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Program for Affordable Learning Materials (PALM): Faculty Resources

Free & Low Cost Resources


Browse the CSU’s MERLOT Collection of over 40,000 free course materials.

Search for an Open Education Resource

Other Searches in MERLOT
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Browse the category index.


  • Coursera contains over 800 classes from dozens of universities that are available for free
  • Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has an aggregated search of digitized library collections across the nation
  • DSpace for the California State University System is an open access digital repository for the work of California State University scholars
  • eScholarship @ University of California is an open access digital repository for the work of University of California scholars
  • Internet Archive provides access to born-digital and digitized texts, audio, video and software. It also contains the Wayback Machine, which provides cached websites from over the years
  • Khan Academy has a library of videos and assessments about a variety of topics
  • OER Commons contains a library of open education resources, which are searchable by subject, grade level, and resource type
  • Online Archive of California (OAC) contains publicly-available, digitized primary resources collections from over 200 institutions through California
  • Open Access Directory (OAD) contains comprehensive and up-to-date information about Open Access
  • Public Library of Science (PLOS) contains numerous articles and resources on various science topics. All of the resources on the site are free to use with proper attribution to the author(s).
  • World Library of Science is a collaboration of UNESCO, Roche, and Nature Publishing Group, the World Library of Science aims " to make science learning accessible to students everywhere in the world." The site contains a variety of resources, including articles, videos, ebooks, and tools to create ebooks.

Make Your Class More Affordable

Tips for Making your class More Affordable

  1. Find out if your textbook is already a part of our eBook collection
  2. Is your textbook a collection of articles? Check if they are already available through the Library
  3. Check to see if your current textbook is already a part of the CSU Rent Digital Program
  4. Submit textbook requests to the University Bookstore as early as possible. With advance notice, the Bookstore can get better deals, and more used copies.
  5. if a textbook has not changed much between editions, consider the older edition-- they are usually available at deep discounts.
  6. If you are only using a small portion of a text, you may be able to distribute it to your class for free. Please see Fair Use and the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries
  7. Use Moodle. Moodle has tools to upload readings, as well as to create learning materials. Furthermore, learning materials created in Moodle can be reused in future classes.

The University Library has licenses to thousands of eBooks and online journal articles. Also, utilize your department librarian. We are here to help!

For More Information? Please email PALM for assistance. 

For questions regarding Moodle please go to CETL's Moodle Support site for more information.

Free & Low-Cost Textbooks

Search the Directory of Open Access Books for over 2400 peer-reviewed books.


 CSU students have acess to course materials in a digital format at a 60% or more discount off of the hard copy publisher edition's price. Partners may have selected titles available or all titles available via Rent Digital.


Search the Free ebooks by Project Gutenberg.


Links to more Open Access Textbooks:

Cool4ed eTextbook Peer Review Summaries

To aid you in your search for quality, peer-reviewed textbooks we have compiled brief summaries of textbook reviews from other local college professors. Links to the textbook evaluation summaries can be found below separated by class.

More detailed reviews can be found Cool4Ed Reviews.

Free & Low Cost Learning Materials


Cal State LA Resources

Moodle is CSULA's Learning Management System (LMS). Moodle allows professors to post readings, create tutorials, and more.

 ITS provides Cal State LA faculty and students with free or reduced-cost software that they can download to their personal computers. Titles include Wolfram Mathematica, Camtasia, Autodesk, and Adobe Creative Cloud. For an updated list of software for students, please visit ITS Study-at-home Software. For a list of software for faculty, please visit ITS Work-at-home Software. is a video library that contains 2,850 video courses on various subjects; including Accounting, Computer Skills, Education, Marrketing and Web Design. Videos can be watched from your computer, tablet or mobile device. Certificates of completion are available at the end of a video course.


 The Cal State LA Bookstore supports FacultyEnlight™, which was created to make it easier for you to research, discuss, discover, and adopt learning materials. Check out their page on Affordability.

For more information on Cal State LA's policies on textbook adoption, check out Textbook and Course Material Adoption Guidelines.

Create Your Own Learning Materials

  • AcademicPub is a tool for creating course packs. Students can purchase paper or electronic versions of the course packs
  • Camtasia Studio is a video screen capture software that supports audio narration, subtitles and video editing. This software is available for free to CSULA faculty and staff
  • MERLOT Content Builder is part of the CSU's Merlot II, Merlot Content Builder provides templates and tools for creating websites, which can contain text, documents, videos and more. For more information, Visit Merlot's Authoring Help site.
  • Pachyderm is an easy-to-use multimedia authoring tool. Designed for people who have little or no multimedia authoring experience. Pachyderm is accessed through a web browser and is as easy to use as filling out a webform. CDL hosts an instance of Pachyderm for use by CSU Faculty, Staff, and Students
  • SoftChalk is an authoring tool that combines files (such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel) with web resources (such as videos, online textbooks) to create web-based modules. These modules can then be integrated into Moodle. Offered at a special price to CSU faculty and staff.


Open Access Journals

Open Access Journals

Search the Directory of Open Access Journals for over 9000 peer-reviewed Journals.


Links to more Open Access Journals

John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300