The Complete CMB i-text

Subject: Sciences

Course Level: 3rd Year Undergrad

Resource Type: Test Bank, Full Course, Textbook, Images, Graphics and/or Illustrations, Lecture (Notes, Audio or Video), Study Questions

Date Released: N/A

Description: Biology 401 is ranked 122th in enrollments at Athabasca University with over 120 registrations per year. This course is transferable to a number of institutions and programs across Canada and the United States and is part of the requirements for the BSc programs at Athabasca University. This course currently uses the textbook The World of the Cell 7th edition by Becker, Wayne M., Kleinsmith, Lewis J., Hardin, J., and Bertoni, G. P. which is published by Pearson Benjamin Cummings. The cost of this textbook is high ($180) and so I conducted a review of an OER textbook titled, “The Complete CMB i-text” by Dr. Gerald K Bergtrom from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The purpose of this review was to assess the suitability of this i-text to maintain the quality of BIOL 401 and preserve transfer credit agreements, but to also determine whether the i-text provided a more engaging and effective format for learners. This open access textbook is an interactive textbook which contains all additional figures, animations, and commentary embedded into the text itself, which allows students to have additional learning resources as they complete the course without having to click between a minimum of 3-4 different websites or documents. Under the Creative Commons License and discussions I have had with the author I would be able to add my study guide content and relevant study questions from the Athabasca University BIOL 401 Study Guide, which we make available on the course website, directly to the i-text so students could have everything in the i-text and we would not have to publish our Study Guide for Biology 401. The use of OERs will reduce costs associated with providing textbooks, purchasing textbooks, and producing a Study Guide to accompany a textbook. It will also alleviate the issues surrounding publisher revision cycles and expiration of textbook websites, which does not correspond to the continuous enrollment model at Athabasca University. Overall, this CMB i-text will provide the currency and reliability students need with the added benefit of enhanced learning with quick access to relevant resources. OERs such as this one offer a lot of potential for students and universities because they facilitate learning, reduce costs, and promote accessibility.

URL: PDF version:

Date of Review: 2016-09-13

Review Details

Rubric V Scoring Guide

3: An object is rated superior for its opportunities for deeper learning only if all of the following are true:

  • At least three of the deeper learning skills from the list identified in this rubric are required in the object.
  • The object offers a range of cognitive demand that is appropriate and supportive of the material.
  • Appropriate scaffolding and direction are provided.

2: An object is rated strong for its opportunities for deeper learning if it includes one or two deeper learning skills identified in this rubric. For example, the object might involve a complex problem that requires abstract reasoning skills to reach a solution.

1: An object is rated limited for its opportunities for deeper learning if it includes one deeper learning skill identified in the rubric but is missing clear guidance on how to tap into the various aspects of deeper learning. For example, an object might include a provision for learners to collaborate, but the process and product are unclear.

0: An object is rated very weak for its opportunities for deeper learning if it appears to be designed to provide some of the deeper learning opportunities identified in this rubric, but it is not useful as it is presented. For example, the object might be based on poorly formulated problems and/or unclear directions, making it unlikely that this lesson or activity will lead to skills like critical thinking, abstract reasoning, constructing arguments, or modelling.

N/A: This rubric is not applicable (N/A) to an object that does not appear to be designed to provide the opportunity for deeper learning, even though one might imagine how it could be used to do so. Even if one might imagine ways an object could be used for assessment purposes, if it is not the intended purpose, not applicable is the appropriate score.

Quality of Explanation of the Subject Matter 3
Utility of Materials Designed to Support Teaching 2
Quality of Assessments 3
Quality of Instructional and Practice Exercises 2
Opportunities for Deeper Learning 3

Accessibility Standards

Yes No N/A
Accessibility Statement and/or policy done clear clear
Text Access done clear clear
Text Adjustment done clear clear
Reading Layout done clear clear
Reading Order done clear clear
Structural Markup/Navigation clear done clear
Tables done clear clear
Hyperlinks done clear clear
Colour and Contrast done clear clear
Language done clear clear
Images done clear clear
Multimedia done clear clear
Flickering clear clear done
Assistive Technology Compatible done clear clear
Interactive Elements clear done clear

Subject Matter: Sciences

Subcategories: Biology

Levels: 3rd Year Undergrad

Format: Interactive, Downloadable Documents (ie: PDF)

Type: Test Bank, Full Course, Textbook, Images, Graphics and/or Illustrations, Lecture (Notes, Audio or Video), Study Questions


Peer Reviewer Name: Dr. Shauna Zenteno

License for this resource:

Creative Commons Licence Except where otherwise noted. The Complete CMB i-text is licensed for use and reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license.