Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary
The text has excellent coverage of content with a good variety of topics on the same subject and a good logical flow from origin/biological stories of the brain to features of the mind and strategies for mind health.
Glossary is very adequate and comprehensive though I might have selected vocab words for glossary a bit differently.
For example some words I might omit from the glossary: million, billion, capable, measured, calories, fluid, exercise, constantly, enough, ordered, unusually, negative, positive, immediate
Words I would add to the glossary instead: mysterious, illusion, user guide, define, just above, wacky, struggling, scanning, predict, warm up, intuition, lends itself, extroverted, depression, spirituality, wonder, existence, worship
Comprehensiveness Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased
Defintely content, diagrams, etc, is accurate, error-free, and unbiased.
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
Yes the content is up-to-date and will not become obsolete within a short period of time, although the brain is a particularly active area of research and there is still a lot we don't know. However, the information within this text covers areas that are currently being well-established, and I think it provides an excellent base to which new information could be added or enhanced as time goes on.
Note: In Story #4 Boost Your Brain Power, we might want to be a bit careful about promoting the Canada Food Guide as the best resource for making healthy choices for eating. I have read some literature that suggests that the food guide is outdated and that it was created by the food industry, not necessarily with the most truthful or up-to-date knowledge about what is actually in the best interests of the health of Canadians. For example, the guide suggests that the bottom and largest section of the "food pyramid" should be carbohydrates/grains/flour-based foods, but some nutrition theories suggest that in fact these kinds of foods (especially since many of them are processed and high in sugar in gluten) are actually not that great for us.
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
Yes, the prose is definitely lucid, accessible, flows nicely, reads easily, has nice rhythm and logic, is adapted for clarity and avoiding too much jargon, although a couple of words I might add to the glossary for a bit more of an explanation would be "neuron," "cerebral cortex," and "lobe."
Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework
The text has very nice consistency in term of terminology and framework, the style is easy to get used to and stays consistent, with a nice progression from beginning to end.
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 test is easily and readily divisible, each story averages approx 5-10 nicely contained paragraphs for easy divisibility, and some of them have numbered subtopics that are clearly sub-headed and not too long. The text is not self-referential and could be flexibly reorganized to suit a teacher's needs.
Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion
The topics are beautifully clear and logical, the title of each story aligns nicely to the content within, drawing attention to the relevant topic but also providing possible talking points for teachers to elicit predictions and conversations by students.
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
The text is very clear, no interface issues, navigation is very accessible and straightforward, visuals are appealing with no distortion, and nothing is distracting.
Interface Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text contains no grammatical errors
Grammar and spelling are excellent, I found no problems whatsoever, except one tiny pronoun reference which maybe could be improved in story #3 The Many Pathways to Knowledge, in paragraph #4 where it says, "When Barbara was 25 years old, she learned about a scientist who found the structure of the brain could be changed by experience and exercise. She decided to create exercises to change her brain to do the things she was supposedly unable to do." The "She" at the beginning of the second sentence, it is not immediately obvious whether "She" is referring to Barbara or the scientist.
In story #7 The Sixth Sense: Intuition, in the last paragraph, "We also tend to pay attention to information that confirms our beliefs..." maybe a great spot to intro the vocab word "prejudice/discrimination"?
In story #8 The Big Five: Personality, just these observations (but not mistakes): Under #1 How Open are You? To start sentence #3 "A person who is closed..." I would maybe put the transition "On the other hand," or "In contrast"
Under #5 How sensitive are you, the sentence "Personality tends to change over time..." maybe change to "can change," or "sometimes changes?"
The last sentence of this story "...psychologists suggest we will probably be happier if we change to meet our needs, rather than try to meet our idea of the perfect personality." An important idea... a little unclear what this means ie what kinds of needs?
Grammar Rating: 4 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
Yes the text is sensitive and inclusive and provides good diversity, inclusivity, and representation; in a text like this it can mostly be seen in the selected graphics/images, which is important.
Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 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?
Yes I recommend this book for any course because it presents info that is interesting, informative, knowledgeable, and helpful to anyone. It touches on science and biology, theories of self, and also provides excellent advice for stress management and mental health/wellness/overall well-being.