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About the Book

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    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 HN 400, department changed its name from Human Nutrition to Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health) Flexbook fits this definition, but I felt the name was particularly accurate due to the flexibility of Google Docs that it was built on.

    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.

    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 (2018). NPP eBooks. 19.

    The flexbook was a finalist for the 2012 People’s Choice Award for the Most Open Resource (note is now

    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).

    Peer-reviewed flexbook/OER journal articles

    Flexbook Presentations

    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: “Flexbooks”

    1/12/10 7th annual K-State Teaching Retreat: “Flexbooks: Better than Textbooks?”

    Media Stories about the Flexbook

    9/26/13 K-State Today: K-State faculty receive funding to develop open alternative textbooks

    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:

    • Chicago Tribune:,0,77297.story
    • McClatchy Wire
    • Sacramento Bee
    • Sun Herald (Biloxi-Gulfport and Mississippi Gulf Coast
    • Lexington Herald-Leader
    • 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:

    8/13/12 K-State Today: Professor's collaborative flexbook nominated for national people's choice award

    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?


    Thanks to former Kansas State University student Russ Wolters for his input and feedback on the flexbook design and revision. Thanks to Erin Ward for her assistance in the development and implementation of the Top Hat version of the flexbook. Feedback from FNDH 400 students over the years has also been extremely important in improving the flexbook.

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