From the Archives On Teaching Fashion: Additional Strategies for Teaching Without a Required Text

As we move forward into a new semester I thought this re-post would inspire your teaching preparations! This was first published on January 25, 2013 as a response for Monica Murgia’s post on teaching without a required text.

happy teaching,

Kelly Cobb

I want to continue where Monica Murgia off last week in discussing the textbook debate and thank her for bringing this topic to the table. Thanks for the great topic Monica!

The textbook has always been the anchor in my courses, both as a student and teacher. I love the notion of a physical guide to the course, however, in a field that is consistently evolving it seems a bit unrealistic.  There are a few options I would like to add to Monica’s list of strategies for teaching without a required text:

Customized Textbooks:

I know that many publishers are leaning toward a sort of a la carte system of textbook publishing. I have just only just started to look into this method and would be interested to hear from readers who have designed textbooks based on this innovative system.


Class Interactive Learning Resource:

Ideally, It would be wonderful to have an interactive site that students can go to and click on links that would guide them to resources. I admire Marlene Angeja’s site. Angeja is an art instructor at San Jose State University. I have spoken with her about accessing her site and  she was delighted to share this. I have aspired to create one for myself when time and resources are available.

Library Subject Databases:

I work closely with University of Delaware librarian Linda Stein who is very keen on developing and maintaining a fashion subject database for our students. Linda is officially dedicated to our department and a few other departments on campus. Check to see if you have a dedicated librarian, one who is officially assigned to your department and work with them to create a relevant database.

Generative Resources:

Have your students generate a resource archive of a topic that relates to one of your teaching modules. This is a great way to do a deep dive on a specific subject, as the students will follow research trails that you might not think of. As well, a generative resource is a great way to stay current with a topic.

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