How did the book come about?
Beginning with Trish’s initial emails soliciting interest from colleagues, the response to this concept has been overwhelmingly positive. People immediately grasped the urgency for such a collection as “something we needed decades ago,” and recognized its potential value as a teaching resource. David replied immediately, with genuine enthusiasm. He saw it as a concept that had potential and value for a huge community of folks. Within a day he had put together a vignette and started having ideas for broadening the scope. Trish immediately knew she had found a collaborator.
Stars aligned and we discovered eCampusOntario’s Virtual Learning Strategy, through which we received the funding to make this project possible. A Government of Ontario–funded non-profit organization, eCampus works to develop and distribute online learning tools throughout the province. We also received administrative and instructional design support from Carleton University’s Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) team, who have been both expert guides and heartening cheerleaders. Sincere thanks to Valerie Critchley, Andrea Gorra, David Hornsby, Jaymie Koroluk, Patrick Lyons, Laura Ravelo Fuentes, Mathew Schatkowsky, and Dragana Polovina-Vukovic! We are also grateful to Nancy Snow (Associate Professor, Faculty of Design, OCAD University) for joining us as a Project Consultant, providing pedagogical and design input in the initial stages.
The eCampusOntario funding came with stringent reporting requirements and clearly delineated project deliverables, including adherence to accessibility standards and the use of a Creative Commons license. The latter is important to us as editors and contributors ourselves, because it will allow others to remix and repurpose the book’s content while ensuring that the original creators of each vignette are credited for their work and recognized as its originators. This, along with the book’s digital format(s) and free access, are key components of the open publishing ethos within which Showing Theory was conceived and created.
Publication of this open educational resource (OER), from conceptualization to scoping and team building, development, production, publication, and evaluation, took place over one calendar year, from start to finish, during a global pandemic. While it has not been a simple task, it is nonetheless testament to the power of collaboration and good will, to the flexibility and connectivity of digital tools, and to the promise that open-access publishing offers a new generation of learners.