Twenty-first century high education institutions will have to rely not only on adaptable physical infrastructure and qualified human resources, but also on a reliable and scalable digital infrastructure.
The Southern University System (SUS) signed a partnership Memorandum of Understanding with the California State University's MERLOT organization on April 19, 2016 for the design and deployment of Southern University's Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) Initiative, and to create the Southern University Open Online Library for Education (SUOL4Ed). MERLOT is a free and open online community and collection of teaching and learning resources designed primarily for faculty, staff and students of higher education. MERLOT's open educational services enables teachers and learners from around the world to freely share their instructional resources and pedagogy. MERLOT's library (www.merlot.org) provides a collection of peer reviewed online learning materials, including almost 5,000 free and open etextbooks, catalogued by registered MERLOT members. MERLOT also provides a wide range of faculty development and student support services.
This partnership will enable the SU System's institutions and higher education in Louisiana to create a digital infrastructure that will improves college affordability for students with free etextbooks and educational resources. Having free and immediate access to instructional resources can enable more students to enroll and succeed in more courses as they progress toward graduation in a more timely manner.
SUOL4ED will enable SUBR faculty to develop online courses and programs using free and quality Open Education Resources (OER). It will also help faculty develop educational multimedia resources and open textbooks to contribute back to the OER and Open Access (OA) global movements. This project will not only enhance SUS' eLearning infrastructure, but it will help engage other HBCUs and international partners in Africa.
Are you using free eTextbooks in your teaching or your learning? Have you created free eTextbooks? We invite you to catalog these resources in MERLOT. Your colleagues and students around the world will thank you!
First: Become a member of MERLOT (It will take about 2 minutes and it’s FREE).
Second: Fill out the online form to Contribute a Material. (It will take about 4 minutes the first time and step-by-step instructions for contributing materials (PDF) to MERLOT are available).