The Use of Published Textbooks
Bircham International University programs employ a remarkable bibliographic selection of published textbooks. Bircham International University prefers to use published textbooks rather than self-designed course materials as the main source of knowledge to complete any academic program. Bircham International University believes that in matter of contents, presentation, information structure, case studies, self-assessment, and diagrams; the quality of published textbooks is superior to all others. Additionally, the resume of the selected textbooks' authors cannot be easily challenged.
- Assigned textbooks
The material for the distance learning academic program consists of a set of published textbooks specifically selected to ensure the expected learning outcomes of the student program. The student should follow the book reading order established in the Academic Assignment Control Form (ACC Form) as these books are assigned in a complementary or dialectical order.
The complementary order ensures a progressive in-depth knowledge acquisition.
The dialectical order presents different approaches to the study of the discipline so that the student has access to a complete and comprehensive perspective.
- Using textbooks
Is all the information of a text organized in a coherent way? Definitely not! There are poor writers, disorganized authors, and inefficient editors. All Bircham International University assigned textbooks are supervised by the members of the academic board and the department of pedagogy to make sure that they are truly functional, practical, and useful to the student. A good online learning requires a sound foundation material in order to ensure the development of appropriate subject-matter criteria.
- Textbooks versus online material
Bircham International University has conducted a serious research about the efficiency of online teaching and textbooks. We concluded the following:
Extension. Online material has proven to be efficient for short courses or seminars, usually under 40 hours of study. Online material is very motivating and pedagogical because of interactive charts and schemata, knowledge trees, etc., but not so efficient as a source of extensive amounts of content material.
Exhaustion. Computer screen reading and comprehension exhausts the mind and the eyes after one hour of continuous concentration. Book reading allows three times more continuous work before reaching the same level of mind and eyes exhaustion.
Versatility. Online study time is limited by the availability of a computer and Internet access. Textbook availability is more versatile. One may read a book on a train on the way home, sitting in a park, waiting for someone, etc... The ambiance surrounding the study time also plays an important role in the mind's state of receptiveness.
Research. Concept search is conducted faster through the pages of a book than on a computer screen (for contents equivalent to a 600 pages book) except in the case of exact phrase or word search. Concept comprehension and interrelationship is more important than concrete data search when it comes to the efficiency of distance learning education process.
Comfort. Despite of the intensive use of computers, our mind feels more comfortable reading a book. Books allow note taking in the book itself, text marking, running through different sections. They are also affordable, portable, and can be read practically everywhere and under most circumstances.
It does not matter how much technology or fancy environments is given to a student, actual distance learning will be the direct result of a mental effort and process that no one else substitutes. If you want to learn, you have to do it. And you do not need much except for good books, a good guidance, and, of course, your effort and mental process. Thinking is free, not thinking may turn out quite expensive.
Finally, we want to share with you an important technological breakthrough: the BOOK (Bio Optical Organized Knowledge) which illustrates that not everything new is the best.