I wish to acknowledge my existence in this research project is due to my parents who have enthusiastically embraced Internet telecommunications. My partner has been unwavering in supporting our journey through my pursuits in distance education; I would be lost in translation without her.
In addition, I would like to recognize my many sponsors, both external and internal to Athabasca University, who have supported my life-long learning in the Doctor of Education in the Distance Education program in Distance Education, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Science (formerly Centre for Distance Education) at Athabasca University.
The open e-textbook pilot project that inspired my study began with Creative Clinical Teaching in the Health Professions (Melrose et al., 2015), born from the open access pioneering spirit and invitational distance education theory and praxis of Dr. Sherri Melrose RN, Associate Professor – Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University. The subsequent authoring synergies of Dr. Sandra Collins, Professor – Faculty of Health Disciplines, and Mateo Huezo MC, Athabasca University were exemplary inspirational scholarly initiatives of voluntarily authoring within an open electronic textbook publishing system. Furthermore, the Faculty of Health Disciplines (previously Centre for Nursing and Health Studies) Learning Technology Team members Tony Mishra and Lawrence Poon were instrumental in the computing support and web hosting of the first open e-textbook publishing system in Alberta post-secondary education in 2015 at EPUB-FHD.ATHABASCAU.CA.
I wish to thank my supervisor Dr. Rory McGreal, Professor and Director TEKRI – Centre for Distance Education, and Dr. Jon Dron, Professor and Chair – School of Computing and Information Systems of Athabasca University, for their insightful feedback on my project. In addition, the many reviews of my pilot research in EDDE 805 – Research Seminar I by Dr. Cindy Ives, Professor – Centre for Distance Education, were invaluable toward repositioning my research inquiry toward policy. Upon reflection of the aforementioned feedback and experiences in the Doctor of Education (EdD) in Distance Education program, I was inspired to create a micro-memoir – Pioneers of Online Learning in Alberta – at https://imem.pressbooks.com/ (alternate version at https://mem-mem.com/on-linelearning/). This memoir of pioneering online learning in Alberta was a self-reflection on praxis that confirmed refocus of my research toward exploring a specific policy for open electronic publishing systems. In retrospect, I realize that power in the form of policy to support OER, can be positively directed in promoting open data, information and knowledge for everyone.