Tag Archives: OER adoption

MERLOT Update!

MERLOT (Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online Teaching), the online teaching repository for higher education and open educational resources has been updated to now include even more new and helpful features. MERLOT is maintained by CSU and faculty in all disciplines are encouraged to join to share their instructional resources, find discipline specific instructional materials, and peer review resources shared by others.

The new MERLOT features include:

Proprietary Smart Search to enhance keyword searches
Recommender feature which provides additional results relevant to the original search
Responsive web design (RWD) so that MERLOT is easily viewed on mobile phones and tablets
Web search where the results are narrowed to topics with an educational emphasis
Fifteen additional libraries which are searched simultaneously

Amazon Inspire
Google Books
IEEE Computer Society
OER Commons
Open Stax
Skills Commons
Slide Share
The Orange Grove

Check it out at MERLOT.org


OER and College Financial Readiness

The 1,000 Dreams Fund is a non-profit organization with a mission of providing financial support to women attending college. Recently, the organization surveyed 1,092 young college females and males, some of which were recent college graduates about college cost expectations (Campus Technology).

The survey found that among those that did not complete college, finances were an issue, with 60% of Hispanic students who did not complete college, reporting financial limitations. Unexpected college costs were also more of an issue for females than males (Campus Technology).

The report concluded that the unexpected college costs which include textbooks, housing, food, school exams and fees, and moving expenses are more likely to keep first generation students, and females from participating in extracurricular college activities, and internships, both which are advantageous when recent college graduates enter the workforce (Campus Technology).


Source: Campus Technology, Dian Schaffhauser, 10/30/17

OER and other properly licensed free course materials can assist students especially those who are at risk of leaving college early to not only satisfactorily complete their goals but can also be beneficial in providing opportunities for these students to engage in campus extracurricular activities, internships, tutoring, and other student success behaviors outside of the classroom. This potential benefit of having faculty use OER is not often examined or taken into account when institutions consider saving students money on textbooks costs through openly licensed course materials. The findings from this 1,000 Dreams Fund survey can also be helpful when designing Zero Textbook Cost degree (ZTCD) pathways.

Non-Credit Courses and OER

Non-credit courses require no fees and students do not receive college credit or official grades. College programs across the campus might be interested in developing non-credit courses to help students succeed in college, prepare for a major or course of study, and gain marketable skills. Non-credit courses however can impede some students from succeeding due to the cost of instructional materials that might be required for some non-credit courses.

Here are some examples of topics and OER which can be used to develop non-credit courses. Continue reading