Libretexts is an open, collaborative OER platform enabling dissemination of online textbooks and uncomplicated creation of new with ancillary instructional support services (Halpern, 2017). LibreTexts has 10 million site visits per month about 40% of which come from the United States, the rest are distributed globally. The project meets the UNESCO definition of OER providing no-cost access under open CC licenses (UNESCO, 2019).
Started in 2007 as the ChemWiki (Larsen, 2007), LibreTexts cover the undergraduate curriculum including career and technical education. Unicode language support allows authoring in almost all languages. Spanish, French and Chinese LibreTexts already exist.
This talk will briefly introduce LibreTexts and discuss the role of uniform formatting in OER to create, disseminate and add new features (Larsen, 2019). For LibreTexts this includes a remixer that allows rapid creation of custom texts from anything in the repository, hypothes.is annotation, and a Jupyter hub allowing computation within the online texts. LibreTexts now can include questions and answers using H5P, Webwork and MyOpenMath. Using containers this can be expanded to other question/answer systems. The Query homework system is being developed from this functionality the first results of which from a chemistry class will be shown.
Results of IRB approved studies (Allen, 2015) and anonymized analytical analyses will be shown. LibreTexts efforts to achieve universal availability and accessibility will be discussed. In addition to online content this includes providing source files for low cost print-on-demand for every book and the development of a Raspberry Pi based LibreTexts in a Box for remote locations. Mention will also be made of how uniform formatting simplifies detection and correction of accessibility problems. Accessibility is also enhanced by integrating assistive apps such as the BeeLine Reader that colors text to improve reading ability and focus. Other such apps are under development.
Primarily a community of faculty (Larsen, 2017) LibreTexts’ core consists of 17 institutions, over 100 faculty and many students. LibreTexts sustainability plan envisions a network of institutions in a non-profit entity while retaining faculty focused services. Institutional membership would carry a low annual fee but could also be satisfied by in kind efforts such as those that have grown the project over the last decade. Current major support is from a US Department of Education grant that has enabled a significant expansion of offerings. We seek further international collaboration to develop multilingual content for non-English speakers and to globally support users both faculty and students.
Allen, Gregory, Alberto Guzman-Alvarez, Amy Smith, Alan Gamage, Marco Molinaro, and Delmar S. Larsen. (2015) “Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Open-Access ChemWiki Resource as a Replacement for Traditional General Chemistry Textbooks.” Chemistry Education Research and Practice 16(4), 939-948.
Halpern, Joshua., and Larsen, Delmar S. (2017) “Driving Broad Adaptation of Open Online Educational Resources.” MRS Advances, 2(31-32), 1707-1712.
Larsen, D. (2007) “LibreTexts. [online]” Available at: https://libretexts.org [Accessed 21 Jan. 2020]
Larsen, Delmar S., Rusay, Ronald, Belford, Robert, Kennepohl, Dietmar et al. (2017) “Come Join the Party!: Recent Progress of The Community Based LibreTexts (née ChemWiki) Project.” Committee on Computers in Chemical Education, Spring 2017 https://confchem.ccce.divched.org/sites/confchem.ccce.divched.org/files/P5Spring2017CCCENL.pdf [Accessed 21 Jan. 2020]
Larsen, D. (2019) “Construction Guide.” [online] LibreTexts Available at: https://chem.libretexts.org/Courses/Remixer_University/Construction_Guide [Accessed 21 Jan. 2020]
UNESCO (2019) Recommendation concerning open educational resources (OER). [online] Available at: http://opening-up.education/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/RECOMMENDATION- CONCERNING-OPEN-EDUCATIONAL-RESOURCES.pdf [Accessed 07 Dec. 2019]
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