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Peer Review For Online Learning Objects Via Merlot

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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

ChE Department and Faculty Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.994.1 - 10.994.6



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Paper Authors

author page

Valerie Young

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

Peer Review for Online Learning Objects via MERLOT Valerie L. Young Ohio University

Abstract With the rapid advances in computer technology and software over the past 10 years, it has become increasingly attractive from a pedagogical viewpoint to develop computer-based simulations and tutorials to allow our students to explore and learn chemical engineering principles. However, development of such “learning objects” can be given short shrift when professional contributions are evaluated, partly because they typically have little impact outside the class for which they are developed, and partly because professional review committees seldom feel they have a basis for evaluating the quality of the contribution. In contrast, professional review committees are able to rely on peer review of proposals and journal publications when evaluating the quality of a faculty member’s contributions in technical research. For faculty who invest time and effort to develop learning objects because they feel it is “the right thing to do”, it would be pleasant to have a mechanism for broad dissemination and peer review of these contributions. This is one step to increase the respect for teaching as research and research on learning in engineering programs.

The Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT, is a database of educational resources, primarily for post-secondary education. It includes both discipline-specific resources (e.g., demonstrations, tutorials, on-line experiments, course notes) and more general resources for educational research and improvement (e.g., guidelines for writing and assessing student learning outcomes). Although other databases exist, MERLOT is unusual because it includes a system for peer review. Editorial boards assign objects already in the database to reviewers with relevant technical expertise. Reviewers’ comments on technical content, ease of use, and educational potential are then displayed in the database along with the link to the learning object as well as suggestions for how to incorporate the learning object into a course. The MERLOT engineering editorial board is actively seeking chemical engineering learning objects to be linked to the database, chemical engineers to share strategies for using these learning objects, and chemical engineers to act as peer reviewers.

This presentation will provide an overview of the chemical engineering learning objects currently linked to the MERLOT database. However, it will focus on the MERLOT peer review process, and the information that it generates for users of the learning object and for reviewers of the professional contribution.

What is MERLOT? The Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) database is a catalog of on-line tools for teaching and learning. The tools, or “learning objects”, are owned by their authors 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 indicate the learning objectives addressed by the object and document the

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

Young, V. (2005, June), Peer Review For Online Learning Objects Via Merlot Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14758

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