William G. Nickels,
University of Maryland James M. McHugh,
St. Louis Community College at Forest Park Susan M. McHugh,
Applied Learning Systems
ISBN: 0073511706 Copyright year: 2010
Assurance of Learning: Tied directly to the summaries at the end of the chapter and to the test questions, and critical for AACSB assurance of learning standards, learning goals help students preview what they are supposed to know after reading the chapter, and then test that knowledge by answering the questions in the summary. The study guide is also closely linked to the learning goals as part of the total integrated teaching, learning, and testing system. The Test Bank also includes a test table that organizes the questions in the TB by learning objective. A new test table for the study guide is also included in the IM so professors can see how these review questions are tied to the learning objectives.
Getting Ready for Prime Time opens the text. Coverage includes a unique and popular business etiquette discussion, study skills and time management guidance, and advice on how to get a rewarding job that will lead to a successful career. Career management is becoming an increasingly important component of this course.
Users of Understanding Business have always appreciated the currency of the material as well as the large number of examples from companies of all sizes and industries (e.g., service, manufacturing, profit and non-profit)—in the United States and around the world.
The critical themes of the revision remain tried and true to our past editions: ecommerce, small business and entrepreneurship, global business, technology and change, customer focus, ethics and social responsibility, teams and teamwork, quality, cultural diversity, The authors continue to feature boxes titled “Spotlight on Small Business,” Making Ethical Decisions,” “Legal Briefcase,” “Dealing with Change,” and “Reaching Beyond our Borders” throughout the chapters.
The emphasis on entrepreneurship continues to be a key focus of the 9th Edition. This emphasis exists because the vast majority of students taking this course currently works in, or ultimately will work in, small companies. There is an Entrepreneurship Readiness Questionnaire as well as an entire chapter on subject, Entrepreneurship and Starting a Small Business.
“Getting to Know Business Professionals”: Each chapter begins with a story about a person whose career illustrates an important point covered in the chapter. Not all of the individuals are famous since many of them work in small businesses and nonprofit organizations. These profiles provide a transition between chapters and a good introduction to the text material.
Throughout the chapters there are “Progress Assessments” that ask students to assess their understanding of what they have just read. If students are not understanding and retaining the material, the Progress Assessments will stop them and show them that they need to review before proceeding.
Appendices. The chapters on Using Technology to Manage Information, Managing Personal Finances, Risk Management, and the Legal Environment of Business are still included as Appendices. These topics are taught with different amount of emphasis and in different points throughout the course across the country. Including them as they are in UB9e allows instructors the flexibility to place these “chapters” wherever they’d like in their syllabus. These appendices are still supported with supplemental material such as test bank questions, instructor’s notes, PowerPoints, etc.
Unique inserts called “Critical Thinking Questions” are found throughout each chapter, and ask students to pause and think about how the material they are reading applies to their own lives. This device is an excellent tool for linking the text material to the student’s past experience to enhance retention. It greatly increases student involvement in the text and course. There are no “answers” to these questions for instructors – they’re meant to help students apply what they’ve read to these scenarios.
Key terms are developed and reinforced through a three-tiered system. They are introduced in boldface, repeated and defined in the margin, listed at the end of each chapter with page references, and defined in a glossary at the end of the text. The glossary also contains American slang expressions used in the text, which provides students from other countries in particular some help in translating, since the expressions are not found in most dictionaries (slang terms and definitions are provided in italics).
Multi-lingual glossaries are included on the OLC for ESL students – the business terms and their definitions from the text translated into Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese.
Photo and Illustration Essays are a hallmark of UB. Detailed captions accompany each photo or illustration. The accompanying descriptions help the student understand what is being shown in the graphic and how it applies to concepts presented in the narrative. To that end, every photo in this edition is pedagogically relevant and the authors treat the illustrative content with as much care as the narrative. Students are visually-oriented learners, so this increased emphasis on the pedagogical value of the illustration program is essential.
Interactive Summaries. The end-of-chapter summaries are directly tied with the learning goals and are written in a unique question and answer format. Answering the questions and getting immediate feedback helps prepare students for quizzes and exams. Students are extremely positive about this format.
Optional “Taking It to the Net” Exercises at the end of every chapter allow students to research topics and issues on the Web. (The URL’s for these exercises are updated as needed on the text OLC.)
The Developing Workplace Skills section has activities designed to increase student involvement in the learning process. Some of these mini-projects require library or Internet searches, but many of them involve talking with people to obtain their reactions and advice on certain subjects. These assignments are appropriate for individual or team-oriented assignments. These are the type of learning experiences that facilitate the type of skills students need in the workplace. Again, there are no correct answers to these provided for instructors – they’re meant to help students apply experiences from their personal lives to the chapter content.
Each chapter concludes by referencing a short practice case that can be found at the text OLC (“Casing the Web”). These cases allow students to practice managerial decision-making. They are intentionally brief and meant to be discussion starters rather than take up the entire class period. The answers to the cases are in the instructor’s manual. These examples of real-world problem solving help students achieve the SCANS competencies.
Authorship = Credibility. No one can deny the unique perspective this “Perfect Author Team” has to offer. Bill Nickels’ experience is as a 4-yr school Intro to Business instructor at a 4-year university teaching sections of 300 students; Jim McHugh is a community college Introduction to Business teacher; Susan McHugh is an educational consultant. Authors who actually teach the course are unique among competitors in this market.