Students’ Perceptions Regarding Essential Components of a Nursing Leadership Textbook
Dr. Cynthia Clark
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify nursing students’ perspectives about the essential components of a commonly used nursing leadership textbook. When students and faculty both participate in textbook evaluation, it increases utilization and satisfaction. Background: Although there is significant research related to textbook evaluation, most research on the essential components of an effective textbook focuses on educators’ perspectives, and not on student perspectives as end-users. Textbooks are frequently evaluated by educators on relevancy of content, accuracy, organization, aesthetics, ancillary materials, and cost. Most research focuses on these criteria and how faculty or staff uses them in adopting a textbook. This study was unique in that it elicited students’assessment of a leading nursing leadership textbook. Method: Grosskopf’s textbook evaluation tool was used to evaluate “Guide to Nursing Management and Leadership,” written by Ann-Marriner-Tomey (2009). Grosskopf’s tool incorporates both qualitative and quantitative elements and was completed by eleven senior-level students in a nursing leadership class. The tool includes five areas of textbook evaluation: organization, content, ideological considerations and suitability. Space was provided for students to add qualitative comments regarding each of these areas. Results: Appendices, glossary and bibliography sections were found to be none existent or poorly organized. Virtually all content areas were reported as adequate with the recommendation of incorporating real-life examples throughout the chapters to stimulate the reader’s curiosity and increase comprehension. Although the text was considered free of bias, respondents noted a lack of exposure to conflict or controversy. Generally respondents found the textbook design to be adequate with the exception of the book’s illustrations and cover durability. Classroom use by students and instructors was recommended. Although enhancements to the text were suggested, students also suggested that these enhancements be weighed against the cost of the text. Implications Recommendations: Use of Grosskopf’s textbook evaluation tool by students can assist in the textbook adoption process by professors, contribute to textbook design and organization, and may enhance student text utilization and comprehension. Further research recommendations include larger sample size, and comparison of textbook selector (faculty) to end user (student) perceptions.