Skip to Main Content

Business Division Faculty LibGuide

Provides links to Western Library resources for students and faculty in the Business Division

What is the Difference Between OER and ZTC?

Zero cost icon

OER and ZTC are often used interchangeably but they are not necessarily the same thing. 

 A zero textbook cost course is one that uses learning materials that cost the students zero dollars.  For example, materials from Western Library's Databases are considered ZTC but not OER. Why? While the learning materials cost the students zero dollars, there is a cost to Western Library in the form of database subscription fees and other material costs. 


Adopting Open Educational Resources (OER) is a common method of eliminating textbook costs in courses.  OER carry an open license. This is a type of license (Creative Commons - CC) that grants permission to access, re-use and redistribute a work for free, with few or no restrictions. 

creative commons license image


If you see an open license symbol like the this one, that's how you know it's OER!

Course Competencies (WIP, retrieved from WIDS 5/5/21)

Apply methods to retrieve data

  • identify the purpose of retrieving subsets of data
  • experiment with techniques used to select subsets of data

Demonstrate methods to summarize data

  • research software environments used to summarize data
  • explain the features of a statistical computer software

Prepare data dashboards

  • define data dashboard
  • explore characteristics of data dashboards
  • identify types of data dashboards

Analyze historical data

  • identify methods for collecting historical information
  • discuss time series analysis

Predict data trends

  • explore methods used to forecast data
  • examine how forecasts are utilized to make business decisions
  • identify risk involved in predicting data trends

Interpret statistical data

  • explain the purpose of statistical functions
  • identify tools used to calculate statistical significance
  • analyze the meaning of statistical results

Use financial evaluation methods

  • demonstrate financial calculations
  • relate financial results to effective decision-making

Evaluate optimal solutions

  • classify optimal solutions
  • explore tools used to identify optimal solutions
  • identify how to determine the optimal solution

Use data to make business decisions

  • summarize data relevance
  • differentiate between methods utilized to make business decisions
  • connect the decision to the intended audience

Data Analytics - OER

Data Analytics - Zero Textbook Cost



Python: OER/ZTC

Western Technical College
Western Technical College Learning Commons
Student Success Center, Room 201
400 7th Street North
La Crosse, WI 54601
State Relay: 711
EEO Statement

Learn more about Western and the Learning Commons.
The Learning Commons provides library and academic support services on campus and online. The Learning Commons will set you up for success!

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. For details and exceptions, see the Library Copyright Statement.
©2020, Western Technical College

If you are experiencing disability related accessibility issues with any information on this website, please email or call 608-785-9524.