2010 (01) September »
Tools and Treasures from the Web: MERLOT: A Community of Learning Resources
Author: Anne-Marie Armstrong
Search, browse and find instructional materials in MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching), a web site (http://www.merlot.org) where faculty from around the world can share teaching and learning materials and pedagogies. You can save materials and ideas in a Personal Collections area on the MERLOT web site, or you can download to your computer. Materials are posted following MERLOT’s peer review process that includes examination of potential effectiveness for teaching and learning and ease of use. Many of the activities and teacher resources are easily adaptable and all have been tested and proven in higher education classes.
To use MERLOT, first choose your content area from list of disciplines. Then you can proceed to the learning materials section for that discipline. You can also browse other disciplines for ideas. And if you have something you want to share, you can submit your own materials for peer review and possible publication.
For example, under Psychology you can check out this animated tutorial which won an Editor’s Choice award.
The overview for each item contains the type of material, subject matter, features, target student population and learning goals. Frequently it also contains recommended uses, prerequisite knowledge and technical requirements. MERLOT materials include simulation, animation, tutorial, drill and practice, quiz/test, lecture/presentation, case study, collection and reference materials.
In another example, you might want to post a link in your Blackboard course site to this information literacy game that gives your students tips on using libraries and web sites.
In some disciplines, such as Business, MERLOT subdivides the learning materials into many topics. For example, categories, such as accounting, economics, management, and coaching are listed in the Business discipline. Once you are on the page for your particular category, you can see how others in your profession have rated the materials. You can find assignments, case studies, research collections, interactive learning inventories and much more. Most case studies will contain worksheets, evaluation components and supportive materials. The Cameron Balloons Virtual Factory is a good example.
As you can see, there’s something for everyone on MERLOT! Take a look for yourself and see how you might introduce new materials and/or activities into your own teaching.