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01.06.2018 - 2 min. Read

A Collaborative Production of an Open Textbook on Vital Sign Measurement

By: Jennifer Lapum, PhD, RN, Associate Professor 1; Margaret Verkuyl, MN, NP:PHC, Professor 2; Oona St-Amant, PhD, RN 1, Assistant Professor; Wendy Garcia, MN, RN, Instructor 1; Andy Tan, BScN student 1; Wendy Freeman, PhD, MSc, Director, Office of e-Learning, Associate Professor 3

  1. Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Ryerson University
  2. Community of Health Studies, Centennial College
  3. Faculty of Communication and Design, Ryerson University

The traditional textbook tends to be most accessible to the didactic learner. These formats are also limiting to educators in health professions where the focus is on applied knowledge. Preparing learners for complex clinical environments requires a novel approach to refine psychomotor skills and enhance competency in the clinical environment, particularly as it relates to vital signs measurement.

With the funding available from an eCampusOntario Open Content Initiative grant, we saw opportunity to augment existing open textbook content to create a new OER source for students in post-secondary health professions programs that extended beyond traditional formats.

An interactive open textbook about vital sign measurement was created using a multi-modal platform that incorporates visual, audio and kinesthetic learning. The textbook is based on a progressive learning format of read, observe, practice and test oneself. It combines textual information, visual images, and video clips that facilitates learners’ competence with measuring temperature, pulse, respiration, oxygen saturation, and blood pressure.

Students played an important role in contributing to the design and production of this open textbook. A student and faculty advisory team provided input into the development of the open textbook. These advisory groups were consulted at multiple points during the creation of the book. Their input revealed existing gaps in current resources and the student group in particular shared ideas on what best helped learners. These students were also engaged in the development of this open textbook as they played the role of actors and were involved in the editing and production of the images and video clips. Lastly, both advisory groups reviewed and provided feedback on a complete draft of the open textbook prior to release.

This open textbook is currently being integrated into the curriculum of many health professions program across multiple institutions. The author team, from Ryerson University and Centennial College, will be exploring its impact on students’ learning later in 2018.

Licensed by Creative Commons, this e-book can be accessed for free at: