This open textbook is timely as the world continues to experience the effects of Covid-19, and people, more than ever, realize how interconnected the world is. Paradoxically, this linkage has also led to intense disagreements on the best way to address this pandemic. Various states have responded differently. Some state leaders have even denied there is a Covid-19 pandemic, while others, closed their borders or imposed stricter border controls that required monitoring and quarantining. These varied responses can be explained in the context of ideological differences among state leaders, whether undergirded by populism, nationalism, conservatism, or liberalism. At the same time, other ideologies come to the forefront in order to highlight how we are all connected (indigenous worldviews), the state of the planet (environmentalism), and how some groups are impacted disproportionately more than others (feminism).
Similarly, as educators, we had to adapt to online and innovative ways to teach. For years, open pedagogy at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and other institutions have been at the forefront of adaptive and innovative change. As outlined in the Open Education Strategic Plan:
Open education encompasses resources, tools and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide […] It also includes open pedagogies that involve designing architectures and using tools for learning that enable students to shape the public knowledge commons of which they are a part.
Open education at KPU encompasses diverse activities that support program areas and lead to the development of innovative global education initiatives. This includes the creation, adaptation, and adoption of open educational resources, our Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) programs, and a diverse range of innovative open pedagogies.
As a special purpose teaching university with an open access mandate, we are committed to affordable education and to crafting new ways to enable learners to realize their ambition and career plans. We encourage and emphasize new ways our faculty engage with colleagues worldwide in innovative knowledge-practice networks to improve the learning experience. Through this approach we serve as a model for the way our graduates will engage with their own professional and practice communities.
This textbook is but one of the many ways the University is moving towards a more open pedagogy and, ultimately, a more open world. I am confident countless numbers of University students at KPU and beyond will benefit from this textbook, and will continue the conversation to make the world a better place for all.