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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Art Collector

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Jun 17, 2004 by History Editorial Board
Overview: The Art Collector enables users to search for objects in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center for use in creating an exhibition. Text can be added to each image, details can be zoomed in, objects can be placed in any order, and the results can be published on the web for others to see.
Learning Goals: None specified.
Target Student Population: Middle School, High School, College
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Some knowledge of computer use.
Type of Material: Simulation
Recommended Uses: To supplement an art class. Materials could be used in history classes that place an emphasis on art, particularly modern art.
Technical Requirements: Adobe Acrobat. Free downloads provided.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: Art Collector is divided into categories that can be easily accessed: Art Gallery, For Your Classroom, Library and Archives, Playground, and Art Interviews. Search links connect to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Walker Museum of Art collection. Many of the items are interactive and generate both knowledge and fun regardless of age. There are over 340 interviews with artists that can be accessed. Links are provided to Minnesota libraries and to the Library of Congress. The site is clearly designed for elementary and high school with subcategories designating which grade level is most suited to the item.
Concerns: None.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: There is a Teacher's Guide in "For Your Classroom." The Guide is fifteen pages indicating what content applies to students on the basis of grade level and format. Materials can be accessed by a search wizard and an educational database is provided. Fun and interesting interactive programs include Kids World, Treasure Hunt, Coloring Book, Fabric Fantasy, and Concentration. Concentration is a game in which the user matches themes about the hidden object which is eventually revealed along with details about the artistic creation. This was both enjoyable to play and a positive learning experience. Playground allows the user to: make it, find it, watch and listen, and explore it. The site allows students to function as virtual curators, and apply what they have learned in an art history or art appreciation class in a way that simulates a areal-life experience.
Concerns: None.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The site is easy to use. Technical requirements are identified for each activity by grade/group/adults. Adobe Acrobat reader is needed and free download is provided. The great selling point of this site is the interactive simulation programs that offer a wide range of use within the classroom. There are no delays in downloading.
Concerns: Students need to be careful to save their username and password, as there is no specific way to have that information emailed back to you if you forget it.