Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Teaching and Learning Commons’ mandate is to “provide pedagogical leadership that is grounded in community, ethics, creativity, and care.” Enacting this mandate during COVID-19 has meant collaborating with individuals and units across campus to develop and sustain an ecosystem of pedagogical care that supports students, staff, and faculty alike.

In this panel we will outline a multipronged approach to developing resources, training, and pedagogical and technological supports that promote pedagogies of care, placing particular emphasis on access, inclusion, and community. Through personal stories and examples, we will illustrate how the Commons seeks to foster care at an institutional level, beginning with the Commons Team and extending out to support units (such as the Learning Centre, Library, and Accessibility Services), faculty, and students.

Our topics will include (but not necessarily be limited to): technology access for students and faculty; relationships between the Commons, faculty, and Accessibility Services that have reduced barriers to learning; resources that support students and thereby reduce faculty workload; and resources that support faculty in improving student learning experiences. Our panel will show that the relationships between different sectors function best when they are not hierarchical, but mutually-effecting, and we will demonstrate how collaborations between units can break down silos, provide opportunities for professional development, and foster a sense of community and well-being.


Jennifer Hardwick
Faculty & Educational Consultant | Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Dr. Jennifer Hardwick is a faculty member in the Department of English and Educational Consultant in Universal Design for Learning at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She has spent the last 15 years teaching diverse students in large lecture halls, small seminars, academic bridging programs, Writing/Learning Centres, online environments, and co-curricular and community programs. As a teacher and interdisciplinary scholar she spends a lot of time thinking about the relationships between pedagogy, care, liberation, and justice.

Gillian Sudlow
Faculty & Educational Consultant | Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Gillian has been supporting learners in their journey to develop their skills and obtain their educational goals for over twenty years. Specializing in Adult Developmental Education, she focuses on student-centred course design to meet the needs of her learners to achieve success however they define it. She is a fierce advocate for open access to education and her scholarly interests include competency-based assessment, micro-credentials and open pedagogy.

Christina Page
Learning Strategist & Educational Consultant | Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Christina Page is a Learning Strategist and Educational Consultant in Intercultural Teaching at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). Her dual roles supporting faculty and students allow her to understand barriers that students experience, while supporting faculty in implementing pedagogical practices that enhance both student learning and the teaching experience. Her current research and practice focuses on supporting students and faculty in culturally diverse classrooms, seeking to remove barriers to learning by fostering inclusive learning environments.

Seanna Takacs
Learning Strategist & Educational Consultant | Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Dr. Seanna Takacs is currently serving as the Educational Consultant, Universal Design for Learning, in the KPU Teaching and Learning Commons, where she designs and facilitates professional development resources for faculty and departments. Seanna also works in Accessibility Services as a Learning Specialist. Seanna’s professional interests focus on learning differences and how applying UDL principles and practices can ameliorate those differences to achieve equitable access to education for all students.

Leeann Waddington
Manager, Learning Technology & Educational Media | Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Leeann has over 15 years of leadership experience in healthcare and education environments, leading high functioning teams in complex environments. She currently leads the education development team and the learning technology team at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Leeann is a doctoral student at Athabasca University, researching the use of Appreciative Inquiry in the faculty development context. She is also an appreciative inquiry facilitator and trainer for the Center for Appreciative Inquiry.

Session Recording