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Making Use Of The Merlot Database

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Tricks of the Trade for Teaching I

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.910.1 - 10.910.7



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Paper Authors

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Rassa Rassai

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Mensah Patrick

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Jean-Pierre Bayard

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Valerie Young

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Joseph Tront

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Edward Perry

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Making Use of the MERLOT Database Valerie Young, Edward Perry, Patrick Mensah, Jean-Pierre Bayard, Rassa Rassai, and Joseph Tront Ohio University / University of Memphis / Southern University and A&M College / California State University – Sacramento / Northern Virginia Community College – Alexandria / Virginia Tech

Abstract The Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) database allows engineering educators to use online, interactive instructional modules in their courses without investing excessive time to develop them, search for them, or screen them for suitability. MERLOT provides two categories of useful tools for new (and old) engineering educators. First, MERLOT provides links to free, public domain, online learning objects for engineering coursework in a variety of disciplines. These learning objects include course notes, diagrams, tutorial programs, demonstration and interactive applets, and even online mini-courses. Along with the link to the learning object, MERLOT provides a description of the content and, often, sample assignments demonstrating methods for incorporating it into courses. Second, MERLOT provides links to free, public domain, online pedagogical tools such as learning preferences surveys and guidance on constructing rubrics, writing course outcomes, and planning learning activities at all levels from Knowledge and Application to Synthesis and Evaluation. MERLOT has two advantages over most search engines and online teaching databases. (1) MERLOT is focused on post-secondary education. (2) MERLOT learning objects and pedagogical tools are peer-reviewed.

This paper is intended to demonstrate how to browse and search the educational resources currently available in the MERLOT database and explain how the peer review system screens educational resources for ease-of-use and technical content. It includes examples of how online learning objects can be incorporated into engineering courses, and of strategies to help engineering educators develop learning activities for their own courses that take advantage of MERLOT resources. For those who invest the time to develop online resources, MERLOT provides independent peer review to help document the value of these contributions in the promotion and tenure process. This paper encourages engineering educators to become members of the MERLOT community, add resources to the database, and act as peer-reviewers.

What is MERLOT? The Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) database is essentially a catalog of on-line tools for teaching and learning. The tools, or “learning objects”, are not owned by MERLOT and do not reside on MERLOT computers. MERLOT catalogs these learning objects by subject area, provides links to them, and provides descriptions and peer reviews that can (1) help an instructor decide whether a learning object will help students achieve a particular learning objective, (2) give an instructor ideas for different ways to approach a particular learning objective, and (3) provide documentation of the contribution of a learning object to the scholarship of teaching. The MERLOT url is, Figure 1.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Rassai, R., & Patrick, M., & Bayard, J., & Young, V., & Tront, J., & Perry, E. (2005, June), Making Use Of The Merlot Database Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15009

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015