Access Open Educational Resources at CosmoLearning
Finding free resources for your course can be tough, especially if you’re unsure where to look. Even if you do have sources in mind, you may have difficulty finding the right content—many of these sites contain useful materials but may not be structured for educational use. Built with the educator and learner in mind, CosmoLearning (CL) is a “universal portal for education” that collects open educational resources from institutions like MIT, Yale, and Harvard. With the goal of providing free education to all, CL offers a user-friendly interface and intuitive search features.
CL’s Mission Statement: To collect educational and cultural resources to create a free online school, empowering people with access to a world-class education at no cost.
Launched By Two (Really Smart) Teenagers
In 2006, CL was created by two siblings—ages 12 and 15—who wanted to improve their own education. After collecting numerous resources from sites (like YouTube) for their own use, the siblings developed the CL site where they enable other students and instructors to access the same materials through an easy-to-use interface. Read more about CL and its creators.
Why Use CL’s Free Resources?
CL’s open resources benefit instructors by
- providing free access to high-quality content that enriches learning environments.
- saving time spent creating course materials that someone else has already developed.
CL’s open resources benefit students by
- revealing new, diverse perspectives on course topics from credible sources.
- helping save money spent on expensive course materials.
Types of Open Resources CL Offers
(And how you easily access them)
CL collects course materials in several formats: Courses—search from over 500 courses comprised of video lectures Videos—link to or embed in your course any of CL’s 1,348 videos Images—choose from 1,342 images to help bring course content to life Documentaries—access 1,794 documentaries covering a wide-range of topics Books—access 663 “books,” like poems, songs, and short stories from well-known authors
Search by Subject
Thanks to CL’s subject category, you can search for these materials from over thirty-five academic subjects (ranging from astronomy to economics to math) and from seven extracurricular subjects (like dance, film, and sports). The subject category is available directly on CL’s homepage for you to quickly access.
Search by Course Topics
CL lets you search for course topics or key terms by using the search bar located at the top of the site. For each resources format listed above, you can filter search results by specific criteria, such as top rated, recently added, and contributing university.
Ideas for Using CL’s Open Educational Resources
- Freshman organic chemistry course—link to videos provided by Yale as a way to offer students supplemental instruction. These videos are quality classroom lectures and have closed captioning. Each video has its own URL, allowing you to easily link to (or embed in) the appropriate modules of your course.
- World history course—link to the last known picture of Anastasia Romanov. The image collection contains a total of twelve pictures of the Romanovs. Added to your course, these images would allow students to put faces to historical figures.
- American literature—link to this documentary on Huckleberry Finn, created by The Learning Channel. This resource provides students background information and literary criticism on the novel.
How do you use open educational resources in your course? More importantly, how do you locate quality resources? We would love for you to share your ideas in the comments section!