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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


NINI Grant 2012 Update: Enhancing Undergraduate Education Through the Deployment of Quality Learning Objects

by Brenda Gunderson , Nancy Kerner
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Jan 10, 2013 by Teacher Education
Overview: Then NINI Grant 2012 Update:Enchancing Undergraduate Education Through the Deployment of Quality Learning Objects contains materials form the third year of the Michigan Education through Learning Objects (MELO) project. Presentation handouts, youtube videos of presentations on how to incorporate learning objects into a syllabus, and sample lessons using learning objects for Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, American History, Statistics, Writing,Psychology, English, Spanish, and 3D training are posted on the website.
Learning Goals: This repository aims to help college faculty share materials and to encourage faculty who teach large courses at Michigan to incorporate active learning into their teaching. The goals are to increase student participation, independent learning and retention in college.
Target Student Population: Faculty who teach undergraduate courses can benefit from the learning material.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: There are no pre-requisites to view the presentation and accompanying materials. To be able to incorporate the suggested learning objects into a course, instructors must be able to create and embed hyperlinks and videos into their syllabus and course materials.
Type of Material: Lesson plans, videos, tutorials, worksheets that are released under the Creative Commons license.
Recommended Uses: Faculty can use the interactive syllabus and sample lessons as examples of how to incorporate learning objects into their classes.
Technical Requirements: The videos will require a fast connection, but are Closed Captioned.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: Significant concepts are presented from general education courses using sample lesson plans in order to demonstrate how to make them more interactive for students. It is easy for instructors to learn to use learning objects because hyperlinks containing videos on embedded into the syllabus and sample lessons which students can then click to open. The learning objects reviewed were well developed and would be useful in many classes.
Concerns: Instructors must know how to create hyperlinks and embed videos. Instructors must know how to find or create their own learning objects to insert into their courses. Teachers who use this material should be sure to include the Creative Common license disclaimer and attributions.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: Student interaction can potential be increased in the course by using simulations and videos can add interest especially if study guide questions and assignments are written for the learning objects. The learning objects can be used prior to class for preparation or after class for review. Faculty can use learning objects to introduce concepts prior to class in order to use class time for more in depth critical thinking.
Concerns: Depending on the type of learning object inserted, it could increase the amount of reading material required for a class. Students must have a reliable internet connection to view the learning objects. Instructors must be diligent in making sure that the hyperlinks that are inserted within their course materials are not broken. One of the courses, Chemistry 125 - General Chemistry Laboratory I was copyrighted and not released through the Creative Commons license.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The learning material is categorized by academic subject and type of materials such as presentation handout, syllabus, video...etc. To access the materials, the viewers simply clicks on the object to the right of its description. There is a link at the bottom of the homepage to send an email for questions.
Concerns: The presentation handouts in microsoft word format and the microsoft power point slides have outlines and questions for use in front of a live audience. Therefore the information is not given in its entirety.

Other Issues and Comments: This will be a big help to teachers. While it is designed for college level teachers in high school advanced courses may find the materials useful.