Become a Partner

MERLOT was created in 1997 as a repository of shareable online teaching and learning materials for individual members of the education community who wished to incorporate the learning materials in technology-based instruction. As MERLOT’s reputation grew, institutional interest in working with MERLOT also began to grow. In order to accommodate these interests, MERLOT created the MERLOT Consortium, a group of Partners who would contribute to the strategic development of the system and help to grow the community user base. Over the ensuing years, the Consortium has developed policies that define the Consortium’s structure, responsibilities, and practices. Today, the MERLOT Consortium consists of a set of Partners who contribute annual fees to sustain the system and the community. In addition to the Consortium, MERLOT is also supported by Benefactors. See the MERLOT Benefactor page for more information.

There are different ways an organization can become Partners in the MERLOT community. MERLOT recognizes partnerships with institutions of higher education, corporations, and non-profit groups.

Here is a current list of MERLOT Higher Education and Affiliate Partners.

Partner fee information can be found in our Partner Fees section below.

For more information about MERLOT partnerships contact MERLOT at

All MERLOT Partners

Higher Education Partners

Corporate Partners - For-Profit Organizations Community Partners - Non-Profit Organizations
System Partner - Multiple campus system Campus Partner - Individual College or University

Higher Education Partners

MERLOT helps Higher Education Partners to:

  1. Improve the quality of online materials and pedagogy
  2. Reduce the costs of developing and integrating technologies into academic programs
  3. Increase the speed of quality online course creation
  4. Support the diverse needs of faculty across disciplines and across a wide range of readiness to use technology
  5. Pursue and acquire grants to achieve shared goals with MERLOT.

The categories of Higher Education Partners are shown in this "Ladder of Participation."

Ladder of Participation

Each Higher Education Partner assigns a Project Director to serve as the organization's liaison to MERLOT. To help new Higher Education Partners maximize the benefitsof their participation, MERLOT has developed the first year (freshman) Partner program, in which a mentor from an existing Partner helps orient and support first year use of MERLOT. MERLOT also offers a discounted rate for the freshman year. While MERLOT primarily supports the teaching and learning community, MERLOT also focuses on higher education administrators and leaders in the Academic Support Communities program (formerly called COMPASS).

Corporate Partners (For-Profits)

Corporate Partners are for-profit organizations that support and sponsor MERLOT in a variety of ways, each particular to the needs of the organization. Examples of sponsorship include funding a presence on or within MERLOT's programs, services, and/or website to build goodwill and brand recognition. Corporate support provides the Corporate Partner with collaboration opportunities to:

  1. Conduct needs assessment and define requirements for new academic technologies 
  2. Develop and deliver technologies that serve higher education 
  3. Conduct evaluations of existing academic technologies 
  4. Develop and promote services and resources that benefit our mutual constituents 
  5. Educate leaders of higher education about the tools, services, and resources that are sold by commercial companies in ways that are acceptable to the higher education community
  6. Learn from leaders of higher education about the tools, services, and resources that they need to achieve their organization’s goals.

Community Partners (Non-Profits)

Community Partners are non-profit organizations such as professional societies and consortia, non-profit digital libraries, and government agencies. MERLOT Community Partners can: 

  1. Develop and deliver teaching and learning technology tools, products, and services for the unique needs of their organizations,
  2. Conduct training on the development, use, and evaluation of academic technologies that serve the teaching and learning needs of their community, 
  3. Develop and peer review collections of online resources; and 
  4. Pursue and acquire grants to achieve shared goals.

MERLOT encourages Community Partners to work with us in a variety of targeted projects areas. These include:

Partner Benefits

The table below outlines some of the Partner Benefits available to each of the Higher
Education Partnerships provided by MERLOT. In general, some/many of these can be
made available to Corporate and Community Partners, depending on the specific nature
of the Partnership agreed to by MERLOT and the Partner, and documented in Memoranda
of Understanding.

MERLOT has developed the MERLOT Institutional Teaching Commons – a template based customizable portal - as a Partner-only benefit that can enable Partners to infuse MERLOT services into their institutions. The portal templates are a cost-effective, Partner-only benefit that provides a web-based, institutionally contextualizable professional development center for a Partner’s own, specific organization/campus.

Institutional Teaching Commons are offered to Partners as portal template that can be used to institutionalize MERLOT’s presence at the Partner’s organization. The portals may be hosted on either MERLOT or the Partner’s servers. In either case, MERLOT provides guidance and assistance to customize and install the template, but the Partner is responsible for sustaining the content and services of the portal. For more information contact the MERLOT Webmaster at To see examples of California State University Teaching Commons, visit the MERLOT Communities page and select the Partner Communities drop down.

MERLOT recognizes Partners and provides benefits such as access to a library of materials, known as the Leadership Library. This library is strictly for members of the Leadership community which includes Editors, Editorial Board members and Project Directors. These documents are not available to the general MERLOT community. Partners can also upload materials to the Leadership Library, that only other members of the Leadership community can see during the Contribute process to MERLOT. If you are a MERLOT Partner and part of the Leadership community, you will see a link for the Leadership library.

Partners may contribute learning materials to the Leadership Library for use only by others with the same access. These materials are not discoverable by any user of MERLOT but only members identified by MERLOT. If you feel you should have access and do not, contact the MERLOT Webmaster ( See more information on the Leadership Library.

MERLOT recognizes Partners and provides benefits such as access to materials and documents that are not available to the general MERLOT community. Partners can also upload materials to MERLOT that only other Partners can see.

Partners may contribute learning materials to the MERLOT collection for use only by other Partners, at their discretion. These materials are discoverable by any user of MERLOT but accessible only by MERLOT Partners. As part of the Partner benefit, MERLOT can host documents submitted this way. If you are not a Partner, you won't have a live link to access such materials.

  1. Customized Partner Portals (Institutional Teaching Commons)
  2. Leadership Library
  3. Partner Only Materials
MERLOT PARTNER BENEFITS Campus Partner System Partner
MERLOT Members' Only materials within the MERLOT Leadership Library X X
MERLOT Marketing Materials X X
Periodic Communications for MERLOT Partners (Vineyard e-newsletter) X X
Membership on the MERLOT Leadership Council X X
Complementary registrations to the MERLOT/OLC Annual Conference 1 2
Discounted registrations to the MERLOT/OLC Annual Conference unlimited unlimited
Discounted memberships in MERLOT affiliated organizations and vendors X X
Support the integration of MERLOT into Institutional Initiatives X X
Support the integration of MERLOT into Institutional Technologies X X
Support the development of partner's Institutional Teaching Commons X X
Support the implementation of web services X X
Supporting opportunities to acquire grants X X
Customized MERLOT Home Page X X
Customized templates for an Institutional Teaching Commons (e.g. Affordable Learning Solutions) X X
Partner can create online communities with MERLOT Voices X X
Access to Partner dashboard activity reports X X
Access to Web Services – Advanced search, Contribute, Register, etc. X X
Discounted licenses available through MERLOT industry partners X X
Training on how to use MERLOT X X
Training in evaluation and peer review processes for online learning materials (Customized Grape Camp webinars) X X
Training on using MERLOT to advance institutional initiatives X X
Training on using MERLOT Content Builder to create your own OERs X X
MERLOT Technologies and Web Services fee information page


Partner Fees

System Partner:
$25k per year. Provides the Campus Partner benefits shown in the table above, but in increased numbers to accommodate all campuses in a multi-campus system.

Campus Partner:
$6.5k per year. Provides registrations and discounts to MERLOT International conference, a seat at the MERLOT Leadership table, and Partner only services and resources (MERLOT consulting, customized co-branded teaching commons, dashboard reports, communication and marketing tools, web services, faculty development materials and workshops).

Corporate and Community Partners: 
Because the needs of each of the organizations seeking to Partner with MERLOT are unique, MERLOT seeks, through a process of discussion, consultation, and collaboration, to understand those unique needs. Based on a mutual understanding of the benefits that MERLOT will provide to the organization, documented in an memorandum of understanding, MERLOT will negotiate fees appropriate to those needs. For further information, please email