BITeS

26 Apr 2020

Need summer plans during the pandemic? Develop Inorganic Materials on LibreTexts!

Submitted by Kathryn Haas, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN

Have you heard of LibreTexts? It’s a growing Open Educational Resource (OER) platform that hosts OER across the undergraduate curriculum, especially chemistry! The goal of LibreTexts is to decrease the cost of education for students by replacing expensive textbooks with free, high quality, online materials. 

 

I’ve been using LibreTexts for a couple years and it became even more critical to my teaching this semester when the pandemic hit. When students were not allowed to return to our campus after Spring Break, my students could still access their course materials online. This made our transition to distance learning smooth and simple.

 

I am one of several Inorganic Chemistry educators who plans on using LibreTexts even more intensely in the near future; there’s just one problem we all need to overcome. There are large content gaps on LibreTexts for inorganic chemistry! If your summer research plans have been affected due to the pandemic, please consider joining us in contributing inorganic content to fill these gaps in LibreTexts! 

 

Here are some important ways you can help:

  • Five Slides About: If you have already created a Five Slides About LO, it could be posted as its own section in the Inorganic LibreTexts Bookshelf. We just need your permission to do it! Alternatively, you could become an editor and upload your own materials!

  • Problems: If you have written practice problems AND it would be ok for solutions to be public, they could be embedded within text sections as practice problems. *Note: LibreText is not yet the place for problems for which the answers should not be available to students (like exam problems) although all materials can be kept private or open only to designated collaborators.

  • Tell your students: If you can’t adopt LibreTexts for your Inorganic course yet, you can still let your students know that the content from their intro-level courses in math, chemistry, and biology is available on LibreTexts. It can be a great resource for students who no longer have their textbook.

  • Involve your students: Some chemistry faculty have mobilized students to write new content on LibreText in the specific discipline of their course (see Metals in Biological Systems (Saint Mary’s) and the Introduction to Materials Characterization Collaborative Text (F&M). Consider motivating students to learn by assigning them work that will result in LibreTexts articles. My students have thanked me for letting them give back to the source they use for free in class!

 

If you have questions, or if you are interested in making more extensive contributions to LibreTexts resources, please contact me, Kat Haas (khaas@saintmarys.edu), or anyone else on the Development Team! There is also a “Get Started” google doc here (click) that you can use to dip your toes in the LibreTexts waters on your own! 

 

Comments

Kathryn, 

I tried to take a look at the Google Doc, but it says that I need to request access. I am not sure if this is what you intended, but I wanted to let you know. 

I think this is a great idea and I want to find out more information about it.

Cheers, Anthony

Anthony,

Thank you for pointing out the problem! I have adjusted permissions and the document should now be accessible through the link in the BITeS post. 

Kathryn