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MERLOT II

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Peer Review


America the Gutted

by
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Apr 16, 2013 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This is a website that offers reference material in the form of videos and articles on topics such as globalization, jobs, unemployment, and deindustrialization in the United States. There are additional resource links offered that provide information on global outsourcing, organizations, and country specific information.
Learning Goals: The student will learn about globalization, de-industrialization, and the politics that surround these issues.
Target Student Population: This material would most appropriately be targeted to undergraduate or graduate level business, social work, psychology and economics students as well as those who work in the non-profit sector.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: No prerequisite knowledge or skills are identified; however, it would be helpful for students/users to have a foundational understanding or knowledge of globalization, deindustrialization and politics.
Type of Material: Reference material
Recommended Uses: Recommended uses include research, in class homework, individual/group activities, and supporting lecture with resources. These articles and additional resource features could also be used in training workshops for current business professionals.
Technical Requirements: • Internet Explorer (IE) version 8, Firefox (version 11). These were both used to access the material (the material website supports these browsers as well as Google Chrome). • Adobe Reader/Flash (needed to additional in-text links leading to other forms/formats of media)

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: • The collection of articles and newsletters contains clear, concise, relatable information based on past and present relatable situations as highlighted by the website and link to gp (globalpost). • I like the video resources and articles on the main page and how the developer has grouped these resources into specific areas (Middle Class, Denim, Iron, and Law). • The collections of videos are excellent and very useful not only in the business arena but also in the academic arena as some educational programs begin to focus on more sensitive topics such as these.
Concerns: No concerns; however, the empirical data which is presented would need to be vetted prior to using the work as scholarly authority.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: • The purpose of the site is to inform about what is happening in America including such topics as the middle class, outsourcing, closing of factories, etc… • The articles and videos are assembled in a manner that builds upon prior concepts and these articles are presented in a format that users/readers can see clear relationships between the materials and event/situations used to support the content. • The articles which accompany the pictorials address many of the questions and or issues which might arise from the student perspective by giving the historical context and climate in which much of the materials emanated from.
Concerns: The material might be a little difficult to integrate into the traditional business course as one of the primary messages of the work is about the fundamental unfairness of “outsourcing” business processes. In the traditional business course students are encouraged to learn about cost savings and cost avoidance in the management of a business enterprise. On the other hand, the material could be a “teaching moment” for the instructor by adding information about responsible outsourcing which doesn’t not affect US jobs and wages.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • The site is very easy to use and easy to navigate. • The layout of the website is good and enhances the ease of maneuvering through the videos and articles and the link to gp (global pos).
Concerns: • Not sure if it can be viewed on mobile devices • Not sure of accessibility

Other Issues and Comments: Overall, the ease of the design and ability to move from through the content (videos and articles) is impressive. The collection of videos and articles is, overall, of high quality and to be very usable, relatable, and beneficial for students, researchers, and business professionals.