MERLOT - Multimedia Education Resource for Learning & Online Teaching


MERLOT (Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) is a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community of higher education institutions, industry partners, professional organizations and individuals who work together to provide users of OER (Open Educational Resource) teaching and learning materials.

The MERLOT Collection consists of more than 100,000 Learning Resources -- discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and  Content Builder webpages -- together with associated comments, and bookmark collections, all intended to enhance the teaching experience of using a learning material. In 2023, there were 197,713 Registered Members and 4,446 Member Institutions

Members of MERLOT communities are vital to its success:

  • Community members help grow the MERLOT collection by contributing materials, and adding assignments and comments.
  • Community members introduce others in the discipline to MERLOT by presenting at conferences, authoring articles about MERLOT, and encouraging others to use and contribute to MERLOT.
  • Editorial boards lead the development of MERLOT's discipline communities -- one Editorial Board for each community.
  • The MERLOT Leadership Council is comprised of Project Directors from system and campus partners, along with editors from each MERLOT Discipline Community.

Learning materials are categorized into more than 20 different material types:

  1. Animation
  2. Assessment Tool
  3. Assignment
  4. Case Study
  5. Collection
  6. Development Tool
  7. Drill and Practice
  8. ePortfolio
  9. Hybrid/Blended Course
  10. Learning Object Repository
  11. Online Course
  12. Online Course Module
  13. Open (Access) Journal
  14. Open (Access)
  15. Presentation
  16. Quiz/Test
  17. Simulation
  18. Social Networking Tool
  19. Syllabus
  20. Tutorial
  21. Workshop and Training Material

Merlot materials can be searched by discipline:


  • The MERLOT project began in 1997 when the California State University Center for Distributed Learning (CSU-CDL at developed and provided free access to MERLOT (
  • In 1998, a State Higher Education Executives Organization/American Productivity and Quality Center (SHEEO/APQC) benchmarking study on faculty development and instructional technology selected the CSU-CDL as one of six best practices centers in North America. Visitations to the CSU-CDL by higher education institutions participating in the benchmarking study resulted in interest in collaborating with the CSU. The University of Georgia System, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, University of North Carolina System, and California State University System created an informal consortium representing almost one hundred campuses; and SHEEO served as coordinator for the cooperative of the four state systems.
  • In 1999, the four systems recognized the benefits of a cooperative initiative to expand the MERLOT collections, conduct peer reviews of the digital learning materials, and add student learning assignments. Each system contributed funds plus in-kind support to develop the MERLOT software and advance the collaborative.  The CSU maintained its leadership of and responsibilities for the operation and improvement of processes and tools.
  • In January, 2000, the four systems sponsored nearly 50 faculty from the disciplines of Biology, Physics, Business, and Teacher Education (faculty from each of the four systems) to develop evaluation standards and peer review processes for online teaching-learning material.
  • In April, 2000, other systems and institutions of higher education were invited to join the cooperative.
  • In July, 2000, 23 systems and institutions of higher education had become Institutional Partners of MERLOT. Each Institutional Partner contributed $25,000 and in-kind support for eight faculty and a project director (part-time) to coordinate MERLOT activities. The CSU continued its leadership of and responsibilities for the operation and improvement of processes and tools.

Request an Edit

Have something to add or refine? Your input in this work matters greatly and we look forward to reviewing your additions

Organizations (288)

Initiatives (327)

Topics (95)