P429: Re-envisioning chemistry textbooks with the ChemWiki
The ChemWiki project (ChemWiki.ucdavis.edu) is a collaborative approach toward chemistry education where an open-access textbook environment is constantly being written and re-written by students and faculty members, resulting in a free Chemistry textbook to supplement, and potentially supplant, conventional paper-based books. The ChemWiki is organized around a collaborative approach to chemistry education where an Open Access textbook is constantly being written and re-written, partly by students and partly by faculty, resulting in a no-fee, high-quality textbook, accessible anytime, anywhere, by anyone with internet access. The ChemWiki is not a textbook, it is a “textbook environment” capable of supporting multiple chemistry textbooks by enabling their simultaneous construction and implementation within a central system. A primary feature of the ChemWiki include is that collective feedback is used fix errors and preserve the accuracy of the content once established. This applied to all levels of chemistry. The central aim of the ChemWiki is to develop and disseminate free, virtual, customizable textbooks that will substitute for current, commercial paper texts. The content is flexible so as to address chemistry education for students in a broad range of post-secondary settings including community college and four year universities. The ChemWiki’s open-access nature will reduce financial barriers and benefit financially disadvantaged students. Progress over the past five years of ChemWiki development concentrated on the construction of new, and the integrating of existing, open-access content into the ChemWiki (currently ∼20M visitors/year).