Twenty-first century higher education institutions will have to rely not only on adaptable physical infrastructure and qualified human resources, but also on a reliable and scalable digital teaching and learning infrastructure.
Dillard University (DU) signed a partnership Memorandum of Understanding with California State University's MERLOT organization on May 14, 2018 for the design and deployment of Dillard University's Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) Initiative, and to create the Dillard University Open Education Resources Gateway BLEU4Ed. Dillard University is one of five HBCUs, led and supported by Southern University, who have partnered with MERLOT and will receive a seed grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to build capacity to grow the Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) initiative at DU. 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 enable 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 access digital textbooks, catalogued by registered MERLOT members. MERLOT also provides a wide range of faculty development and student support services.
BLEU4ed promotes DAY 1 student readiness. This partnership will enable Dillard University to create a digital learning infrastructure that will improve college affordability for students with free digital textbooks and educational resources. Having free and immediate access to instructional resources, on Day 1 of the semester, can enable more students to enroll; and more students to persist and succeed as they progress toward graduation in a timelier manner.
BLEU4ed will enable DU faculty to develop digital resources for all course types, traditional, blended, hybrid and online courses, 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 DU's digital learning infrastructure, but it will help engage other HBCUs and international partners.
BLEU4ed also promotes career and technical skill attainment, stackable credentialing and lifelong learning for all DU stakeholders by providing a gateway to a free and open online library called SkillsCommons. Some examples of free courseware include business, math, and human resources; information technology training; energy industry training; and instructor/teacher training.
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).