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Welcome to the Introduction to Communication Open-Sourced text prepared by faculty at Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minnesota. The project to create this free online resource began with our concern that the increasing cost of textbooks was interfering with student learning. If students cannot afford a $90 text, how would they manage when the price of those books rose to nearly $200? The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MinnState) also pondered that question. One answer that they offered was in the form of grants available in the 2016-17 academic year. Faculty interested in preparing an online text that would be available to all MinnState colleges could apply for grant funding to support the development of such texts. We applied and received funds in the spring of 2017. Then the real work began.

Fortunately for us, Keith Green had laid the groundwork for this text some years prior. He generously offered to us the text he had written for his Introduction to Communication course. Not only could we use his text as a starting point, he also invited major revisions that would allow the text to fit our varied pedagogical approaches.

The result is a text that covers the basic concepts of communication as they might be taught in a hybrid introductory communication course. We kept the text lean, so faculty could adapt and supplement according to their own preferences. We also made it flexible by using a structure of modules with sections within them, so faculty could select the parts and the order they want.

Working on this project has deepened our understanding of communication, teaching, and each other’s philosophy. From the start, we prioritized our friendship. At the end, that friendship had deepened.



Keith Green
Keith Green received his Bachelor of Science, Speech Communication and Theatre Arts, Secondary Education from Southwest Minnesota State University, and his Masters of Arts, Speech Communication from the University of North Dakota. He has taught Communication Studies and Theatre in the Minnesota State System since 1986 and retired September, 2018.

Ruth Fairchild

Ruth Fairchild

Ruth Fairchild earned her Bachelor of Arts in English at Augsburg College, and has Masters of Arts in Teaching, in English, and in Communication Studies.  After teaching in Alaska and Vermont, she returned to Minnesota and has been on the faculty at Ridgewater College since 1994.

Bev Knudsen

Bev Knudsen

Bev Knudsen earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Communication Studies, and a Master of Arts in History from St. Cloud State University. She also holds a Master of Science in Communication Studies from Minnesota State University-Mankato. Teaching experiences include courses in History, and Communication Studies at St. Cloud State University, History at St. Cloud Technical and Community College, and History and Communication Studies at Ridgewater College.

Darcy Lease-Gubrud Darcy Lease-Gubrud

Darcy Lease Gubrud earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Clarke University and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting/Pedagogy from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has taken additional doctoral classes in choral conducting and pedagogy at The University of Iowa. She recently earned a credential in Communication Studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She teaches a wide variety of courses in Music, Humanities and Communication Studies.