Another important step in the march toward reducing the cost of textbooks for Mason students has been achieved with the national release of a new search tool by the Mason Libraries. The Mason Open Educational Resources Metafinder (MOM) greatly simplifies the discovery process for existing Open Educational Resources (OER).
Created by Wally Grotophorst, Associate University Librarian for Digital Programs and Systems at Mason, the new OER Metafinder has been described by some as “the Google for Open Educational Resources.” Just a few months after its release, there are already more than 170 libraries, colleges and universities across North America linking directly to the MOM to help their faculty locate useful learning materials (https://publishing.gmu.edu/whos-using-the-mason-oer-metafinder/). Reflecting this national buzz, a recent Inside HigherEd article on the difficulty of finding OER materials recognized the Mason OER Metafinder as the “new kid on the block” that “yields more diverse results.” (https://insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2018/01/10/finding-oer-remains-challenging-solutions-abound).
Prior to the release of the MOM, discovery of open educational content began with a tedious dive in and out of open educational content silos. So many different collections, wildly different interfaces, no standard metadata – any and all conspiring to drain the educator’s enthusiasm for open educational resources. The Mason OER Metafinder breaks this paradigm by simultaneously searching in real-time across sixteen different OER sites, presenting the de-duplicated and ranked results drawn from these sites in a single, modern, easy-to-understand interface. As the Metafinder’s creator, Wally Grotophorst has observed, “What I keep hearing from the many colleges and universities using MOM is how it has opened up their discussions with their own faculty about the availability and quality of open resources. MOM shows in minutes results that once took hours of hit and miss searching to discover.”