Posted: September 9, 2021 | Updated: June 28, 2022
Author: Izabela Mazur, Thompson River University, Kim Moshenko, Thompson River University
The content of this textbook is aligned with the British Columbia Adult Basic Education learning outcomes for the Advanced Level Business/Technical Mathematics. The textbook covers nine groups of learning outcomes organized in chapters. The first three chapters cover the core learning outcomes: 1. Operations with Real Numbers, 2. First Degree Equations and Inequalities, 3. Equations and their Graphs. The remaining chapters cover the following six topics: 4. Systems of Equations, 5. Trigonometry, 6. Health Option, 7. Finance, 8. Data Analysis 1, 9. Data Analysis 2.
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Business/Technical Mathematics by Izabela Mazur, Thompson River University, Kim Moshenko, Thompson River University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.
4.6 / 5
Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary
The table of contents aligns well with the outcomes from the 2020/21 BC Articulation Handbook, making it easy to fit this book into a currently used course. The text provides units on 6 of the 10 optional outcomes from the Articulation Handbook, which provides choice and flexibility for the instructor to choose which three best fit their needs. It could be improved by providing units on all 10 optional units, which would work well for an instructor to adjust for their course, but it may make the print version unwieldy in terms of size.
There is a glossary at the end of each sub-unit, but there is not a complete glossary or index at the end of the text.
Comprehensiveness Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased
No problems with the content's accuracy or bias were noted, and it is error free.
Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement
The mathematics that the course is based on is up to date. Almost all the questions and information in the text are written so they won't date the content. There are a couple of questions that relate to the 2021 publishing date, such as COVID in the health sciences unit, wages in the data analysis section and the price of homes in the financial mathematics section. All of these could be easily updated as necessary.
There are some online resources, but introducing the use of technology in the Graphing, Data Analysis and Financial Mathematics units would increase the relevancy.
Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used
The text is written in an accessible way that appears aimed to take away some of the anxiety in learning math. It guides the learner to learn along with the writer of the book, using phrases such as “We will investigate…” or “Let’s take a look at…” that welcome the learner into the text rather than providing an information download. Important vocabulary words/phrases are introduced in bold and explained well at relevant stages of the text.
Clarity Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework
The text is written in a consistent way. The reader should be able to anticipate what lies ahead. It provides a lesson, some examples, a chance to try using the new information, and some more opportunities to practice at the end of each section. The examples and “try it” sections are colour coded in a consistently.
Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
The text is easily broken into modules. I don't anticipate any problems reorganising it to suit my needs.
Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion
The text is organised in the same order as the outcomes in the 2020/21 BC Articulation Handbook for the Advanced Math course it is designed for, which is logical and useful for instructors of this course.
Organization Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader
Overall, the interface is fine, and there are not any significant problems. A few small issues are:
• When viewed as a PDF in Adobe the book marks in section 2.1, 2.5, and 4.1-4.5 have book marks for the Author’s names, which I think is a mistake.
• When figures are mentioned in the text they are followed by a series of letters and numbers that students may find confusing. An example is at the bottom of Pg 25 where figure 2 is mentioned. I’m not sure if they are included deliberately for copyright reasons, but it would be better if they were not there.
• There are some small formatting errors throughout the book, but they shouldn’t cause confusion for the readers. For example, there are a few cases where a number or some words are a different sized font than the surrounding numbers/words.
• Some images are slightly blurred, such as figure 1 on pg 599.
Interface Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text contains no grammatical errors
There were very few grammatical or spelling errors that I noticed. The choice of sentence structure is clear and suitable for a mathematics text book.
Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds
I didn't notice any insensitive or offensive language in regards to diversity and inclusion, but I think this is an area that could be improved upon. It appears that issues related to diversity were just omitted.
Some points that I noted were:
• There are two pictures of humans in the text with five people portrayed. All of them are white people.
• I didn’t read every question in the text, but many are gendered in some way. For example, on pg 712 there is a survey of sales at a shoe store, and then questions regarding how many females preferred each colour of shoe. This question could easily be changed to "customers' preferred shoe colour" to make it gender neutral.
• There is one representation of first nations art that I noticed, which was a totem pole as the image for the beginning of the trigonometry chapter. There wasn’t really anything math related to the totem pole other than that we can use trigonometry to find its height. Its inclusion seems tokenistic.
It did appear that the choice of names in questions and examples come from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
There are a variety of specifically Canadian examples throughout, which is great!
Cultural Relevance Rating: 3 out of 5
Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?
I absolutely recommend this book. It is an excellent resource for anyone teaching the BC ABE Advanced Business/Technical Mathematics course. Some sections, such as the Data Analysis units, would also be useful if you are teaching the BC ABE Foundations Mathematics course. The printed version of the book is quite thick. I thin I will use an online or PDF version for my course so I can deliver it in the smaller units and take advantage of the embedded digital resources.