MERLOT Content Builder III: Developing Web-based OERs for the 21st Century

Workshop Session 1

Brief Abstract

This workshop will show MERLOT’s redesigned accessible web development tool, Content Builder. It is now integrated with the MERLOT repository, making it easier than ever for instructional designers, instructors, and students to create syllabi,  accessible online teaching and learning websites and so much more!


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’s third generation teaching and learning website creator, Content Builder (CB) is a website development tool, integrated into MERLOT (  With this new and redesigned version of CB, it’s easier than ever to create brand new websites from scratch, based on templates provided by MERLOT CB, or by selecting and editing Open Access (CC By) websites created by other MERLOT Content Builder 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.).

In this workshop, attendees will learn to build (or modify existing) websites using the all-new MERLOT Content Builder.  This new version allows users to easily design accessible, effective, and pleasing 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, and uploaded photos and video URLs. Websites can be a single web page, or users can easily collect multiple pages to create more robust websites containing designer-selected and CB-generated navigation bars.

The all-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 start creating their own websites. It will also enable 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.