I find that nearly all college textbooks are self-contained. All of the readings, exercises, and multimedia (e.g. videos on a provided CD) are provided in a single package. I think textbooks suffer from offering students a limited perspective. I found that my college freshmen and sophomores are not developing good reading and writing skills because they only read college textbooks.
I would like to create a college textbook/workbook that heavily relies heavily on outside materials. For example, each chapter will suggest that students analyze a specific documentaries or films, journal articles, or chapter from a novel or non-fiction book. The front of the book will provide a list of books that students will need to purchase or locate at their library. Here is a simplified example of how an outside source might be integrated into the textbook:
Chapter 1 (a brief introduction to film X) (some explained background knowledge needed to understand the film's context better) Before watching the film X (1999), consider the following questions: 1. Have you ever ... ? 2. What did ... ? After watching the film, answer the following questions: 1. When ... ? 2. Why did ... ?
I have never encountered a textbook that heavily relies on outside works in this manner, so I wonder if there is something preventing textbook authors from doing this.
- Is there some legal or other reason why textbook authors avoid relying heavily on other work?
- Would this be considered some kind of plagiarism?