KSC Instructional Technology


11/06 Technology Tool Pick of the Month

Imagine that you are teaching a course on evolution and genetics concept mapping. Your students are having difficulty grasping gene variation and mutations; the key concept behind your lecture. You’re in dire need of some fresh material to better help your students grasp this obscure concept. Enter MERLOT.

MERLOT is a free database of educational material designed primarily for faculty in higher education. The power of this site stems from resources, peer reviews, comments, and assignments submitted by the MERLOT community.

You visit the MERLOT website (merlot.org) and search for “DNA” and hope that it will yield some results. “DNA from the Beginning” is the first resource listed (of 139) and has the “MERLOT Editor’s Choice” stamp. You notice that this resource is a simulation and includes peer reviews (5 stars on a 1-5 scale), comments (8 comments), assignments (4 peer-submitted assignments), personal collections (131 people ‘bookmarked’ this resource), and an author snapshot (the rationale for developing this learning resource and the strategies for using it).

You decide to integrate the simulation and one of the peer-submitted assignments into your course. You now have new, peer-reviewed material to supplement your lecture!

Visit MERLOT to see the breadth of subjects covered. Resources from Music, Art History, Statistics, Marketing, English, Chemistry, etc. have material submitted to the database.

Testimonial from the MERLOT web site:
“One of the best things I appreciate about MERLOT is that is a collaboration of “like minds.” The organization continues to grow and develop at a global level, but this growth and development is driven and designed from within. When those invested in the effort, everyday members and editorial board members, have this ownership then the organization will have a long, happy, adventurous life.”
Cris Guenter
Professor of Education
California State University, Chico


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