skip to Main Content
Laboratory 1009190 1920

Langara’s first open textbook is live

Congratulations, Chemistry! 

After a two semester pilot project, this July Dr. Shirley Wacowich-Sgarbi and her colleagues in the Chemistry Department published CHEM 1114: Introduction to Chemistry –the first open textbook of its kind developed at Langara.

Unlike commercial textbooks, which are protected by traditional copyright, open textbooks are openly licensed. Open licenses allow educators to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute content (popularly referred to as the 5 Rs of Open) without payment or permission from the copyright owner.

Using the platform Pressbooks, Shirley combined courseware from Langara’s Chemistry Department, excerpts from three existing open textbooks, and original content to create what is essentially a brand new textbook tailored to CHEM 1114 learning outcomes, but freely available online for all to use.

Chemistry, along with Math and Physics & Astronomy, has emerged as an open education leader on campus. Soon, all sections of CHEM 1114, CHEM 1118, CHEM 1120, CHEM 1220, and CHEM 1154 will exclusively use open educational resources.

Instructors in Business, Economics, Environmental Studies, French, Geology, History, Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Sociology have also embraced open textbooks. In the fall 2019 semester, 50 sections are using an open textbook as the required course text.

Langara is currently the second heaviest user of open textbooks among B.C. post-secondary institutions, behind Kwantlen Polytechnic University. BCcampus estimates that open textbooks have saved Langara students over $858,000 since 2013.

For more information, including up-to-date statistics on cost-savings and open textbook adoptions by department, visit Langara’s new open education website or contact Open Langara at

Please join Open Langara in thanking Shirley and the Chemistry Department for their ongoing commitment to affordable, innovative, and effective post-secondary education!

Back To Top