MERLOT Mystery Challenge: Exploring Resources to Support Teaching and Learning

Concurrent Session 2
Streamed Session MERLOT

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Explore the benefits MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching)  offers members by participating in the MERLOT Mystery Challenge, modeled after the television game show Hollywood Squares, and hosted by a veteran Associate Editor and master Peer Reviewer as they share their valued experiences.


Susan M. Moncada, Ph.D., CPA is a Professor of Accounting at Indiana State University. She has been a member of the MERLOT Business Editorial Board since 2000 and an Associate Editor of Accounting since 2003. She was the recipient of the MERLOT Volunteer of the Year Award in 2005 and the MERLOT Classics Award for Business in 2011 for an instructional game she developed. In 2012 Susan was awarded Indiana State University’s Caleb Mill’s Distinguished Teaching Award. For the past five years, she has been coordinating assessment reporting for the four majors of the Accounting, Finance, and Insurance and Risk Management department. In 2016, on the behalf of the Accounting Program, she received the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Student Learning Assessment and Improvement.
Carol M. Jessup, Ph.D., CPA, CFE is Associate Professor of Accounting at University of Illinois Springfield. Her Ph.D. in Business Administration (Management and Public Policy Studies) is from Saint Louis University, and her BA and MA degrees in Accounting are from Sangamon State University. Carol has taught a variety of blended and online accounting courses since 2000, including introductory courses through graduate accounting courses. Her Master Online Teaching Certificate was awarded in 2002 from the Illinois Online Network. Apart from her academic experience, Carol was an internal auditor, an original staff member of the State of Illinois’ GAAP project team, managed a municipal finance department, and provided expert witness testimony in utility regulatory proceedings.

Extended Abstract

MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching), launched in 1997, is the largest, comprehensive, Internet-based, interdisciplinary, repository of peer-reviewed, teaching and learning materials in existence.  A closer examination, however, reveals that MERLOT is also an open education resource cooperative that strives to continuously improve and expand the quantity and quality of deliverables available to its community of diverse educational stakeholders.  In 2013 MERLOT II was launched to provide users with a significantly improved interface to make it easier to find and use all of the services available.  Additional enhancements to the user interface with improved functionality were rolled out on March 13, 2018, and the new updated MERLOT vintage is simply known as MERLOT.

The purpose of this education session is to introduce or reacquaint individuals to MERLOT’s effective tools and technologies that foster pedagogical innovation.  Compatible with innovative delivery techniques, the session will engage participants with an interactive game platform that can be readily adapted to multiple teaching areas.  A secondary session objective beyond highlighting the MERLOT system and processes is to illustrate the energy inherent in a gamification approach to teaching and learning.

Information will be shared by having all session participants divided into two groups as they pool their resources to play the MERLOT Mystery Challenge, a PowerPoint adaption of the television game show, Hollywood Squares.  Each of the nine Hollywood Squares will present a different element or perspective associated with MERLOT.   Each celebrity square will have three questions that can be posed by participants, affording the game to be played multiple times.   The MERLOT Mystery Challenge celebrities include:  Edward Editor, Ronnie Reviewer, Connie Community, Mary Member, Booker T. Marker, Amy Author, Stanley Star, Clancy Classics, and a Wine Steward Mystery Guest.   Session detectives (participants) will investigate MERLOT, by playing the MERLOT Mystery Challenge.  While the detectives interrogate the MERLOT celebrities, a veteran associate editor and peer reviewer will share the benefits of becoming an engaged member of the MERLOT community, and other ways that this game format has been used in their classes. 

 Some of the MERLOT system topics addressed include:

  • Wine Steward’s updates
  • Collection features and components
  • Peer review process and expectations
  • Responsibilities of discipline editors/associate editors
  • Member profiles, portals, and networking opportunities
  • Contributing, hosting, and sharing content
  • MERLOT incentives and awards

To encourage use of the MERLOT system, participants will be provided with a list of bookmark collections that contain game related open educational resources along with instructions for creating and managing bookmarked collections.  

In conclusion, during this tasting, participants can discover a support system for teaching and learning as they serve as detectives unraveling the MERLOT Mystery Challenge.  Whether one is in need of free online textbooks, tutorials, flashcards, drill and practice lessons, in-class exercises, videos, online glossaries, or case studies, MERLOT has vintage instructional materials for educators from almost every discipline that are sure to please the palate.  All are invited to inspect the harvest, join the cooperative, as well as serve as reviewers in relevant disciplines.  Just a taste of MERLOT can be intoxicating!