Exemplary Collection of Open eLearning Content Repositories

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Open Educational Content

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About this collection

For this exemplary collection the focus is on best practice examples:

Portals & Gateways

UNESCO/IIEP hosts a Wiki that offers a list of several portals, gateways and repositories. It offers a list of links to OER initiatives, resources and tools. It was compiled following the first IIEP discussion forum on Open Educational Resources (24 October - 2 December 2005). It offers access to a selection of approx. 30 repositories of open learning objects, mostly at the university level.

Free and open resources designed primarily for faculty and students of higher education. Specifically, MERLOT is a growing catalog of online learning materials, peer reviews, learning assignments, and user comments, organized by discipline into specific discipline communities and created to help faculty enhance their instruction, that anyone can use for free. At the moment has more than 14,000 resources. It was developed by California State University Center for Distributed Learning (CSU-CDL at www.cdl.edu).

OER Commons is a teaching and learning network offering a broad selection of high-quality Open Educational Resources, OER, that are freely available online to use and, in most cases, to adapt to support individualized teaching and learning practices. It is the first comprehensive open learning portal where teachers and professors (from pre-K to graduate school) can access their colleagues’ course materials, share their own, and collaborate on affecting today’s classrooms. It uses Web 2.0 features (tags, ratings, comments, reviews, and social networking) to create an online experience that engages educators in sharing their best teaching and learning practices. OER Commons is a project of ISKME, a recognized leader in applying educational research to educational practice.

You will find 7 groups of subject-specific open courseware but also specialized resources for each subject, that is why it is acting as a gateway to specific repositories. It is an annotated listing of publicly available courseware (lecture notes, handouts, slides, tutorial material, exam questions, quizzes, videos, demonstrations, etc) from the world's universities, colleges and other educational institutions. It was created and is maintained by iberry.com, a non-profit private website, serving the international academic community.

The OCW Finder currently shows results from several collections: MIT OCW , Utah State University, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health OCW, Tufts University OCW, Foothill De-Anza SOFIA, and Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative. The OCW Finder is based on del.icio.us direc.tor, released under the GPL and it was remixed by David Wiley from the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning.

The UK's free national gateway to Internet resources for the teaching, learning and research community. The RDN is a collaboration of over seventy educational and research organizations, including the Natural History Museum and the British Library, and builds upon the foundations of the subject gateway activity carried out under the JISC's (Joint Information Systems Committee) . The service links to resources through a series of subject-based information gateways. Although primarily aimed at users in UK higher and further education, the network is freely available to all. It gives access to over 100,000 resources. In contrast to search engines, the RDN gathers resources which are carefully selected by subject specialists in our partner institutions. You can search and browse through the resources, and be confident that your results will connect you to Web sites relevant to learning, teaching and research in your subject area.

Institutional repositories

Blue Web'n is an online library of 2,035 outstanding Internet sites (Dec. 2006) categorized by subject, grade level, and format (tools, references, lessons, hotlists, resources, tutorials, activities, projects). Sites are categorized by subject based on the California State Frameworks, Dewey Decimal Numbers, grade level (K-2 to college plus adult education) and, finally, by format. The content categories available are: arts, business, education, English, foreign languages, health, history and social studies, maths, science, technology among others. All material on the Knowledge Network Explorer web site is owned by AT&T Knowledge Ventures, a subsidiary of AT&T Inc. Web site users are authorized to view, download, print, create an HTML pointer to and/or distribute website documents subject to these conditions.

This project aimed to investigate the key issues surrounding the identification, description, location, use and integration of interactive content through technical development, UK national consultation and exemplar aggregation. It is a JISC funded project and it is developed by North Lincolnshire College and University of Hull. Provides access to approximately 80 online course materials. The site is not accessible with Firefox browser. At the moment the server where the repository is hosted is down and it is not possible to make a proper description (Jan 2007).

An initiative by the University of Wisconsin to identify, evaluate, catalog, and align to the Wisconsin education standards resources that are already on the Internet, such as lesson plans and reference materials. These resources are then made available from the ide@s search engine. Pre-kindergarten to higher education and adult education. Besides, there are more than 100 video documents under Videoide@s which provides access to Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Educational Communications Board programs as streaming video.

MIT OCW is a large-scale, Web-based electronic publishing initiative funded jointly by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation , Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and generous support of the Ab Initio software company. Its goals are to: (i) Provide free, searchable access to MIT's course materials for educators, students, and self-learners around the world, and (ii) Extend the reach and impact of MIT OCW and the "opencourseware" concept. In March 2006 there were 1,400 courses. OpenCourseWare materials are licensed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under a Creative Commons License (CC 2.5). It offers course materials of all subjects done at the university. It also provides access to video recorded classes.

The Maricopa Learning eXchange (MLX) is an electronic warehouse of ideas, examples, and resources (represented as "packages") that support student learning at the Maricopa Community Colleges. The packages might include a particular lesson, technique, method, activity, assignment that you either developed or applied in teaching. The packing slip might contain a description of the strategy with perhaps some outcomes described. Additional materials might be a Word/PDF document version of a handout, an image of engaged students, or a link to a web site created that describes the activity. At the moment there are 1,472 packages.

A growing library of high-quality online courses for students and faculty in higher education, high school and Advanced Placement. Courses in the NROC library are contributed by developers from leading online-learning programs across the US. All courses are assessed to ensure they meet high standards of scholarship, instructional value and presentational impact. NROC works with developers and contributes resources to improve course quality and to provide ongoing maintenance. Courses are designed to cover the breadth and depth of topics based on generally accepted US curricula and can also be customized within a course management system. NROC partners with academic institutions, publishers, teaching organizations, US state and federal agencies, international distributors and others to create a global distribution network to provide courses to students, teachers and the general public at little or no cost. [NROC Licenses] are content use arrangements for commercial vendors, textbook publishers, and charitable organizations. It is supported by a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Working in partnership with subject experts and commercial developers, BECTA's (British Educational Communications and Technology Agency) NLN Materials Team has commissioned and managed the development of Further Education e-learning materials for use in Virtual Learning Environments. The materials span the UK post-16 Further Education curriculum and are designed to be fitted easily into existing teaching. They have around 400 learning objects.

The Open University's (UK) OpenLearn website with free and open educational resources for learners and educators around the world. All learning materials are freely available. In the LabSpace one can share and reuse educational resources, which means you are allowed to modify and re-use. OpenLearn is supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The resources are licensed under the [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/]. The resources are from several subjects: Arts and History, Business and Management, Education, Health and Lifestyle, IT and Computing, Mathematics and Statistics, Modern Languages, Science and Nature, Society, Study Skills, and Technology. OpenLearn is planning to increase the number of study units available in the LearningSpace between now and April 2008. The website will grow from providing 900 learning hours of learning materials at launch to 5400 learning hours.

In English and French. SchoolNet is a partnership with the provincial and territorial governments, the education community and the private sector in Canada, which promotes the effective use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in learning. Nowadays it offers access to 7,000 learning resources.


The United Nations University formally joined the OpenCourseWare (OCW) Consortium and is committed to the development of an OCW website that showcases the training and educational programmes implemented by the University in a wide range of areas relevant to the work of the United Nations.

World Lecture Hall is a project of the Center for Instructional Technologies at the University of Texas at Austin. This project publishes links to pages created by faculty worldwide who are using the Web to deliver course materials in any language. Some courses can be accessed full text. Materials include syllabi, course notes, assignments, and audio and video streaming. WLH contains links to course materials for university-level courses. WLH has been chosen as a Featured Top Site by Educating.net, the Internet's premiere education portal.

Subject portals/collections

General

Funded by JISC (the Joint Information Systems Committee), Jorum is a collaborative venture in UK Higher and Further Education to collect and share learning and teaching materials, allowing their reuse and repurposing, and standing as a national statement of the importance of creating interoperable, sustainable materials. Users can access the learning and teaching materials (which cover a range of subject areas) to enhance their students learning experience. Materials range from single assets (documents, images, diagrams) to more comprehensive learning objects (interactive units and content packages). Jorum accepts learning and teaching resources across all subject areas for both Higher and Further education in the UK. However the amount of content in each subject area is dependent on the community and individual users. As of November 2010, Jorum contains more than 13,000 resources.

The LabSpace is the experimental zone of OpenLearn institutional repository of the Open University from UK. LabSpace is the place for sharing and reusing educational resources. Download some learning materials, adapt to your needs: translate, shorten, extend, add examples... The resources are from several subjects: Arts and History, Business and Management, Education, Health and Lifestyle, IT and Computing, Mathematics and Statistics, Modern Languages, Science and Nature, Society, Study Skills, and Technology. At the moment (Jan. 2007), there may be around 100 resources.

The Open Course Library is a collection of expertly developed educational materials – including textbooks, syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments – for 81 high-enrollment college courses. 42 courses have been completed so far, providing faculty with a high-quality, affordable option that will cost students no more than US$30 for textbooks. All materials are shared under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license unless otherwise noted.

Textbooks and select educational resources of all kinds. Some of the books are PDF files, others are viewable only online as e-books. Most books are aimed at undergraduates, but there are at least a few resources at every level, from kindergarten to post-doc. All of the books are offered for free by their respective copyright holders for online viewing. They have around 500 books at by the end of 2006 they expect to have 1,000. All original text on this website is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license. The categories of the textbooks are: Biology, Business & Management, Chemistry, Computers-Tech, Earth Sciences, Economics, Engineering, Health Sciences & Medical, History, Math and Physics.

The Wisconsin Online Resource Center is a digital library of Web-based learning resources it has been developed primarily by faculty from the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and produced by multimedia technicians who create the learning objects for the online environment. At present, 348 WTCS faculty members have authored around 2000 learning objects. It is a searchable repository in wide range of subjects, all implemented in Flash. You have to register to use the site, but this is free, and you can deep-link to objects within the site.


Science

arXiv, set up by Cornell University, is an e-Print archive specializing in Physics, Mathematics, Nonlinear Sciences, Computer Science and Quantitative Biology. It contains more than 380,000 documents, mainly as Postscript and PDF files. It is addressed to graduate education mainly. No license agreement is published, so full copyright protection has to be assumed.

A repository specializing in medicine and health resources. Maintained by the University of New South Wales in Australia, it has not been updated since 2000. Contains mainly links. Addressed to the higher education space.

A collaboration between Hofstra University, the College of New Jersey, Pennsylvania State University, Villanova University and Virginia Tech, as part of the US National Science Foundation's National Science Digital Library Project, to create a portal to computing education. CITIDEL is a digital library of educational resources for the computing field, harvested from ten different source collections. It contains to a wide variety of resources, addressed to a diversity of educational levels.

488,256 resources for computing

A repository of peer-reviewed teaching resources for college and graduate level computer science education. The CSTC is designed to facilitate access to quality teaching materials developed worldwide. It is endorsed by the US Association of Computing Machinery and funded by the US National Science Foundation. Metadata for materials are created by users. CSTC is one of the source collections for CITIDEL. It contains all types of archives. It has not been updated since 2003.

Over 10,000 resources for computing

It is a Community of digital library access to high-quality collections of educational resources, mainly centered around Earth Sciences. It addresses all levels of education and contains a wide range of resource types.

ESCOT is a testbed for the integration of innovative technology in middle school (K-12) mathematics. The project investigates replicable practices that produce predictably high quality digital learning resources. It contains graphs, tables and simulations, as well as tools for manipulating geometry and algebra, to be integrated in math education software.

Funded by the US National Science Foundation, DLESE provides learners and educators at all levels with access to materials to support Earth system science education. The collection includes lesson plans, maps, images, data sets, assessment activities, curricula and online courses. The site also provides support services to help users effectively create, use and share OER, as well as communication networks to facilitate interactions and collaborations across the field of earth science.

Over 25,000 learning objects for the earth sciences, available under a custom open licence

Aims to provide access to quality networked engineering, mathematics and computing resources, and be the UK national focal point for online access to information in these subjects. It is run by a team of information specialists from a number of universities and institutions in the UK, led by Heriot Watt University. EEVL's target audience is students, staff and researchers in higher and further education, as well as anyone else working, studying or looking for information in Engineering, Mathematics and Computing. EEVL Xtra allows users to cross-search a further 20 databases. All rights and all related rights for the content of the EEVL site are reserved by Heriot Watt University or individual authors.

Over 10,000 resources for engineering, mathematics and computing
N.B. Users will be charged a fee to access some content.

A project of Brown University's Computer Graphics Research Group to create a set of exemplary Web-based learning objects (Java applets) that teach concepts in introductory computer graphics at the college and graduate level. Learning objects are characterized by their flexibility, interactivity, hypertextual curriculum frameworks, and use of explorable 2D and 3D worlds. Users can download complete Java applets, or build their own from the components collection. The project also publishes the results of its research into creating useful learning objects, and is working toward the creation of a complete Design Strategy Handbook.

71 java applets for science and mathematics

The collection of Earth Sciences Sector geoscience databases that is managed and accessed by a series of Information Services (GDRIS). This site allows for you to discover, view and download, free of charge, thousands of maps since the mid-1800's, hundreds of digital maps from the Geological Survey of Canada, data related to fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) in Canada, 400 geochemical surveys, etc.

Part of the US National Science Foundation's National Science Digital Library Project, the goal of the project is to create a collection of digital teaching and learning resources for medical students and professionals. Users can search the main Reviewed Collection, a collection of materials awaiting review and 12 affiliated collections. Users can submit materials for review and possible inclusion in the main collection. HEAL is hosted by the University of Utah, UCLA and the University of Oklahoma.

21,834 resources for medicine, as of September 2006

Part of the US National Science Foundation's National Science Digital Library Project, iLumina is a digital library of sharable undergraduate teaching materials for chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics and computer science. Resources range from small learning objects, such as individual images and video clips, to entire courses and several virtual collections. Metadata captures both technical and education-specific information about each resource. Users may contribute their own resources. iLumina was developed by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Collegis, Inc., Virginia Tech, Georgia State University, Grand Valley State University and the College of New Jersey.

Over 1,500 resources for science, mathematics and computing

A free online service providing access to the very best Web resources for education and research, evaluated and selected by a network of subject specialists. It covers the physical sciences, engineering, computing, geography, mathematics and environmental science. It contains 33,094 resources.

A free online service providing access to the very best web resources for education and research, evaluated and selected by a network of subject specialists in the health and life sciences. There are over 31,000 resources described.

The Math Forum Is a the leading online resource for improving math learning, teaching, and communication since 1992, created by teachers, mathematicians, researchers, students, and parents. It offers a wealth of problems and puzzles, online mentoring, research, team problem solving, collaborations and professional development.

A mathematical specific repository, created by Wolfram Research. Contains web based (HTML) resources about algebra, applied mathematics, calculus and analysis, discrete mathematics, geometry, history, number theory, probability ans statistics and topology, among others. No educational range is given, but subjects start mainly at the high school level and reach graduate level. Materials are copyrighted by Wolfram Research.

One interesting kind of resource is the classroom, which provides a set of pop-up "capsule summaries" for more than 300 mathematical terms.

The HTML headers of each page contain Dublin Core and Mathematics Subject Classification metadata.

A digital library of learning resources for engineering education. NEEDS provides web-based access to a database of learning resources where learners and instructors can search for, locate, download and comment on resources to aid their learning or teaching process. It is possible to search for resources suitable for mobile devices (so-called "Learning Everywhere" resources). NEEDS also supports a multi-tier review system for resources, from an industry-sponsored national award competition, to user-based reviews of individual learning resources. Materials are mainly at the undergraduate level.

1,220 resources for science, engineering and mathematics at the higher education level
N.B. Users will be charged a fee to access some content.

Created by the US National Science Foundation to provide organized access to high quality resources and tools that support innovations in teaching and learning at all levels of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. NSDL provides an organized point of access to content that is aggregated from a variety of other digital libraries, NSF-funded projects, and NSDL-reviewed web sites. It also provides access to services and tools that enhance the use of this content in a variety of contexts. NSDL is designed primarily for school-level educators, but anyone can access and search the library at no cost. Access to most of the resources is free; however, some content providers require a nominal fee or subscription to retrieve their specific resources.

Resources for science, technology, engineering and mathematics in 554 collections
N.B. Users will be charged a fee to access some content.

OAIster is a project of the University of Michigan Digital Library Production Service. Our goal is to create a collection of previously difficult-to-access, academically-oriented digital resources. 9,771,738 records from 701 institutions

The SMETE Digital Library is a dynamic online library and portal of services by the SMETE Open Federation for teachers and students, specializing in science, mathematics, engineering and technology education, addressing all levels of education. It contains around 20.000 resources. Partially supported by the National Science Foundation, National STEM Education Digital Library program.

15,885 resources for science, technology, engineering and mathematics


Social Sciences

A free online service providing access to the very best Web resources for education and research, evaluated and selected by a network of subject specialists in the social sciences fields. Each subject area within Intute has its own collection development policy (available on request). Only covers information of relevance to social science HE and FE students, academics, researchers and practitioners. The social sciences are broadly defined, as well as core subjects the gateway covers areas such as law, business, hospitality, sport and tourism.

LoLa is the home to a Information Literacy Learning Object collection of the Wesleyan University (Connecticut) of around 40 objects. It is also an common environment of learning ojects that staff of this university are developing. LoLa allow staff to discover materials developed by other faculty, and provide opportunities for collaboration within the academic disciplines on the Wesleyan campuses that have begun to develop and use Learning Objects. LOLA is also the home to a collection of Information Literacy Learning Objects that we are developing as part of a collaborative Information Literacy Project that Wesleyan, Trinity, and Connecticut College are working on. They are, at the moment in beta version.


Humanities

The Digital Scriptorium is an image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts, intended to unite scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research. It contains 15,000 images and 3,510 manuscripts and documents. All rights reserved to The Regents of the University of California.

The Humbul Humanities Hub is a service of the Resource Discovery Network funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and is hosted by the University of Oxford. Humbul is dedicated to discovering, evaluating and cataloging online resources in the humanities for higher and further education. Resources include educational materials, and links to institutions, academic research projects and companies offering educational software. Materials are submitted by users and reviewed and cataloged by on-site staff. Humbul also maintains a Virtual Training Suite of subject-based self-learning Internet skills tutorials (10 tutorials).

A free online service providing access to the very best Web resources for education and research, evaluated and selected by a network of subject specialists in the Arts and Humanities fields. Over 18,000 Web resources listed here that are freely available by keyword searching and browsing.



Stand alone digital media resources

Cartoon Solutions provides cartoon characters that are used as mascots and guides for eLearning courses. They provide a variety of characters, with different ages, and ethnicities. Cartoon characters are provided in front, side and back views and are instantly downloadable upon purchase. Pre-animated characters displaying a range of emotions as well as gestures are also available. Cartoon Solutions currently offers their products in Flash, Photoshop, Anime Studio, PowerPoint and CrazyTalk Animator formats. Props, animated effects, backgrounds and scenes are also available.

The British Library in association with JISC give access to 12,000 selected recordings of music, spoken word, and human and natural environments. Anyone can search or browse the information on this site. For copyright reasons, only people in licensed UK higher and further education institutions, or in our reading rooms can play the recordings. Downloading is available in licensed institutions

An index of educational podcasts, ordered by educational level and/or language.

Flickr is photo distributed classification system. It is useful for managing and sharing photos over the Internet. If users want to use a photo of another photographer, if they have created an account they can contact each other through the Flickr intranet. Copyright issues are solved with Creative Commons Licences. Free user accounts include up to 20 MB of monthly upload bandwidth. Any user can comment the photos and only the photographer is able to tag his/her photos. Flickr has recently been acquired by Yahoo! Inc.

FORTE Free is a simple and easy to use music notation software for basic musical tasks. It is similar to other free to use music notation softwares such as Finale Notepad. Forte also offers a selection of sheet music for free download. You can select different pieces of the most common classical composers (Bach, Mozart, Schubert etc.). Or you can select your songs by the most favoured categories: Folk Songs, Easter Songs or Christmas Carols.

Distribution of more than 360,000 free sheets of music. They are in different formats: PDF, GIF, JPEG, etc. There are thousands of pieces. If you want to add a sheet that it is not in there you have to go to "Submit your Site". The sheets are organized by genre, instrument or compositor. They also provide links to other sites with free sheets.

Library of over 50,000 contemporary and rare pieces of sheet music. They are available to order through the post. There are thousands of pieces. If you want to find sheet that it is not in there, they say they have access to other archives of sheet music pieces

Furl is a free service that saves a personal copy of any page you find on the Web, and lets you find it again instantly by searching your archive of pages. It's your Personal Web. Furl offers the best ways to share the content you find on the Web, and recommends new Web pages that may interest you. You can also search Furl to find the best sites that other people are saving.

LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Their goal is to make all public domain (under U.S. right) books available as free audio books. It is a volunteer, open source, free content, public domain project.

The Education Podcast Network is an effort to bring together into one place, the wide range of podcast programming that may be helpful to teachers looking for content to teach with and about, and to explore issues of teaching and learning in the 21st century.

Free online video streaming service that allows users to view and share videos that have been uploaded by our members. Users can add videos, comments and tags if they have an account created. It is also a distributed classification system.

Community developed content

ou start by creating a list of books you like. Using this list the site will introduce you to discussions you may want to engage in as well as other members you may want to connect with.

Because the system understands that books are related in different ways (fiction, non-fiction, topical, genre, writer, age, type of plot, scientific area, etc) it can connect you to discussions that may be of interest to you even if the books discussed are not exactly the same as the ones you have on your booklist. The same goes for connecting you with other members. The system can introduce you to others who share your interests even if you haven't read any of the same books. This is usually a great way to get recommendations for new books.

It is a rapidly growing collection of free scholarly materials and a powerful set of free software tools to help authors publish and collaborate, instructors rapidly build and share custom courses, learners explore the links among concepts, courses, and disciplines. Authors in Connexions are clearly identified. This sort of academic "credit" is important to many authors and is often a prerequisite for them to participate. Moreover, having a named author authenticates the work, which helps out later with quality control. The Connexions project team if from Rice University.

Digg is a user driven social content website. After you submit content, other digg users read your submission and digg what they like best. If your story rocks and receives enough diggs, it is promoted to the front page for the millions of digg visitors to see. The possible subjects are: technology, science, world&business, sports, videos and entertainment.

Open Up! is a blog, podcast, and community dedicated to promoting open education worldwide. The goal is to create a free library of 1,000 electronic textbooks for students in the developing world. The library will cover the range of topics typically encountered in the first two years of a university’s undergraduate programs The global academic community and global corporations will be engaged in creating and sponsoring this library.

Web community for finding, authoring and sharing open and free learning resources and open source server software for setting-up and having your own LeMill site. Design with and for school teachers.

Content management system that allows users Through a wiki to create an encyclopedia collaboratively written by many of its readers. The Community Portal, inside Wikipedia, is the central place to find out what's happening on Wikipedia. Learn what tasks need to be done, what groups can be joined, and get or post news about recent events or current activities. Thousands of articles in each languages, and in English, 1 million and a half.

Wikiversity is a Wikipedia sister project run by volunteers for creating OER content, for learning activities, and research projects. Wikiversity is currently (2013) available in 15 languages.


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