:async: ICT Literacy through MERLOT: A Global Community OER Repository

Author: Lesley Farmer
Institution: California State University Long Beach
Country: United States

Topic: Global Collaboration, Strategies, & Policies in Open Education
Sector: Higher Education
UNESCO Area of Focus: Building capacity
Session Format: Presentation

Abstract

While technology has become more prevalent, its effective use, particularly in academic and workplace settings, is vastly uneven. Formal instruction by knowledgeable instructors is required. However, those instructors themselves need to be ICT literate, and have the administrative infrastructure and support to implement such learning experiences. MERLOT exemplifies the potential of community-based OER sustainability, supported by ICT literacy. MERLOT stands for Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching. Established by the California State University (CSU) system, MERLOT is a community-built repository of over 80,000 learning objects, with an emphasis on higher education OERs. MERLOT offers several ways to locate relevant and developmentally appropriate learning objects. Users can also browse the bookmark collection and learning exercises. MERLOT offers a free membership, which enables one to comment on existing learning objects and contribute materials to the collection; create bookmark collections, learning exercises, and course portfolios; and build course websites. MERLOT members can also become reviewers, join a community, and become part of a speakers’ bureau. Currently, MERLOT has members in 185 countries. When the California State University (CSU) system’s Chancellor’s Office realized the need to address information literacy across the 23 campuses in a concerted and coordinated manner, CSU’s ICT Literacy Project used MERLOT as its root source of information, communication, support, and community-building. The CSU ICT Literacy Project has used several strategies for integrating ICT literacy into the curriculum in a systematic way. ICT literacy academic support community in the CSU includes discipline faculty, library faculty, administrators and other stakeholders who share a common interest in enhancing the quality of teaching and learning for CSU students so that they will graduate with the necessary critical ICT knowledge, skills and dispositions to be successful information consumers and producers. To that end, the ICT Literacy community is an open-ended learning environment includes resources, services, and communication. This session explains MERLOT, its ICT Literacy Project, and ways to incorporate ICT literacy OERs into higher education.

Keywords

ICT literacy, repository, collaboration

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