50 Essential Web Tools to Search and Bookmark Open Courseware

January 15, 2010

If you want to become proficient in finding and bookmarking Open Courseware sites, we found fifty essential Web tools that can help you with that goal. The tools gathered here were built with faculty, students and self-learners in mind. Instead of a simple bookmarking tool, for instance, you can walk away with a tool that can help you search, collect and collaborate for even more information.

The following list is divided into categories that include search engines, directories, bookmarking services and collections. Each link within those categories is listed alphabetically for your convenience.

Search Engines

Beyond Google, these search engines offer some services you may find useful as a scholar.

  1. Boolify: This is a great search engine for beginners to use, as visuals are used to create Boolean strings. Results for a search for ‘opencourseware’ are produced real-time under the visual search engine.
  2. Carrot2: What appears to be a simplistic search engine may amaze you. Type in “opencourseware”, hit “search,” and enjoy an organized search result that includes categories.
  3. eyePlorer: Drag a term into the search box to learn more about various research topics.
  4. Google Scholar Beta: Use this search engine to find scholarly papers and journals.
  5. INFOMine: This is the search engine you need if you’re seeking scholarly resource collections in a wide variety of topics.
  6. Intute: UK universities and their partners created this free online search service with access to education and research resources.
  7. MelZoo: If you type “opencourseware” into this Meta search engine, it offers “visual previews” of search results as well as a list of results.
  8. Middlespot: Use this search engine to visually discover, collect and organize your scholarly searches with search tools such as annotations, tags and more.
  9. OCWFinder: The OpenCourseWare Finder is a search engine that looks specifically for OpenCourseWare classes by topic.
  10. Quintura: Search for ‘opencourseware’ by Web, images and video with this search engine and use the result to embed in a Web site or share it with colleagues.
  11. stHrt: Pronounced “start,” this search engine is a world into itself. Create a homepage filled with OpenCourseWare site or other sites that you need on a continuous basis.
  12. Viewzi: Use this search engine for a visual clue to various OpenCourseWare projects. Just type ‘opencourseware’ into the site to view all available resources visually.
  13. World Public Library: Use this search engine to do a full-text search of over 75,000 HTML eBooks.

Directories and Archives

Use these directories to discover new topics and resources.

  1. 236 Open Courseware Collections, Podcasts, and Videos: While some links might prove outdated on this directory, it still provides one of the most comprehensive lists of open courseware around.
  2. A World of Ideas: This site catalogs video and audio lectures on academic topics according to discipline, theoretician and topic.
  3. Archive Grid: Thousands of libraries, museums, and archives have contributed nearly a million collection descriptions to this site.
  4. Directory of Open Access Journals: This service covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals.
  5. Fathom: Use this source for online learning. Provided by Columbia University, it offers a complete range of free content developed for Fathom by member institutions.
  6. iBerry: While this site provides an academic directory, it also focuses on networks that hope to bring inexpensive education to anyone in the world.
  7. Internet Archive: Scholars can find archived Web sites, moving images, texts, audios and more at this useful site.
  8. Open Courseware Consortium: Find all institutions that are members or who cooperate with the OpenCourseWare Consortium.
  9. Self Made Scholar: This portion of the Self Made Scholar site offers a directory of all OpenCourseWare resources.
  10. Stingy Scholar’s University Podcasts, Webcasts & OCWs: This mashup shows a map of all university podcasts, Webcasts and OCWs.

Social Bookmarking Services

The following bookmarking services focus on services beyond the mere collection of URLs. Look for note-taking abilities and collaboration capabilities.

  1. 2Collab: Share, connect and discuss relevant research with peers with this collaboration and bookmarking tool.
  2. BlogMarks: BlogMarks is a collaborative link management project based on sharing and key-word tagging.
  3. diigo: Save links and build a personal learning network at the same time. This is a powerful tool that also allows users to annotate, archive and organize your online searches.
  4. Faves: This is a social bookmarking service that allows you to collaborate and find people and topic groups.
  5. gl*am: This service not only bookmarks URLs for you, it can shorten those URLs, store an inifinit amount of those URLs into one link group, and allows you to take notes and share those links.
  6. Gnolia: This is a re-launched site based upon the old Magnolia. For now, membership is by invitation only with former members given priority.
  7. Netvouz: Organize your bookmarks in folders and tag each bookmark with keywords. Access them quickly on your own personalized bookmarks page.
  8. Only2Clicks: This bookmarking site is both useful and intriguing, as it contains numerous features that may become addicting.
  9. ShareTabs: Store, organize and share links as tabs. Open one tab to reveal all links within that tab.
  10. Sitemark: Save, organize, share and discover Web sites with this tool.
  11. Tizmos: With Tizmos, you can open your browser on any computer, go to Tizmos.com and see the sites you usually check and get to them easily.
  12. Viewista: This bookmarking tool actually helps you build a personal search engine. Collect URLs and view them as a slide show or in various formats.
  13. Web2Wave: Create an account to gather thematic URLs, attach notes and transmit or share your collections with colleagues.


If all else fails, use the following links to go straight to the sources of some top-level OpenCourseWare sites. Be sure to bookmark them so you can return to them at any time.

  1. Capilano University OpenCourseWare: This site offers online free courses for faculty, students and self-learners.
  2. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative: This set of OpenCourseWare courses is offered by Carnegie Mellon.
  3. Center for the Study of the Public Domain: This set of videos, podcasts, lectures and modules is offered by Duke Law.
  4. Columbia Interactive: This is your gateway to selected electronic learning resources developed at Columbia University.
  5. Gresham College: Enjoy a series of lectures on various topics offered by Gresham College.
  6. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: This site carries Johns Hopkins’ most popular courses on health, disease and disease prevention.
  7. MIT OpenCourseWare: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the originator for OpenCourseWare, offers more online free classes than any other university or college.
  8. Notre Dame OpenCourseWare: Notre Dame offers a growing resource of free courses for faculty, students and self-learners.
  9. Open Michigan: This is a University of Michigan initiative to create and share knowledge, resources, and research with the global learning community.
  10. Open University: The OpenLearn Web site offers free access to Open University course materials.
  11. Open UW: Enjoy these free online courses from the University of Washington.
  12. Tufts OpenCourseWare: Tufts shares medical and online resources with a global community through courses and materials.
  13. UCIrvine: The University of California, Irvine, offers a continually growing resource of free courses online.
  14. Utah State OpenCourseWare: Utah State OpenCourseWare is a collection of educational material used in our formal campus courses.

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