COVID-19 has changed the playing field in all aspects of our lives. However, one of the benefits of this pandemic is we have adapted innovative ways to accommodate the new ‘normal’ that has embraced remote learning which makes education more accessible.
UWinnipeg chemist Devin Latimer is contributing to this wave by publishing an online textbook, Chemistry and the Environment, that has been in the works for over a decade. This timely release is free and accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world, including his UWinnipeg students.
His textbook is designed to accompany a one-semester course in chemistry-based discussions of important environmental issues such as air pollution, the ozone layer, climate change and water quality. Chemistry and the Environment provides an important opportunity for students to learn the core concepts of chemistry and understand how those concepts apply to their lives and the world around them.
Latimer encourages other professors and instructors to make texts more accessible through open educational resources, whether they choose to author a text or adapt to use one. In addition, if faculty and students wish, the bookstore can arrange with the UWinnipeg printshop to print-on-demand copies of open educational resources, where the student simply pays for printing costs.
“I love the idea of a community of educators and authors that openly share their ideas and material for others to use and remix any way they want – all to produce quality resources that are available to anyone in the world for free.” said Latimer. “Textbooks have become expensive and now I have a better resource for my environmental issues course that I can provide to our students at no cost.”
UWinnipeg’s Brianne Selman, Karly Swain and John Dobson helped Latimer with the process, as well as Dylan Woodcock and Carley McDougall at Campus Manitoba. A direct link for the textbook can be found via MERLOT at Chemistry and the Environment.