when they had fallen behind in their reading? It would be a lot easier to come alongside them and offer help and encouragement, helping both you and the student succeed.

The instructor dashboard gives you insights into how students are doing. It not only shows their reading progress, but you can also read their reflections and check out their in-text quizzes to better understand how each student is processing the text—or where they’re struggling with the material.

Enhanced Editions improve comprehension

For more than sixty years, educators have relied on a simple formula for reading comprehension: survey, question, read, respond, and review. The SQ3R method provided a critical formula for getting the most out of a text.

Enhanced Editions bake these elements right into the text itself:

  • Survey: Getting a sense of what you’re diving into is critical for getting the most out of a text. In the past, surveying had a lot to do with skimming the content to get a sense of it before starting. But instructor notes and video content from the text’s author can help students get a good lay of the land before they begin.
  • Questions: Students will interact with the text as they go through the quizzes that come with Enhanced Editions. The instructor’s ability to add their own notes, questions, and quizzes will ensure students are pulling out the most critical information.
  • Read: Students then engage the text itself. As students read, instructors can lead the way by highlighting the most critical information or pointing out sections that aren’t necessary to read for the class.
  • Respond: This is where quizzes and Cerego integration becomes invaluable. As students progress through their reading, they have opportunities to ensure that they’re getting it. If a chapter is particularly tricky, instructors can create their own quizzes to ensure that the students retain the right information.
  • Review: Teaching is so much more than equipping students to acquire and regurgitate information. You want to ensure that students understand and absorb the text. The best way to do that is to have them reflect on what they’ve learned. Adding reflection questions into the text not only encourages students to think about what they just read but also imprints the information on their minds as they contemplate what it means and how to apply it. Additionally, these questions help the instructor see how students are processing the information.

Next-level textbooks, no additional cost

Enhanced Editions include the complete digital textbook, and for the same price as the print version, you get video lectures from the authors, customization tools, quizzes, analytics, and so much more. The difference is night and day.

"Zondervan’s Enhanced Editions put my students in a better place to succeed because it seamlessly combines top-quality textbook content with videos, reflection questions (asked at just the right moment in the text), study helps, and self quizzes. I can also add my own comments and notes within the book, like I might if I were handing out a photocopy of a chapter or article.

"Zondervan’s Enhanced Editions help me give my students the best guidance in how to focus their attention while preparing for our time together in class." —Jacob Shatzer, Associate Professor of Theological Studies, Union University and Director of Content, BibleMesh

Try Enhanced Editions free for six weeks. Tell us about your class, choose the texts you want to use, and see the difference for yourself.

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