By which criteria will the competing titles be evaluated?
The work of the jury is based upon eight general principles of quality and their relationship to the learning and teaching process. The principles are broad notions which have been developed by relating widely used concepts of quality to current learning and teaching theories. Each principle is divided into several sub-principles which represent its different dimensions. The evaluation of the titles will be carried out on the basis of the following principles and sub-principles:
Relevance refers to the appropriateness of an issue in terms of its accordance with the needs, objectives and purposes of the users (learners, teachers, etc.). Relevance can apply to content as well as methodology. The principle of relevance comprises the following sub-principles:
· Learner Centredness
Does the schoolbook take account of the personal characteristics of the learners (referring to: content, situations, skills)? This requires a good knowledge of the learners and of their needs and differentiation in the selection and organisation of materials to meet them.
Does the schoolbook suit the learning/teaching context? Do approaches, materials, examples and activities take into account the social, cultural and educational characteristics of the learner?
Transparency describes those features which (cognitively) contribute to facilitating access and use. The principle of transparency comprises the following sub-principles:
· Clarity of aims
Does the schoolbook clearly indicate the learning objectives? Furthermore, are the skills taught and the target level clearly specified?
· Clarity about achievement
Does the schoolbook help learners become conscious of areas of success and of weakness and inform them about progress made in relation to the learning objectives?
· Clarity of presentation
Does the schoolbook present a clear and logical structure with appropriate, comprehensible instructions and layout?
· Clarity of rationale
Does the schoolbook provide the teacher with a methodological rationale, explaining the learning approach(es) used?
Reliability refers to the internal consistency of learning materials and the dependability of contents and methods, thereby facilitating the implementation of the teaching/learning process. The principle of reliability comprises the following sub-principles:
· Internal coherence
Is the schoolbook well constructed with a consistent inter-relationship between its parts?
· Methodological integrity
Does the schoolbook reflect validated methodological premises in the selection of activities, exercises etc.?
· Textual integrity
Does the schoolbook respect the integrity and authenticity of the relevant genre in the creation, adoption, and adaptation of texts?
· Factual integrity
Does the schoolbook present accurate information, examples and statements and authentic social behaviour?
Can the exercises included in the package be successfully completed by the learners concerned?
The principle of attractiveness summarises all the features of learning materials which are appealing to the user and therefore contribute to enhance his/her motivation. The principle of attractiveness comprises the following sub-principles:
· User friendliness
Is the schoolbook easy to use (easily accessible, with a user-friendly interface and appropriate illustrations)?
Does the schoolbook create a dialogue with the learner, in that it offers facilities and feedback, stimulates curiosity and generates an atmosphere of play?
Is the schoolbook characterised by a range of activities, types of interaction and working rhythms?
Does the schoolbook take the affective dimension into consideration, creating an attractive environment and motivating activities to help create a relaxing atmosphere?
Flexibility accounts for the individual modes (both cognitive and affective) in approaching the teaching/learning process. It refers to features of learning materials which are sensitive towards the individual specificity of the user, including group differentiation in classroom environments. The principle of flexibility comprises the following sub-principles:
Does the schoolbook take account of learner characteristics like former learning experience, learning styles, disposition for autonomous learning, etc.?
Does the schoolbook allow for expansion, reduction, easier and more challenging adaptation and exploitation for different learning purposes? Is the material open and flexible enough to allow the individual learners to work more in depth with particular items?
Generativeness accounts for the open-ended character of learning materials which facilitate cognitive development and the transfer of what has been learnt in one context to more general tasks and/or other contexts. The principle of generativeness comprises the following sub-principles:
Does the schoolbook encourage the transferability from controlled through guided to free activities and the transferability of strategies, skills and contents to different contexts in and outside the learning environment?
Does the schoolbook build onto previous knowledge (progression) and help learners to relate concepts?
· Cognitive development
Does the schoolbook provide opportunity for learning to learn (problem solving, strategy training, etc.) and promote the awareness of these aspects in the learners?
Participation is concerned with opportunities to make choices and to share responsibility in the process of teaching/learning. The principle of participation comprises the following sub-principles:
Does the schoolbook allow learners to be fully and actively involved in the learning process?
· Personal interest
Does the schoolbook allow learners to bring their interests, opinions and experiences to the learning process, thereby making it personally meaningful?
Does the schoolbook encourage learners to make choices, contribute to decisions, and share responsibility for their learning?
Socialisation concerns ‘added value’ to learning materials which pursue the development of additional skills beyond the actual competencies taught. The principle of socialisation is fulfilled if learning materials also pursue:
· Social skills
Does the schoolbook aim at promoting the social skills of the learners such as the ability to co-operate with others or to develop empathy? Are the learners encouraged to develop new concepts and to look at things from a different perspective?
· Intercultural awareness
Does the schoolbook ask learners to reflect upon the knowledge and understanding of their own culture as well as the cultures of other countries and their personal attitude towards them?
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