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Workbooks in the American education system, are cheap, paperback textbooks, issued to students. Workbooks are usually filled with practice problems, where the answers can be written directly in the book.
AdvantagesWorkbooks are often used in schools for younger students, either in middle school or elementary school. They are favored because students can work directly in their books, eliminating the need for looseleaf and copying questions from a textbook. In industry, they may be customized interactive manuals which are used to help provide structure to an otherwise complex problem.
Workbooks also hold an advantage because they are usually smaller and lighter than textbooks, which equates to less trouble when the student brings the book home to complete their homework.
Other UsesThe term workbook is also used to describe other compilations of questions that require the reader to complete scratch-work when dealing with higher-level mathematics. It can also be used as a training tool for certain job positions.
More recently, electronic workbooks have permitted interactive and customized learning. Such workbooks may be used on computers, laptops, PDA's, and may be web-based.