Using Conjoint Methodology to Address Textbook Needs: A Case of Iranian EFL Context

Using Conjoint Methodology to Address Textbook Needs: A Case of Iranian EFL Context

Jaleh Hassaskhah (Department of English Language, Faculty of Humanity, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/ijtem.2013010101
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Abstract

The common approach to textbook needs analysis is using questionnaires in which every item focuses on one clear-cut segment of textbook attributes. However, arguing that isolated items may not be of much value, this study employs conjoint methodology which, as a human behavioral model, simulates all possible combinations of attributes and their accompanying levels to predict the needs for the potential textbook at college level. Accordingly, the researcher invited 450 students and teachers to assign a preference score to 32 profile cards, each assessing the importance of 7 attributes and their accompanying levels based on a scale from 1 to 7. Then the responses underwent conjoint analysis. The results obtained are especially valuable for three groups: for textbook market analysts who might consider using this methodology in their future investigations and for the authors and publishers who might use the findings in planning and publishing books for this research context.
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Review Of Literature

Textbooks are very important in the life of college teachers and students because first, they are employed for various purposes, and second their cost is one of the major expenses during the college years. Riazi and Mossalanejad (2010: 52) underscore the importance of textbooks and maintain: “Textbooks play a very crucial role in the realm of language teaching and learning and are considered the next important factor in the Second/Foreign language classroom after the teacher.” In the same vein, McKeachie (2002) goes even further and states that ‘‘the major predictor of what students learn is not the teaching method but the textbook’’ (p. 14).

Therefore, the weight given to the textbooks makes their selection a critical decision for the students and teachers, and their supply a great opportunity for the authors and publishers.

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