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How to find free, interactive resources for your courses

With a nearly limitless, constantly evolving supply of information available on the web, where can instructors find free, interactive resources to complement their courses?

John Shank’s (2014) book Interactive Open Educational Resources offers many resources and starting points for interested instructors. It provides background on the ways in which Interactive Learning Materials (ILMs for short) can be used to support course learning outcomes, ultimately fostering students’ learning. ILMs take multiple forms (e.g. interactive multimedia modules, exercises and simulations), and are developed to ensure that students engage actively with the subject matter.

This book guides instructors in finding, incorporating and assessing ILMs and students’ learning, given their existing teaching approaches and course materials. Major online materials repositories are shared (see pp. 37-8 for starters), including MerlotWisconsin Online, the Open Educational Resources Commons, and the National Science Digital Library, among many others. Further, helpful search strategies (chapter 3) and selection strategies (chapter 8) are provided to help instructors locate the materials that are most relevant to their course and topic. The last chapters look at ways of integrating such resources within the university’s Learning Management System (myCourses at McGill), and explore the ways in which ILMs can support Chickering and Gamson’s Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.

This e-book is available through the McGill library. The online format and detailed, hyperlinked table of contents make for efficient perusing.

Have you ever used ILMs in your courses? If so, what worked well, and what advice would you have for other instructors? If not, would you be interested in trying to incorporate some? What questions would you have?

3 comments on “How to find free, interactive resources for your courses

  1. $42 for a 196 pages sponsored paperback about “Open Educational Resources”. Am I the only one who finds this ironic?

    • Hi Eric,
      Thanks – one of the reasons I wrote about the topic of OER was to encourage conversation, and you make a fair point. While the book is available via a number of libraries, I included links in my post to some of the resources it refers to so that anyone with internet access can check out those resources directly. Do you have some suggestions of other, truly open online resources?

  2. Pingback: 2014 Week 49 in Review | D’Arcy Norman dot net

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