Life Science Education Using MERLOT
Concurrent Session 11
MERLOT presents a rich repository of easily searchable and sortable resources for life science eduction, from OER courses and textbooks to tutorials, animations, simulations, websites, videos, and interactive materials. The materials are reviewed and curated. MERLOT has added new search functions that allow educators to create collections and build webpages.
MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) is an online repository of educational materials. The biology board identifies and curates materials related to biology and all of its sub-disciplines.
Due to the work of many years, MERLOT now presents a rich repository of easily searchable and sortable resources for biology (and all life sciences) eduction, ranging from OER full courses and textbooks to tutorials, animations, simulations, websites, videos, and interactive materials. These materials are reviewed and often have comments from people who have used the resource. MERLOT has recently added enhanced search functions that allow educators to find materials both within MERLOT and in other databases or repositories. MERLOT further allows users to create collections and build simple webpages to present the resources to their students.
In this workshop, we will guide a hands-on exploration of how to search, find, evaluate, and present a set of resources to students.
- be able to effectively apply the new search features of MERLOT to find relevant materials for teaching.
- be able to evaluate resources in MERLOT using the reviews and user comment features.
- be able to identify advanced features of MERLOT, including creation of collections and simple web pages to present material to students.
We will begin with the workshop with a brief (15 minute) introduction to searching and evaluating resources. This will include an overview of how to use the new MERLOT search features to search in MERLOT, in other databases, and the wider internet. We will also present an overview of the review, user experiences, and rating system available for MERLOT resources, which allows users to evaluate the quality and potential of particular materials.
Then participants will split into small groups based on topics of interest and spend 30 minutes exploring MERLOT to find relevant and appropriate high quality resources. We will guide and facilitate the groups.
In the next 30 minutes, each group will share what they found in a whole group discussion. Groups will share both the experience of using MERLOT and specific resources found.
In the final 15 minutes we will present several advanced features of MERLOT, including the creation of collections, which are assigned a unique URL that can be given to students, and the building of simple webpages in MERLOT using Content Builder, where materials can be presented to students in a more user friendly manner. We will also highlight some OER materials in MERLOT, including textbooks and full courses.
This workshop is intended for instructors and instructional designers who are involved in teaching life sciences (including biology and all its sub-disciplines, medical or health sciences, anatomy/physiology, environmental sciences, etc.). Participants will come away from this workshop with specific resources relevant to their courses, as well as the skills to find and evaluate resources in MERLOT. They will also learn about advanced features in MERLOT that facilitate curation and presentation of materials to students.
The workshop is primarily focused on higher education, but teachers or instructional designers at any level can apply the use of MERLOT to their teaching. The workshop will be relevant for any mode of teaching including online, face-to-face, or hybrid.
The resources assembled by the participants will be collected and distributed to all participants, and these can be used, shared, and expanded on at the participants’ home institutions.
The presenters will need the ability to project a computer onto a screen and an internet connection.
Participants should come with a (free) membership in MERLOT established. They should bring a device to access MERLOT (tablet or laptop computer). This is not absolutely required as long as at least one member of each group has a device.