Public Learning Modules

Public Learning Modules

Below is a list of sites that provide free instructional material. You can use these modules to deliver content by incorporating them into your course or you can use them in a discussion as a way of sparking conversation around a topic.

The Khan Academy

Salman Khan started out making a few algebra videos for his cousins.  He has an amazing gift for breaking down complex problems into easy-to-understand modules.  Once he began putting his videos on YouTube they became intensely popular.  There are now more than 2,100 videos and 100 self-paced exercises and assessments covering  everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history. Salman Khan’s recent TED Talk video is well worth watching.


MERLOT is a free and open online community of resources designed primarily for faculty, staff and students of higher education from around the world to share their learning materials and  pedagogy.  MERLOT is a leading edge,  user-centered, collection of peer reviewed higher education, online learning materials, catalogued by registered members  and a set of faculty development support services.


GoCognitive is a site developed at the University of Idaho that provides free access to materials for students, educators, and researchers in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience.

Academic Earth

A user-friendly educational “ecosystem” giving internet users around the world the ability to easily find, interact with, and learn from full video courses and lectures from the world’s leading scholars.  Academic Earth’s goal is to bring the best content together in one place and create an environment in which that content is remarkably easy to use.

BBC Learning

BBC Learning makes full use of digital, interactive technology to support the learning needs of children, teenagers and adults. The website offers a wide range of interactive resources including video and audio, online activities, and content to download.

Becoming Human

Becoming Human brings together interactive multimedia, research and scholarship to promote greater understanding of the course of human evolution.

A collection of games and simulations based on Nobel Prize-awarded achievements.


BrainPOP creates animated, curriculum-based content that is ideal for both group and one-on-one settings and can be used in numerous ways, from introducting a new lesson or topic to illustrating complex subject matter to reviewing before a test.  All products are fully compatible with interactive whiteboards, learner response systems, projecors, Macs, and PCs.  No dowloading, installation or special hardware is required.

Darwin Online

The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online (or Darwin Online) is the largest and most widely consulted edition of the writings of Darwin ever published. The website contains over 99,000 pages of searchable text and 213,000 electronic images, at least one exemplar of all known Darwin publications, reproduced to the highest scholarly standards, both as searchable text and electronic images of the originals. The majority of these have been edited and annotated here for the first time with more than 4,700 original editorial notes.

Course Feed

The world’s top universities such as Stanford, MIT, Yale and Notre Dame have made courses free and open to the public. Course Feed has aggregated this learning into a website where you can study along side learners from all over the globe. Browse through hundreds of free lessons or sign up for certificates and training from the world’s top schools and learning institutions.

Pepys Diary

The Diary of Samuel Pepys is a presentation of the diaries of Samuel Pepys, the renowned 17th century diarist who lived in London, England. A new entry written by Pepys is published each day over the course of several years; 1 January 1660 was published on 1 January 2003.

DNA From the Beginning

DNA from the Beginning is “an animated primer of 75 experiments that made modern genetics.” Organized around key concepts that are explained by animation, image gallery. Video interviews, problem, biographies, and links.

Flat World Knowledge

Flat World Knowledge is committed to making higher education more affordable and accessible. The company provides students with free online access to complete, peer-reviewed textbooks, with options to purchase affordable print and digital formats, including e-books, audio books, PDF downloads and interactive study aids. Flat World’s open license and online editing platform enable professors to modify the content and create the “perfect book” for their course.

Gresham College

For over 400 years Gresham Professors have given free public lectures in the City of London. Gresham College is an independent institution, governed by a Council and with the Lord Mayor of London as its President. Sir Thomas left his estate and control of his benefaction to the City of London Corporation and the Mercers’ Company, which operate through the Joint Grand Gresham Committee. In addition to the free public lectures, the College runs occasional seminars and conferences, and provides support to initiatives by the Gresham Professors and others which seek to reinterpret the ‘new learning’ of Sir Thomas Gresham’s time in contemporary terms.

New Scientist

New Scientist had a number of interactive movies from geology to astronomy and neuroscience to ecology.

Instant Anatomy

When Dr. Robert Whittaker, retired surgeon, relearned anatomy 20 years ago he made notes and drew diagrams, which are the basis for this Instant Anatomy. Over 20 years, students have found them useful and Dr. Whittaker’s intent is to share them with all those people interested in anatomy.