Guide | Using OER Content
Last month, we posted about MERLOT – the mega-OER site. In this post, we are taking an example to guide you through how you can use some of the resources available on MERLOT.
We’ll look at DNA, as the example topic, but using the guide, you can search for and use learning materials for any subject. This is a guide on how to make use of the resources on MERLOT – how best to implement it in the classroom, we leave up to you. Each classroom is different, and the teacher knows best what works.
Here are a few simple steps to find and use resources from MERLOT. The entire process is also available as a slideshow at the end of the post.
- Start by visiting http://www.merlot.org/. The home page lists various learning materials organised by subject and collections. You will find learning materials, exercises, animations, videos and various other resources that you could use in the classroom or for lesson planning. You do not need to register to use this site. Also, all resources are free to use. Use the search field on the top to search for the kind of resource you are looking for. In this example, we will use DNA.
- The site will display a list of resources related to your search. The first result is highly rated, as well as an “Editors Choice.” This is a good place to start. Select the “DNA from the Beginning” learning material, to see more details about about it.
- Details of the material are displayed. You can see that this material is a simulation, and some detailed description from the provider. Average rating and comments are displayed on the right sidebar. You can click Peer Reviews or Comments to see what others are saying about this. For now, let’s launch the material and see what it contains. Click “Go to Material”
- The Learning Material will launch in a new window. This material is organised in three categories. Not all materials will be in the same format. If you choose a different Learning Material, the layout will be different.
- You can browse the various categories (click the buttons to see a list of topics) and the topics listed under these categories. In this example, we’ll look at “Classical Genetics”. Click that tab, and select the seventh topic – “All cells arise from pre-existing cells”
- The Learning Material is organised in different formats – Concept, Animation, Gallery, Video etc. If your class uses a projector or an interactive whiteboard, you can display this content directly to all students, or use the material and create activities for presentation. For example, you can print out a few copies of the images in the gallery and ask a group of students to label the images.