A significant percentage of major textbook publishers are now offering textbook companion websites to go along with the reading material in their textbooks. Taking a cue from digital learning and online education programs, these textbook companion websites offer interactive resources that a textbook simply cannot accommodate. They also provide students with customized quizzes and extra study materials. Instructors can incorporate the textbook companion websites material into their coursework as required assignments, or offer them as additional activities. Some sites even allow instructors to build their own tests and quizzes, using the information from each chapter. This article discusses and lists many of the most popular textbook companion websites available for all students and teachers.
Pearson Education’s textbook companion websites, like MyLab and Mastering, are becoming popular with both teachers and students because the layout of the site is easy to navigate. Look for special supplementary video and audio content, plus interactive quizzes, activities and content that can be customized for each student. Their sites are responsive to the student’s actions on the site and offer constant diagnostics and real-time evaluation, which benefits both instructors and students.
McGraw-Hill, and its imprint Glencoe, has integrated online material for many of their publications via the Glencoe Online Learning Center. These textbook companion sites are designed to offer example homework and quiz problems (some graded automatically), exciting graphics and visuals, audio and video content, interactive simulations, powerpoint slideshow presentations and tutorials. The supplementary material supplied by McGraw-Hill and Glencoe uses a variety of different formats designed to appeal to several types of learners.
In addition to McGraw-Hill’s textbook-specific companion sites is the web-based homework assignment and grading platform called McGraw-Hill Connect. Through this platform and by utlizing relevant textbook companion websites, instructors are given a wide variety of materials they can use to create their own lesson plans.
Sage Publications and their textbook companion websites offer a variety of supplementary resources, practice quizzes, chapter summaries and related links for thirty titles currently in publication. Inside the textbook, visual cues alert students to the presence of supplementary online resources.
No one can deny that the Internet has changed the way information is distributed and that has been a challenge for educators striving to teach a tech-savvy generation. Textbook companion websites make the most of the interactive nature of online materials, integrating several media formats to help students understand concepts that may have been difficult to show in an ordinary textbook or on a chalkboard.