Merlot 3 07

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					“University faculties are under increasing pressure to do
more with less. They are expected to continuously improve
educational experiences to more students at less expense.
Without assistance, the pressures of increasing demands
and decreasing resources may prove too great to maintain a
high quality learning environment. Merlot is an online
repository of e-Learning objects designed to enable a broad
base of faculty to provide high quality, online material to
enhance college level learning.”
---from George P Schell, University of North Carolina and Max Burns, Georgia Southern University,
MUSE e-Service Journal.
•“Find peer reviewed online teaching
and learning materials.
•Share advice and expertise about
education with expert colleagues.
•Be recognized for your contributions
to quality education.”
                ---from the merlot website.

     ***Information for this presentation was taken directly
      from the Merlot website:, the
   Sloan website, and various other academic websites…as
          listed in the “links” slide of this presentation.
• MERLOT is a leading edge, user-
  centered, searchable collection of peer
  reviewed, higher education, online
  learning materials created by registered
  members, and a set of faculty
  development support services.

• MERLOT's vision is to be a premiere
  online community where faculty, staff, and
  students from around the world share their
  learning materials and pedagogy.
The organization of MERLOT consists of a national
  network of online discipline communities. Within each
  discipline, MERLOT faculty expert reviewers have
  formed panels that select and evaluate the learning
  materials. Each panel is in the process of:

•   developing professional standards for online learning materials,
•   engaging in peer review processes similar to those used for
•   scholarly works, and
•   providing a mechanism to validate and share high quality works.
•   Also, to assess usability and to evaluate effectiveness, user
    comments from faculty, students, and other members can be added.

                ---Sloan Consortium Review
              History of Merlot
• Merlot started in 1997 through the Califorinia
  State University (CSU). It is a derivative of an
  NSF funded project created through CSU’s
  Center for Distributed Learning (CDL).

             (The Educational Object Economy
      Foundation (EOE), also an NSF effort,
      might be considered to be a forerunner of Merlot.)
            History of Merlot
• Collaboration with six other state practice
  centers with the SCU/CDL, selected for
  excellence in faculty development and
  instructional technology, created a consortium,
  which created the base of Merlot.

• CSU/CDL continues to proved the core
  operational products and services for the digital
  collection, user-interface, and peer review
    Why would faculty be interested in
• While most faculty do not have time to develop online
  material, they also do not want to use a “course in a
  box”: a pre-packaged course.

• Merlot provides a readily searchable tool to find and
  incorporate appropriate peer-reviewed learning materials
  into a course or syllabus.

•   It also provides a way for faculty to offer their own
    materials for use by other people in their field.
    Why would faculty be interested?

• Merlot also contains profiles of its members. The
  Member Directory contains contact information,
  academic areas of expertise, and an ePortfolio
  of contributions.

• Members can also create and annotate personal
  collections of materials they find, enabling them
  to build elements of teaching and course
  ePortfolios easily.
As a Member you can:

•   Contribute learning materials
•   Create a personal collection
•   Develop a personal profile
•   Share your online expertise
•   Receive peer recognition
   Faculty Development Support
• Building and sustaining online academic

• Online learning initiatives and policies

• Building, organizing, reviewing, and
  developing applications of online teaching-
  learning materials
• MERLOT International Conference,
• Journal of Online Learning and Teaching
• Member publications
• News
• website
             The Merlot Repository
• The MERLOT repository is learning materials,
  assignments and comments to enhance the teaching
  experience of an exercise.

• The learning materials are categorized into 11 different
  material types. A large selection of materials in MERLOT
  also have assignments and comments attached to them.

• It is possible to add any material to a personal collection,
  to make organizing your teaching materials for each of
  your courses.

• Snapshots have also been created for some materials to
  provide more depth to a material.
              Material Types
•   Simulation
•   Animation
•   Tutorial
•   Drill and Practice
•   Quiz/Test
•   Lecture/Presentation
•   Case Study
•   Collection
•   Reference Material
        How to Contribute to Merlot
•       Become a member.

•       Submit material as a member.

•       Follow the steps:
    –      You can contribute material from the index page (as a member) or from your
           profile page. Once the material is submitted, it will be reviewed.

    –      Note that you can create (a) Personal Collection(s) for your material.

•       Questions: Go to the FAQs page:

•       Your material is instantly online and the peer review board is notified that
        your material needs to be reviewed. You can edit the material at any
        time, but must notify the webmaster to delete it.
             Searching Merlot
• Go to the index page
•   Browse the collection
•   Choose your category
•   Choose your sub-category, or sort
•   Go to Material
How peer review improves faculty satisfaction:
  An important aspect of faculty satisfaction is that faculty members,
  not administrators, have oversight of online materials and
  programming quality. The Multimedia Educational Resource for
  Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT)peer reviews are designed
  to help faculty determine the quality of the learning materials in the
  MERLOT catalog and their relevance and applicability to the
  courses they teach. The MERLOT peer review process for
  evaluating teaching-learning materials follows a model of peer
  review of scholarship, offering two benefits related to faculty

1) Faculty can have their online work viewed as serious scholarship.

2) Faculty have a source of high-quality online materials and resources
   that meet the quality standards of their disciplines.

                ---Sloan Consortium
MERLOT also conducts a variety of assessments
 of their tools and processes. Information from an
 evaluation of the peer review process conducted
 in 2001 by the Center for Usability in Design and
 Assessment (CUDA) of CSU Long Beach
 provided the basis for the improvement of the

Currently, CUDA is performing content analyses of
 the posted reviews to help the editorial board to
 improve the informative reviews.
                      ---Sloan Consortium
• Estimated costs associated with this practice:
  This service is offered free through the MERLOT site to the larger
  academic community, making duplication by other institutions
  unnecessary. There is no cost to individuals or institutions who want
  to use the site either to have materials reviewed or to access
  reviews and materials.

• Relation to other pillars:
  Student satisfaction and learning effectiveness: Peer review of
  teaching materials and resources contributes to the overall quality of
  online programming. This will be reflected in increased student
  satisfaction and positive student learning outcomes.

• Cost effectiveness: The MERLOT project also contributes to cost-
  effectiveness since it makes faculty-developed products for teaching
  and learning available for sharing through the Internet.

                ---Sloan Consortium
      The issue of Sustainability
• Open Source entities often encounter sustainability issues. Merlot
  has built a model to sustain itself which is different than its

• MERLOT's business model is built primarily around partnerships
  with organizations that leverage one another's resources. Scaffolded
  partners (see following diagram) can contribute from $25000 to
  $6500 abd everyone contributes in-kind.

• The CSU System continues to take the lead responsibility for the
  management, planning, and operation of MERLOT's processes and

• Sustainability is the hot topic of many conferences – and new
  models are being explored on an ongoing basis. Merlot is now over
  7 years old and is considered to be robust.
       Categories of Activity
•    Individual Members
•    Institutional Partners
•    Corporate Partners
•    Editorial Boards
• Faculty development support services

     ***Note that Membership is Free.
--Flora McMartin Journal of Digital
Information, Volume 5 Issue 3
          A Few Links to other University and Higher
           Education Consortium Reviews of Merlot
E-Service Journal: Project MUSE

Campus Technology

St. Petersburg College Review –

Bowdoin Review

Dartmouth Review

AACE Review

Temple Review
                           More links
Jodi Review

Sustainable Issues: A presentation from
 Rice University

What works and what lasts: An Essay
             Some Questions to Consider…

• If you try using Merlot’s resources, here are some
  questions about which we would be interested in hearing
  your impressions :
   – How up-to-date/well-maintaineddo you find the content?
   – Do you find the content intuitive and easy-to-use?
   – Do you find the “package” or “skin” appropriate and relative?
   – How did you use the content?
   – Did you use the content “as is” or did you find yourself adding a
     good deal of “customizing”?
   – What was the students’ feedback about the content?
   – Overall, did you find this content useful?
If you contribute or have contributed to
   Merlot, we would be interested in hearing
   about your impressions and experience.
                        Contact Information

Greg Reihman, Ph.D.
Director, Faculty Development
370aFairchild Martindate

Johanna Brams
Instructional Technologist
473 Maginnes #9

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