Evaluation is normally done either prior to the use of the course book in order to decide whether the book can be prescribed for a specific course. Secondly, a course book can also be evaluated while the book is in use. This will help in identifying whether the book has been satisfactory or not. While the book can also be evaluated post use to adjudge the level of usage of the book and to what extent the requirements have been satisfied by the book. Pre Evaluation is important and is also difficult while the in use and in the post evaluation methods the results are more forth coming and may be used for further usage of the book, though may be to some extent the 'damage' if any would have been done.
Based on the framework suggested by Cunningsworth (1995), the guide line one will address the aims and objectives of the course work. The Aims and Objectives of the course work are normally set and that would decide on the kind of course book that one might use for the course. Course books better be servants than masters, says Cunningsworth. More in line with this, the choice of the course book will depend on the nature of the students, the level their currently in and they would like to achieve in addition to their learning capabilities. These points need to be considered before laying out the course contents and, subsequently, the course book. Some books might not present the aims and objectives explicitly. But then, there is an implicit referral to the content of the book and the nature of audience for whom the same is addressed. In line with this, most books need to be analyzed as to the aims and objectives of the book and whether the book meets up to the level expected out of it.
It should also make itself palatable to the audience it addresses. Though this requirement can appear in various forms, it is highly plausible that there could be dilution of aims and the objectives by catering to specific user needs. The course book should ensure that in midst of all these, it still retains its aims and works towards achieving the same. Before a course book choice is done during a pre evaluation of the book, the evaluator should know the profile of the learners, needs of the learners or the group of learners, their fluency and accuracy, the motivation behind the course, cultural interests and method, age group and most importantly, the duration of the course (Ted Power, 2005). Other constraints like public perception and the examination syllabus like IELTS etc., should also be studied before fixing the aim of the course and thereby the aim of the course book as well.
Guide Line 2: Usefulness and Relevance
The second criterion that Cunningsworth (1995) talks about is the usefulness and