Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Merlot II: An Open Education Repository

At Lansing Community College, instructors are beginning to consider Open Education Resources (OERs) as an alternative to the traditional textbook requirement (Textbook Crisis).  Finding quality materials can be challenging if you start from a simple Google search of your subject matter.  Online repositories that sort and catalog learning materials can save instructors time by narrowing thousands of hits into a few dozen high quality learning objects.

Merlot II offers a repository of materials that are contributed and reviewed by educators worldwide.  The site is administered by The California State University, and has been collecting resources since 1997.  This is a true open resource, with an active and generous following.  Instructors can use the materials without logging in, but free membership includes the opportunity to review posted materials and keep a bookmarked collection of your own favorites.

To provide an example, I did a quick search with the term “business” and turned up a tutorial, “Guide to Financial Statements.”  I can see from the resource summary that the material is highly rated and has been updated recently (June 2015).  In addition to tutorials, the search returned case studies, videos, and animations, which can all be sorted by the date modified or highest rating.  

In the search for Open Education Resources, sites like Merlot can be a great starting point.  If you want to discuss Merlot, OERs, or other educational technologies, email Meg Elias at clarkm1@star.lcc.edu, or stop by the Center for Teaching Excellence, TLC 324.