MERLOT Voices

Putting Educational Innovations into Practice.

The MERLOT Community is always trying to learn more about the needs of our users and members. Hearing your voices about why you use MERLOT is always helpful. Please explain the circumstances and your reasons for you using MERLOT. If you can describe how you use it too, that would be much appreciated. THANK YOU!

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I use MERLOT because it is a great way to learn what other people ate doing and share resources. It helps me keep help with new technology. I also like being able to make personal collections of resources that I like.
Education is so rapidly changing in recent years. I attribute the pace to the theory, trying to catch-up with so many technological innovations in learning design and delivery. Current learning theories (experiential learning, Constructivism and Social Constructivism) support the idea that the use of interactive simulations are beneficial in teaching complex science constructs and concepts http://www.editlib.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Reader.NoAccess&pap...). I made this argument and secured a NSF grant in 2000/2003 to Pilot a research project focusing on the use the combination of instructional multimedia and Micro-computer-based laboratory (MBL) in teaching science laboratory, particularly in Chemistry and Biology. This is how I integrated Merlot:
1. I went through a "Resource hunt" within MERLOT, using the different search/discovery tools the software affords, to find the best interactive resources that were aligned to specific objectives of the Laboratory Curriculum at Southern University and concepts/constructs discussed. I can assure that I was not empty handed. I had many choices of high quality resources focusing on the many concepts I had to cover in the Lab sessions.
2. I designed a model of lab instruction called CCLM (Collaborative Chemistry Laboratory Model) Experiments (http://www.sciencestorm.com/award/0127583.html). A CCLM experiments has three parts.
Part 1: Uses Pre-Lab using interactive simulation for learner to practice, the concepts to be covered in the actual experiment, in a virtual environment;
Part 2: the actual hand’s on Laboratory or/ MBL lab
Part 3: Post-Lab using interactive multimedia simulations to extend the concepts covered in part 1 and 2.
MERLOT was critical to part 1 and 2.
I use MERLOT because it has lots of good resources! I have been using the ESL section and I have been doing all of the exercises for reading and writing.

Also, I recently purchased a house and I utilized the finance section to compute "what if" senarios on monthly payments.

So, thank you for all the wonderful resources! And keep up the good work.
Thanks Raquel. Explaining how MERLOT is professionally as well as personally useful is terrific.
Cheers,
Gerry
I use it to assess the level of technological and intructional sophistication of our peers. Sometimes I am impressed, alas, not often enough.
Eric,
Thank you for your comment. I think your use is an excellent example of how MERLOT is a survey tool for a wide range of research questions about difference between disciplines, changes over time in the types of technologies used, the pedagogical strategies used, and the sophistication of MERLOT members reflections and analyses of using technology in teaching and learning. If you want to do research on this topic, MERLOT does have a peer reviewed journal - MERLOT Journal for Online Learning and Teaching - JOLT (http://jolt.merlot.org) that would be possible publication venue.

Thanks again for contributing to MERLOT's Voices community
Cheers,
Gerry
I use Merlot resources to support collaborative research projects for my adult learners in college history courses. Most of my courses require teams to deliver class presentations and papers based on original primary sources.

I'm also a program designer for Granite State College's online faculty development program, which will utilize online communities of practice with discussion forums, much in the way that Merlot is starting to do with Voices. I'll be looking for ways that one may reinforce the other.
I started using Merlot in 2001. I was introduced to Merlot by Prof. Moustapha Diack while enrolled in one of his graduate level technology courses. I found Merlot to be a great source of information. I recall looking for a resource that I needed for a term paper that I was developing about local area networks, in another class. I decided to search Merlot to find information, not really expecting to find anything. What I found was a great presentation on ethernet networks. Not only was it a written presentation, but it also provided an excellent simulation of how networks operate. Since that time, I have been very impressed with the resources available on Merlot.

Whenever I need to locate information for work, school or home, I always consider Merlot. What I like most about Merlot is the wide variety of information available and the various formats in which it is presented. Excellent resource!
Marsha,
Thank you for your explanation and glad MERLOT has been helpful. Prof Diack has been a terrific champion of MERLOT and it's terrific he's passed along his enthusiasm to you. Pass it forward.
Cheers,
Gerry

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