MERLOT Awards: Application of MERLOT: Institutional Stewardship
The Institutional Stewardship Award is given to an individual or group to recognize efforts to promote MERLOT at an institutional level. These models can be used to sustain support for MERLOT and that demonstrate the value of MERLOT. The recipients of the award (individual or group) will have exhibited an outstanding example of stewardship in spreading the use of MERLOT through-out the campus or system.
University of Michigan’s MERLOT@UM Team – Victor Wong, Project Director for University of Michigan had this to say about the UM Team: “The genesis of the MERLOT project arose from the above and some broader issues brewing on campus: How do we overcome cross-disciplinary communication barriers? What synergy do we gain in collaborating cross-disciplinarily? How do we foster a culture of re-use of appropriate and effective learning objects across the disciplines?
They addressed the above concern/issues by forming the MERLOT@U-M Cross-disciplinary Community of Practice, using the following approach:
- Put a local branding on MERLOT to make it more connected to their campus
- Select interested faculty and staff from diverse disciplines to join MERLOT@U-M
- Send the selected faculty/staff to the 2006 MERLOT International Conference with each one committed to participate in MERLOT@U-M throughout the academic year
- Secure travel funding support from the Office of the Provost and the College of Literature, Arts, and the Sciences, our largest college.
- Solicit decentralized support/approval for the selected persons’ ongoing MERLOT involvement from their chair/supervisor.
- Obtain centralized support/approval from the Office of Provost
- Push for sponsorship from the external professional or disciplinary societies.
After the conference, the MERLOT@U-M Community of Practice met monthly during 2006–2007 to:
- Promote campus awareness of MERLOT
- Promote campus usage of learning objects
- Develop UM collection of learning objects aimed at the UM market as well as MERLOT”
Jim Rutledge – St. Petersburg College – Jim “pioneered the adaptation of the new MERLOT Personal Collection service for departmental use by college faculty, both full-time and adjunct. He created six sets of college-wide Department Collections for St. Petersburg College (SPC) under the usernames of: spcmath, spcscience, spceducation, spchealthscience, spchistory and spcbusiness. In the process of doing so, he also developed a set of instructional materials on how to establish these customized Department Collections at any educational institution; these materials are posted on the MERLOT Mathematics portal under the Teaching column.
- The advantages of Department Collections are:
- department faculty can add relevant MERLOT materials and annotations concerning their use of the collections; these materials and annotations are then available to all department faculty, thus forming a sense of shared purpose and collaboration
- collections encourage departmental use of high-quality, Web-based learning materials
- collections provide adjunct faculty, in particular, with a department-specific set of relevant learning materials
- collections provide a central location for department materials in large, multi-campus institutions
These department collections have certainly helped to raise awareness of MERLOT and its Web-based resources. Almost all of the 28 SPC faculty who became members of MERLOT since the collections were established have been members of a department with a Department Collection. In addition, faculty in those departments use the collections and materials with their students; some of them also have their students join MERLOT as indicated by MERLOT Membership data.”