Here are a list of online resources our faculty members have found helpful. Most are free. Feel free to add your favorites by posting a reply with the name and web address.


Open educational resources (OER) are “digitized materials offered freely and openly for educators, students and self-learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning and research.”

OER include different kinds of digital assets. Learning content includes courses, course materials, content modules, learning objects, collections, and journals. Tools include software that supports the creation, delivery, use and improvement of open learning content, searching and organization of content, content and learning management systems, content development tools, and on-line learning communities. Implementation resources include intellectual property licenses that govern open publishing of materials, design-principles, and localization of content. They also include materials on best practices such as stories, publication, techniques, methods, processes, incentives, and distribution.

Open Educational Resources websites:

MERLOT- Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching at

National Repository for Online Courses content and in house materials —

The California State University system has been implementing a “Affordable Learning Solutions” initiative for about a year.   They have organized many open learning resources into a “one-stop shop” that is open to everyone – see

CSU have built some simple applications where a faculty or student can type in the ISBN of their textbook and “OER Finder” will provide a list of open learning resources associated with the topic of the textbook see or if you only want to find open textbooks (vs. course modules, online courses, etc), use the OER Finder at . The Affordable Learning Solutions and the OER Finder is built on the long term success of MERLOT (– an open online library of over 27,000 open learning resources, many of which have been peer reviewed by academic editorial boards.

CSU has started having faculty share their course syllabi that illustrates how they are substitute open learning resources for textbooks (see for some initial samples.

The CSU also has tested the strategy of licensing digital textbooks (“Renting Digital”) at a significantly lower cost (35% of new textbook price for the pilot studies).   You can read about the CSU’s Digital Marketplace project at and the “licensed content” project at: and the Digital Marketplace 2010 year-end report presentation on the open future and the speaker is Dr. David Wiley. While not totally open there is a large FIPSE Grant that was given to Florida State College in Jacksonville. They have a project called SIRIUS Academics which provides low cost course contents and books on several courses with more in the works. Person to contact if you are interested is Rick Granger: phone: 904-632-3307. Also you may contact Leslie Balsiger for materials that she has on this topic

Going hybrid

For those faculty in our member colleges who are thinking about creating hybrid courses, here are some great resources. Most are from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

American DreamNon-native English speaking students trying to enter the higher education system in the United States face daunting challenges. Consider first the requirement at most institutions that a student have four years of high school English. The premise of the American Dream is that more education leads to increased socioeconomic status, guaranteeing a better life for the next generation. This premise, however, is complicated for non-English speaking students.

Don’t get me wrong – I firmly believe that if you are going to live and work in a country, you need to be proficient with the language. It is deeply engrained in my family history. My grandfather spoke no English when he arrived in the United States from Spain in 1918. He did not petition for the United States to adapt to his language nor did he expect signs to be written in Spanish. He learned the language on his own while working 50+ hours per week.

This may sound harsh, and I assure you that I am not criticizing immigrants seeking a better life. I am criticizing the people in the educational system who remain content with mediocre methodology for teaching language. There have been fabulous advances in the technology of learning driven by credible research. To me, it is simply unacceptable to use old tools to teach and assess language acquisition simply because it is how it has always been done in the past.

Cardinal Giuseppe Mezzofanti

Cardinal Giuseppe Mezzofanti

There are new ideas we should try that will not only speed the acquisition of languages, but also increase retention. Tim Ferriss tells the story of Cardinal Giuseppe Mezzofanti who mastered 29 languages and was reported to be conversational in an additional eight by using translations of the Lord’s Prayer. Tim’s approach uses 13 basic sentences that he asserts contain all the components necessary for proficiency in any language.

It is time to step up our game. Cardinal Mezzofanti died in 1849, yet we have been reticent to embrace his style of language learning. The reason my grandfather came to America was to have a better life; that dream still drives millions a year to come to the United States. It is time to help them realize their their American Dream.

What are your thoughts regarding this topic? Have you found a viable solution? Are you as frustrated as I am? Share below or online and let’s start a dialog.