Take a Sip of MERLOT and Save Your Students Money

Concurrent Session 5

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Students today struggle with the cost of college textbooks.  Join us to learn how MERLOT can help you develop low cost or zero-cost classes for your students.  Find out how to participate in the MERLOT community, create your own OER (open educational resources), and extend your professional development network.


Jane Moore is the Director of MERLOT Editorial and Professional Development Services. She also serves as Editor for MERLOT's Teacher Education Board. Jane has taught online since 2002, and after 27 years in the elementary classroom and 16 years in higher education full time, has embraced online learning with a great deal of enthusiasm.
Angela Gunder serves as Director of Instructional Design and Curriculum Development for the Office of Digital Learning at The University of Arizona. Angela came into instructional design rather circuitously, helming large-scale site designs as webmaster for The City College of New York, the honors college at ASU, and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA).  Her over fifteen year career as a designer for higher education informs her instructional design practice, where she leverages her expertise in usability, visual communication, programming, and standards-based online learning. Angela holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Fine Art from Fordham University, and a M.Ed. in Education Technology from Arizona State University.  Prior to her position at UA, she was a member of NOVA’s instructional design team, supporting over 23,000 students in 550 unique courses.   Angela is an Associate Editor for the Teacher Education Board of MERLOT, and a Quality Matters certified peer reviewer and online facilitator.  Her research interests include technology for second language acquisition, open educational resources, and emerging technology to promote digital literacy. A voracious culinary nerd, Angela spends her free time composing, cooking and photographing original recipes for her food blog.

Extended Abstract

Studies have shown that today's students struggle with college costs.  "Thirty percent of survey respondents said they had forgone a trip home to see family, 43 percent said they skipped meals, 31 percent registered for fewer classes and 69 percent worked a job during the school year -- all to save money for books" (Whitford, 2018).  Faculty and students both need access to learning materials that are affordable or free.  MERLOT and Cool4Ed are two ways to find those materials and create courses that are low to zero costs for students.  In this session we will present an introduction MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) and Cool4Ed (California Open Online Library for Education).  Additionally, we will demonstrate how to use these resources to develop low to zero cost classes.  We will also share ways in which educators can participate in MERLOT by becoming reviewers, creating their own materials using the MERLOT Content Builder, and participating in MERLOT boards and communities.  Take a sip of MERLOT and save your students money!


Whitford, E. (2018, July 26). Textbook trade-offs.  Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/07/26/students-sacrifice-meals-and-trips-home-pay-textbooks