Want Your Own Website? Want to Create OER? Content Builder Can Help!

Concurrent Session 7 & 8 (combined)
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

MERLOT, a repository of primarily OER for 20+ years has rebuilt their free content creation tool Content Builder. This workshop will demonstrate how to create web sites with the ability to collaborate with colleagues.  Create professional, accessible, web-based OER learning objects, websites, syllabi and so more, hosted by MERLOT.


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 (merlot.org), a repository of primarily Open Educational Resources (OER) in addition to many other functions to assist in teaching online, has been available for over 20 years. A popular feature of the MERLOT site is the web development tool Content Builder.  MERLOT recently redesigned and rebuilt Content Builder (CB) from the ground up, making it more accessible and easier to use.  CB is freely available for MERLOT Members to create their own websites for instruction, to develop their own OER, or to use it as a web-building assignment.  These are just a few examples of what MERLOT members can do with the new Content Builder.  It is also easier to create websites based on layout- or project-based templates available in CB.  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 used for a variety of teaching and learning purposes, are accessible, scalable to any device, and can be easily maintained and updated as needed, and are hosted by MERLOT.

A key feature of the new MERLOT Content Builder is the ability for multiple MERLOT members to collaborate on a website. Once you’ve created a website, you can enlist one or more MERLOT members to collaborate with you on the site. All collaborators will work on the same original site rather than separate copies. As the creator, you will always retain ownership of the site.

The new Content Builder is easy to learn and can be assigned to student teams to operationalize course objectives that are part of student assignments and assessments. Users can create single- or multi-page websites that include navigation, user-formatted text, imported documents, uploaded photos, and embedded videos. Styles such as fonts and colors can be controlled globally or just for specific sections of a page.

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

This interactive workshop will provide an overview of the new Content Builder and will teach attendees how to build (or modify existing) websites. It will also demonstrate how participants can work together in teams on a single website.. 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.