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WisTech Open Education

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About WisTech Open

In 2023, the Wisconsin Technical College System received $3 million for the 2023-2025 biennial budget to create, scale, and advocate for open educational resources. WisTech Open is a culmination of this funding and previous system-wide projects to reduce student textbook costs to promote affordability, equity, and student success.

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Projected Impact - Annually

40,939 students

6,725 High School students

$6.1 million in savings

18 Open Textbooks

19 courses

Current Projects

Project Deliverable: 1 Textbook (free open educational resource)
Annual Project Impact: 2,109 students | $349,324 student savings

Serves as an introduction to reading and interpreting prints and industrial drawings. Focus will be on interpretation of views, projections, lines, sections, and working and assembly drawings relative to manufacturing processes and order of operations. The course also integrates basic math skills with print reading.

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Digital Literacy for Healthcare

Project Deliverable: 1 Textbook (free open educational resource)
Annual Project Impact: 1,688 students | $313,968 student savings

Includes the use of technology in healthcare. Learners use common business software applications, including word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, and databases. Communication methods using technology are also addressed. Learners gain experience with using the electronic health record (EHR), and healthcare EHR security issues, social media use, and digital healthcare resources are examined.

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Early Childhood Education

Project Deliverable: 2 Textbooks (free open educational resources)
Annual Project Impact: 2,378 students | $358,243 student savings

Textbook 1: Foundations of Early Childhood Education - Introduces the early childhood profession through a historical overview of the field. The course will explore program trends, quality indicators, and developmentally appropriate practices for children birth to 8 years of age.

Textbook 2: Family & Community Relations - Examines the role of relationships with family and community in early childhood education for children from birth to 8 years of age.

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Emergency Medical Technician

Project Deliverable: 1 Textbook (free open educational resource)
Annual Project Impact: 1,901 students | $290,758 student savings

Prepares students to perform emergency medical care sanctioned by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, EMS Section scope of practice for the EMR/EMT. Includes foundational knowledge and skill application for both EMR/ EMT in the following areas: the EMS system, EMR/EMT responsibilities, legal and ethical standards, patient movement techniques, pathophysiology, body systems and functions, patient assessment and treatment, pharmacology, shock and resuscitation, age-specific patient considerations, special medical considerations, medication administration, and airway anatomy and management. Prepares the learner for the National Registry EMR written examination.

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Project Deliverable: 5 Textbooks (free open educational resources)
Annual Project Impact: 24,770 students | $4.0 million student savings

Textbook 1: Nursing Fundamentals, 2nd Edition - Introduces the entry-level nursing student to the scope of nursing practice, various communication techniques, and caring for diverse patients. The nursing process is used as a framework for providing patient care based on the following nursing concepts: safety, oxygenation, comfort, spiritual well-being, grief and loss, sleep and rest, mobility, nutrition, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, and elimination. Care for patients with integumentary disorders and cognitive or sensory impairments is also discussed. Learning activities have been incorporated into each chapter to encourage students to use critical thinking while applying content to patient-care situations.

Textbook 2: Nursing Health Alterations -  Elaborates upon the basic concepts of health and illness as presented in Nursing Fundamentals, 2nd Edition. Applies theories of nursing in the care of patients through the life span, utilizing problem-solving and critical thinking. Provides an opportunity to study conditions affecting different body systems and apply evidence-based nursing interventions and introduces concepts of leadership and management.

Textbook 3: Nursing Management & Professional Concepts, 2nd Edition - Introduces concepts related to nursing leadership and management, prioritization strategies, delegation and supervision, legal implications of nursing practice, ethical nursing practice, collaboration within the interprofessional team, health care economics, quality and evidence-based practice, advocacy, preparation for the RN role, and the avoidance of burnout with self-care. Several online, interactive learning activities are included in each chapter that encourage application of content to patient-care situations. Additionally, the Appendix includes a “suite of patients” with suggested prompts for classroom discussion to assist students in applying concepts from the book to real patient-care situations.

Textbook 4: Nursing Mental Health & Community Concepts, 2nd Edition - Includes topics related to the delivery of community and mental health care. Specific health needs of individuals, families, and groups will be addressed across the life span. Attention will be given to diverse and at-risk populations. Mental health concepts will concentrate on adaptive/maladaptive behaviors and specific mental health disorders. Community resources will be examined in relation to specific types of support offered to racial, ethnic, economically diverse individuals and groups.

Textbook 5: Nursing Promotion -  Focuses on topics related to health promotion for individuals and families throughout the life span. Topics include reproductive issues, pregnancy, labor and delivery, postpartum, the newborn, the child, and adaptive and maladaptive behaviors applying mental health principles. An emphasis is placed on teaching and supporting healthy lifestyle choices for individuals of all ages. Nutrition, exercise, stress management, empowerment, and risk reduction practices are highlighted. Study of the family will cover dynamics, functions, discipline styles, and stages of development. The text will also prepare the learner to provide and evaluate care for patients with congenital heart defects, alterations in reproductive systems, high-risk perinatal conditions, and high-risk newborn conditions.

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Project Deliverable: 1 Workbook (free open educational resource)
Annual Project Impact: 495 students | $52,764 student savings

Respiratory Therapy Student Workbook - Includes activities and competencies that focus on topics related to the skills necessary to prepare a student for the field of respiratory therapy. Topics include history of the profession, safety, infection control, medical records, documentation, patient assessment, mechanical ventilation, airway and airway management, and therapeutic modalities, including hyperinflation, bronchial hygiene, and oxygen administration. Laboratory activities also include formative and summative assessments of cardiopulmonary diseases and cardiopulmonary pathophysiology and advanced topics such as PFT, bronchoscopy, home care, hemodynamics, EKGs, and neonatal/pediatric topics.

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Project Deliverable: 1 Textbook (free open educational resource)
Annual Project Impact: 669 students | $77,064 student savings

Business Textbook - This textbook explores the traits and mindset of entrepreneurs, examines innovative companies, and distinguishes between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Also included in this text are business plans and frameworks, and explanations regarding the role of innovation in business. This text facilitates essential skills for entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial success, developing an innovative mindset and leadership in dynamic business environments.

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Legacy Projects

The Open RN project was funded by a $2.5 million grant from the Department of Education - Open Textbook Pilot grant, to create five zero-cost nursing textbooks. The project grew to include five additional textbooks and virtual simulations, funded by HEERF, the Department of Labor, WTCS, and a WiLS Ideas to Action award. Open RN Nursing Pharmacology, Nursing Skills, and Nursing Fundamentals won Awards for Excellence from OE Global in 2020. For more information about the award, visit the 2020 OE Awards for Excellence web site.

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A spin-off of Open RN, the goal of this project is to improve the preparedness of pre-licensure nurses entering the workforce by providing the opportunity to practice taking NCLEX Next Generation (NGN) style questions.

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The ARISE project incorporates videos, images, and sounds into high-fidelity simulations that instructors and students access through a QR code and an iPad. Through the simulations, learners are provided with experiences to more closely represent the actual clinical environment, e.g., authentic images of patient heart with actual heart and lung sounds.


Professional Development

Student Success with Open and Affordable Resources

This course will provide a beginner-level overview of how student success relates to open educational resources (OER) through the lens of who, what, where, when, why, and how. Participants will examine the problem with the current textbook publishing model, investigate student and faculty perceptions, identify stakeholders within their own institutions, review trends in the Wisconsin and higher education landscape, explore available resources, and begin a plan to get them started on their own OER journey.

Upon course completion you will receive a certificate as a Wisconsin OER Champion! Speak with your supervisor to discuss how this can be incorporated into your ongoing professional development plan!

Consider enrolling in the course with a colleague from your institution to work together!

Wisconsin Open Education Symposium

A one-day virtual conference devoted to professional learning surrounding open and affordable educational resources. Since the inaugural symposium in 2021, over 700 students and educators have gathered to discuss important topics surrounding affordability.

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Instructor //  
Nicole Breed, Chippewa Valley Technical College

Course Delivery //  
10 - 15 Hours  |  Online Instruction

Course Cost //  

October 1 - 31, 2024 
Register Now  |  Registration Closes September 23

January 3 - 28, 2025 
Register Now  |  Registration Closes December 20

March 3 - 31, 2025 
Register Now  |  Registration Closes February 21

May 1 - 30, 2025 
Register Now  |  Registration Closes April 18

Wisconsin Technical College Student OER Impact 2022-2023

63,137 students

$7.4 million in savings

1,330 unique courses

Textbook Showcase

Nursing Assistant
Nursing Fundamentals
Nursing Management and Professional Concepts
Nursing Pharmacology
Nursing Pharmacology-2e
Nursing Skills-2e
Nursing Mental Health and Community Concepts
Medical Terminology 2e

Request More Info

For more information about WisTech and related projects, please fill out this form or email us at

For past updates, visit the WisTech Open blog.

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