Using visuals in an Independent Learning course can be a great alternative to supplement your personal course content and typical course resources. Using a variety of resources to supplement (or even replace) a textbook has been proven to be the a successful way for students to learn.
Students have multiple learning styles and to accommodate these differences by using multiple formats will ensure that you’re providing the opportunity for students to be more successful in their understanding. Resources should include (and certainly not limited to) something from each of these areas: reading/writing, aural, visual, kinesthetic/tactile
Here’s a good starting point for finding documentaries with a free download from makeuseof.com, a website I review quite often for updates on web applications, cool tools and helpful tips. Another website, openculture provides a list of video collections on YouTube provided by media outlets, cultural institutions, universities and non-profits and another collection found on openculture is a list of videos provided by major universities.
Other resources include:
And of course all the networks now have some full episodes and/or snippets of their popular shows available for viewing on demand: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and PBS.