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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


UMUC-Verizon Virtual Resource Site for Teaching with Technology.

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Oct 05, 2006 by Faculty Development
Overview: The UMUC-Verizon Virtual Resource Site for Teaching with Technology consists of
two modules, and each explores key issues in developing and teaching online
courses with the use of technology. The first module provides information about
the selection and use of various Web-based media, such as text, audio, video,
still images, animated graphics, applets, and scripts, to accomplish a number of
different learning strategies. The second module focuses on delivery and
features faculty interviews about realities and successful practices in online
course delivery.
The site also provides resources for faculty using
technology in research assignments, small group projects, and discussions to
encourage activity.
Learning Goals: 1- to assist faculty in creating and using Web-based media in ways that are
appropriate for their students\' learning experiences.
2- to help faculty use some of the materials presented in the first module.
3- to encourage interactivity as a key influence on students\' learning styles.
4- to provide specific strategies for managing the use of technology in various
learning activities.
Target Student Population: This site is for higher education faculty new to online course development, and
provides good navigation to specific technologies or discussions for instructors
wishing to improve their online materials.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Some experience as an instructor in higher education; basic computer skills.
Type of Material: Sample web pages, audio clips, video clips, and text are used in this web site.
Recommended Uses: This resource is recommended for faculty who are developing on-line courses,
particulary faculty new to online teaching.
Technical Requirements: Most of the modules on the site are simple, html-driven pages, but the volume of
material and links, as well as a number of streaming video interviews and
resources suggest value-added if viewer has a high-speed connection.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The resource provides a wealth of information for faculty members who are
designing on-line courses. In addition, there are numerous examples across many
disciplines for each concept and links to additional resources. Each example
is explained and demonstrated. The material is clearly presented. It's a
"magnetic" site in that it literally pulls you in to explore the many fine
examples. Much fun!

Concerns: Discussion in various forms is not included among the learning activities. The
Collaborative Learning examples really gave little if any information about the
collaborative learning approaches \& strategies used. In particular, the Visions
for a Sustainable City: Owings Mills, MD was really dated (1995)\& involved an
early venture in the use of email \& web design. The examples under Conceptual
Learning provide excellent simulations \& applets but little about conceptual
learning strategies such concept maps or mathematical thinking. The category of
Asynchronous Communication under technologies does not appear to include widely
used course management systems.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: This site has excellent potential as a teaching tool because it is
comprehensively covers media selection and delivery for online instruction.

Concerns: This resource focuses on on-line instruction outside of course management
systems. As the use of course management systems is so pervasive, I think the
absence of discussion of this technology somewhat dates and limits this
resource's potential effectiveness.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Depth and clarity of material, checklists and case studies, interviews and
examples make good use of any learning style for faculty learners. The site is
well organized, meets objectives stated in each module, is easily accessible
from a variety of entry points (index, different modules, etc.), and user
friendly.


Concerns: 12 of the links to examples non-functioning. Since there are numerous
references to these examples, these need to be repaired in order to make this
resource usable.

Other Issues and Comments: