Friday, August 25, 2006

It is done!

The second edition of my lab manual has now been published. As with the first edition, sales of it are limited to my own students, and it's published under my real name, so I won't be linking to it from here. Sorry ...

That said, I would highly recommend self-publishing a lab manual to anyone who runs a lab using their own material. It's a lot of work to get the labs ready to publish (much of it fiddly formatting), but I've found that it saves me a ton of time during the semester. Thanks to having the manual, I no longer have to post labs to my course website every week, wonder if I have enough copies for everyone who hasn't printed off the labs, remind students where the labs are, or stress out by trying to revise the labs the week before they're scheduled. I suspect it also helps the students prepare for lab, as they can focus on reading the manual instead of trying to figure out where next week's lab is.

As an additional bonus, since I self-publish the manual and am using solely public-domain or otherwise non-commercial artwork, I can post the entire manual as a PDF on my course website, meaning that my students don't even have to buy the manual if they don't want to. Of course, since the manual costs less than $10 (for more than 200 pages), it seems well worth it for them to buy it, but at least they have the choice.

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