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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Online Music - the Legality of Downloading Material

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

3.75 stars
Content Quality: 3.75 stars
Effectiveness: 3.75 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Dec 14, 2009 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: The material is designed to examine the implications of using technology in the digital age. Specifically, it explores the subject of U.S. copyright laws in the context of downloading music on the internet. The material provides numerous links to online resources on the subject and incorporates active learning through discussion questions. The material includes a glossary to assist in discussion and comprehension, as well as links on curriculum and state economic standards.
Learning Goals: • Students will describe the history and development of digital music. • Students will evaluate the legality of digital music. • Students will debate the legality of digital music.
Target Student Population: • Undergraduate • Freshman and Sophomore • Business law, business policy, or information technology courses
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: • Basic internet research skills • General introductory knowledge of basic business principles
Type of Material: Case Study
Recommended Uses: • Individual or group use, homework, in-class exercise
Technical Requirements: IE 7 or Firefox

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: • Material is very clear and straightforward • Provides a comprehensive review of the subject by requiring students to examine the issue from multiple angles • Module includes a sufficient amount of material, and cleverly summarizes and integrates important concepts.
Concerns: • Uses out of date research materials • Some of links cite to reference sources of questionable reliability • The third link, which is central to the module’s process, is no longer functioning Results in difficulty in completing the module as intended. •The Nabster and MP3.com cases are pretty well put to rest now.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: • Clearly identifies the learning objectives and reinforces those concepts progressively as it takes students through the material • Examines both sides of the subject matter, which clearly showcases the relationship between the divergent views • Through all the links and resource references provided, students can learn a great deal of information on this subject • Assignments could easily be assigned using the links and concepts provided by this module.
Concerns: • The module does not clearly identify the prerequisite knowledge required to gain the maximum benefit from its use • Instead of taking the student through a rigid pre-defined process, the module may be better served by providing more than one course of action • As mentioned above, since one of the required links is no longer active, it may be very difficult to gain the intended knowledge. An update that differentiates the legal purchase of online music such as Itunes is neede

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: • The module is easy to use and has very clear, step by step instructions • It is engaging and interactive • Forces students to actively learn by accessing, reviewing, and providing feedback and analysis of various resource materials on the subject matter • The module is visually appealing through effective use of clipart
Concerns: • While the design quality of the material is not poor, it is somewhat basic • The module could be more engaging and visually appealing by incorporating multiple color schemes or animation

Other Issues and Comments: Instructors should extend the learning objectives to include a discussion about purchasing music online from Itunes or similar services being legal because you pay for it.The module needs to be reworked in light of the issue with the inactive link.