chem1 virtual textbook
a reference text for General Chemistry
This "reference text" is intended to serve either as a supplement to a regular textbook or as a substitute for one. In the former case it will be useful, and in the latter case essential, for the instructor to provide a syllabus (or links within a learning management system) that guides the student through the sections appropriate to the particular course and correlates it with lectures, problem sets, and other course activities.
Institutions that incorporate these materials into their courses should consider downloading this collection to serve as a backup in the event that this site should become unavailable. Please see the download menu item for instructions.
This project began in the late 1980's as a means to supplement (or in some cases to largely replace ) the conventional textbook treatments of various topics in courses in General Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry. The purpose was in most cases to provide alternatives to what seemed to be the rather shallow standardized treatments of certain topics presented in many commercial textbooks. These became the "assigned reading" for several of my courses. Eventually, and with the help of an extensive set of computer-based lessons, I was able to eliminate the need for an "assigned" textbook for my General Chemistry courses. I did recommend that the students have access to a textbook of some kind, but it could be almost anything they could borrow or buy second-hand or remaindered.
Now that I am retired from teaching, my motivation for continuing this project has several sources:
- to provide a reference text and an alternative source of information for students;
- to see how far one can push Web technology to produce something that is pedagogically useful;
- to share some of the ideas, illustrations, and methods of exposition that I have adopted during my 34 years of teaching, and which other teachers might possibly find interesting or useful.
A major drawback of this kind of self-publishing is that editing tends to be inadequate, so I do solicit feedback and corrections!
Technology changes very rapidly compared to the time scale needed to develop instructional materials, so users will find a wide variation in the appearance and esthetics of the various lessons. Some of the older ones still exist only as PDF files, most of which I hope to re-do as proper Web documents. As time goes by, I hope to arrive at a fairly consistent format.