MERLOT + Content Builder = Your Own Hosted Website!

Concurrent Session 4

Brief Abstract

MERLOT is a repository of online learning materials, most of which are Open Education Resources (OER).  MERLOT has built a Web development tool, Content Builder, free for members to create their own, Web-based OER learning objects. This workshop will demonstrate how users can access MERLOT and the Content Builder to build website for instruction.


Barbra has been with MERLOT for over 20 years serving as a consultant, webmaster and for the past 12 years, Manager of Technical Services.

Extended Abstract

MERLOT ( is a repository of online learning materials, most of which are Open Education Resources (OER).  MERLOT has redesigned its Web development tool Content Builder (CB), freely available for MERLOT Members to create their own websites for instruction.   With this new version of CB, it’s easier than ever to create new websites based on templates available in the CB, or by selecting and editing Open Access (CC By) websites created by other MERLOT CB users.  CB templates include many different kinds of OERs such as course outlines/syllabi,  e-portfolio structures, lesson plans, pedagogical analyses, student reflection structures, community websites, and online course designs (tutorial, presentation, etc.). The websites created with Content Builder can be easily maintained and updated as needed.

This workshop, will teach attendees how to build (or modify existing) websites using the new MERLOT Content Builder.  Users will be able to easily design and maintain accessible and effective websites that can be used for a variety of teaching and learning purposes. 

The new CB is easy to learn and use; it can be assigned to student teams to operationalize course objectives that are part of student assignments and assessments. Websites can contain automatically-generated navigation bars, user-formatted text, imported documents, uploaded photos, and video URLs. Users can create single web page websites or easily collect multiple pages to create more robust websites containing designer-selected and CB-generated navigation bars.

The new Content Builder allows users to easily select templates, view and select CC By websites catalogued in the MERLOT repository, and download IMS-certified Common Cartridges of their Content Builder websites for use in applications that support that format.  Designers can assign Creative Commons licenses to any of their websites, can make the sites private or public, or can contribute their public sites to the MERLOT collection.

This interactive workshop will provide an overview of the new Content Builder and enable participants to quickly create their own websites. It will also demonstrate how participants to work together in teams to create websites that meet the definitions of shareable OERs. Workshop participants will acquire the skills and knowledge to create MERLOT-hosted websites needed for their online teaching and learning. Each participant must have their own device to participate in the workshop.