The CK-12 foundation defines a flexbook as a “free and open source textbook platform where one can build and edit collaborative textbooks1.” The FNDH 400 (formerly the HN 400 flexbook, department changed its name from Human Nutrition to Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health) Flexbook fits this definition, but I feel the name is particularly accurate due to the flexibility of Google Docs. Students in addition to having access through Google Docs, can download the flexbook as an .odt, .pdf, .rtf, .doc, text, or html file giving them flexibility to use the document how they would like. Students can also choose whether they would like to read the flexbook digitally or print and read it on paper.
The flexbook is divided into 13 chapters with sections and subsections. These are numbered in such a way that the first number represents the chapter. A period separates the chapter from the section number, and another period is followed by the subsection number. The figures are non-copyrighted figures or I have made them myself in PowerPoint. The flexbook also contains links to articles, videos, and animations in Web Link boxes. These can be clicked to open the link, and urls for these resources are also provided at the end of the section or subsection.
I am happy to share the flexbook and PowerPoint slides that I use for class with other instructors teaching similar courses. Please email me and we can get something arranged. I hope eventually this flexbook, or something similar, will become a collaborative project.
Brian Lindshield allows others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon this work, even commercially, as long as attribute this resource.
Here’s a citation to use for this purpose, but if this doesn’t work for your purpose, please cite the url which is also provided below.
Lindshield, B. L. Kansas State University Human Nutrition (FNDH 400) Flexbook. goo.gl/vOAnR
Shortened URL: goo.gl/vOAnR
The flexbook was a finalist for the 2012 Education-Portal.com People’s Choice Award for the Most Open Resource (note Education-Portal.com is now Study.com).
About the Course
FNDH 400 is a 3-hour, intermediate-level, nutrition course at Kansas State University taught on campus every spring semester, and all 3 semesters (fall, spring, summer) via the Division of Continuing Education. Ideally on-campus students take the course during the spring semester of their sophomore year. Most on-campus students in the class are majoring in Nutritional Sciences, Nutrition and Health (previously Public Health Nutrition), Nutrition and Kinesiology, Athletic Training, or Dietetics. There is an increasing number of Biology, Life Sciences and other majors taking the course. Online, more students are nontraditional and a little more than half are distance dietetics students (K-State offers a distance dietetics degree).
About the Author/Instructor
Brian Lindshield, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health. He received an A.S. from Pratt Community College in ’01, a B.S. in Human Nutrition from Kansas State University in ’03, and Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in ’08.
Peer-reviewed flexbook/OER journal articles
Lindshield, B.L., Adhikari, K. Campus and Online U.S. College Students’ Attitudes Toward an Open Educational Resource Course Fee. Int J High Educ. 2(4): 42-51, 2013. doi:10.5430/ijhe.v2n4p42 http://www.sciedu.ca/journal/index.php/ijhe/article/view/3312/2003
Lindshield, B.L., Adhikari, K. Online and Campus College Students Like Using an Open Educational Resource Instead of a Traditional Textbook. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. 9(1): 26-38, 2013. http://jolt.merlot.org/vol9no1/lindshield_0313.htm
Lindshield, B.L., Adhikari, K. The Kansas State University Human Nutrition (HN 400) Flexbook. Educause Quarterly. 34(4), 2011.
3/5/13 Innovations in Teaching & Learning Showcase
“Open Educational Resources, Textbook Replacements?”
3/4/13 Innovations in Teaching & Learning Workshop Panel
“Take 5: Teaching Technologies that Work”
9/27/12 IDT Roundtable
“E-textbooks and Beyond”
One of 3 speakers at session.
3/16/12 Teaching, Learning, and Technology Showcase 2012
-“Using Flexbooks to Supplement/Replace the Traditional Textbook”
9/28/11 Axio Learning Conference 2011
-Peer Showcase: “Using flexbooks to supplement/replace the traditional textbook”
7/25/11 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Oral Presentation
-“Kansas State University Human Nutrition (HN 400) Flexbook”
9/29/10 Axio Learning Conference 2010
1/12/10 7th annual K-State Teaching Retreat
-“Flexbooks: Better than Textbooks?”
Media Stories about the Flexbook
1/29/13 Kansas State Collegian
Open-sourced ‘flexbook’ earns K-State educator national acclaim
9/19/12 College Human Ecology Press Release
Lindshield’s flexbook nominated for national people’s choice award
9/12/12 Partnership for Technology Innovation
Providing an Open Resource, Lowering the Financial Burden
8/24/12 Kansas City Star
K-State professor develops textbook flexibility
Other media outlets where article was published:
Sun Herald (Biloxi-Gulfport and Mississippi Gulf Coast
The Telegraph (Georgia)
The South Carolina State
The Olympian (Olympia, Washington)
The Bradenton Herald (Florida)
Bellingham Herald (Washington)
News Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina)
The Modesto Bee (Modesto, California)
The Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho)
Civic Plus (Blog)
The Stockton Record (Stockton, California):
The Detroit News
8/16/12 Up to Date KCUR 89.3 (Kansas City NPR station)
The ‘Flexbook’: A Textbook Replacement
8/13/12 Kansas State University Press Release
From textbook to flexbook: Professor uses new collaborative tool in the classroom
Other media outlets that published the release:
Kansas City infoZine: http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid/52822/
8/13/12 K-State Today
Professor’s collaborative flexbook nominated for national people’s choice award http://www.k-state.edu/today/announcement.php?id=4284&category=kudos&referredBy=email
2/22/12 Just In Blog
Lindshield flexes his flexbook muscle and tells how you can, too
12/15/10 Issue 16 Axio Quarterly
Flexbooks: What Can They Do For You?
Brian Lindshield Ph.D.
Department of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health
Kansas State University
208 Justin Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-1407
Phone 785-532-7848 Fax 785-532-3132
@brianlindshield on Twitter
Thanks to former Kansas State University student Russ Wolters for his input and feedback on the flexbook design and revision. The feedback from FNDH 400 students has been extremely important in improving the flexbook.