Essential components of MERLOT are its underlying technologies. MERLOT works with its partner communities to continue to improve and evolve these infrastructure components and make them available in various ways to the MERLOT partners and others. For more information on how to participate with us in our technology initiatives, please contact the MERLOT Webmaster at email@example.com. Below are descriptions of the different MERLOT Technology initiatives current in production.
To see the latest MERLOT upgrades, visit http://taste.merlot.org/MERLOTEnhancements.html.
Importing Materials to MERLOT Collection
MERLOT supports batch processes for members who wish to contribute large numbers of materials to our collection. The minimum number of materials in a spreadsheet is 100. This batch import allow you to add metadata about your digital library into the MERLOT collection and enable people to discover your materials through MERLOT. To do this you must identify, in a MERLOT-provided spreadsheet, all the metadata fields in your collection that correspond to the exact required information and format needed to transfer the information to our database. The metadata includes all the fields normally required when contributing an individual material to MERLOT. The metadata are then imported to the MERLOT collection. After you have signed off on the import, your collection is added to the production database of MERLOT. For more detailed information about the process and to obtain the spreadsheet, contact the MERLOT Webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org
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RSS allows current MERLOT content to be displayed on anyone's web site with our RSS feeds.
The MERLOT RSS feeds have been created to allow distributed access to MERLOT data for display on websites beyond MERLOT. The format is designed to make it easy to incorporate MERLOT content into a large number of websites, portals, and applications that otherwise would not be able to display MERLOT content (or would have a much more difficult time doing so). The content is displayed using the RSS format (a standards-based XML format that has been widely accepted for the syndication of frequently changing content such as news). Additionally, any material or member search conducted in MERLOT can be turned in to an RSS feed. Just click on the RSS button at the bottom right of the page and you can add that feed to your reader! MERLOT also has over 75 'canned' RSS feeds that can be found at http://www.merlot.org/merlot/rss.htm. Just select a discipline and then a material or member feed to get a feed.
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With MERLOT's Federated Search technology, users are able to search 25 partner collections and digital libraries (including MERLOT) all at once. Federated search can be thought of as one giant search engine, searching across many collections at once, and returning results from all the collections in one list. The MERLOT Federated Search can be found at http://fedsearch.merlot.org/fedsearch/fedsearch.jsp, as well as clicking "Search other libraries" at the top of any MERLOT page.
By using the MERLOT Federated Search, users are able to get results from many collections at once instead of going to each individually. Currently our Federated Search includes: NSDL: National Science Digital Library, Connexions, MIT Open Courseware,
Open Courseware Consortium (OCW), OER Commons, Orange Grove, Wikipedia, World Images (an educational image repository), Scribd, Flickr, YouTube, SlideShare, ARIADNE, LORNET, OUJ Open University of Japan, comPADRE, MERLOT Physics, MERLOT Information Technology, MERLOT Faculty Development, UNC Professional Development Portal, and IEEE Computer Society.
When searching more than one library at once, the results are presented in order of relevance, the relevance ranking being defined by the search service provider. Any collections' results can be viewed separately by clicking the colleciton at the top of the search results page. To access MERLOT’s Federated Search, go to the federated search page to conduct a search.
MERLOT Mobile Initiative
MERLOT supports mobile searching of MERLOT with search apps for Blackberry, iPad, iPhones and Android-based mobile devices. MERLOT’s Compass Community-based Mobile Learning Portal has been designed to encourage our community of users to develop strategies and plans for using mobile devices in teaching and learning. For more information, go to http://taste.merlot.org/Mobile/MobileSearchApps.html.
MERLOT has partnered with Research in Motion to develop an application to search MERLOT from your Blackberry smartphone. We know you are on the go and can’t always get to information you need. The MERLOT Mobile Search will allow you to search MERLOT Learning materials virtually anywhere you take your mobile phone. You can open the browser on your smartphone and view a material or email it to yourself to view at a later time. For more information and to download the application, go to http://mobile.merlot.org.
MERLOT Web Services
MERLOT has developed a set of Web Services (APIs) that can be incorporated into Web-based applications by third party software developers, to provide direct access to the MERLOT collection and system. The availability of MERLOT‘s Web Services are subject to the Web Services Fee Structure and to our Software Agreement at http://taste.merlot.org/wsrs.html. For more information on fees, availablity and access to a license key, go to http://taste.merlot.org/MERLOTWebServices.html.
MERLOT Integration with LMS's
Desire2Learn and ANGEL LEARNING are among those that have incorporated a MERLOT search into their products by using our web service. If you have either of these products and do not have the ability to search MERLOT, please contact support for assistance (ANGEL users - support is through your support portal; Desire2Learn users - contact your account manager or system administrator for upgrade information). For more information on MERLOT and the use of our webservice with LMS's, go to http://taste.merlot.org/lms.html.
MERLOT Building Block integration with Blackboard
MERLOT has developed a building block to allow Blackboard users to search MERLOT via a Blackboard Building Blocks. For more information and to download the building block, go to http://www.blackboard.com/Partnerships/Extensions.aspx. To find information about MERLOT look at "Browse the Extensions", there is a "Filter By Text" box on the right. Enter MERLOT, to search the library. A MERLOT link will be returned to start the process of getting the block. For more information, view the MERLOT Search Blackboard block instructions.
MERLOT Integration into Moodle 2.0
Moodle 2.0 has integrated a mechanism to allow searching MERLOT. System administrators have the ability to enable “MERLOT search” for MERLOT learning object metadata. When this capability is enabled, Moodle 2.0 instructors can directly search the MERLOT collection, from within Moodle and insert learning materials. Please note that the MERLOT plugin for Moodle was not created by MERLOT, and MERLOT does not provide technical support for the plugin. MERLOT has provided a set of instructions for information purposes only, and are subject to change at any time. Click here to download the information guide.
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MERLOT Integration into Moodle 2.4.x
MERLOT continues to be integrated into MERLOT and that is true with the upgrade to Moodle 2.4 which allows Moodle users to search MERLOT. To include MERLOT in a Moodle search, your System administrator just has to enable “MERLOT search” to discover the MERLOT learning object metadata. When this capability is enabled, Moodle 2.4.x instructors can directly search the MERLOT collection, from within Moodle and insert learning materials. Please note that the MERLOT plugin for Moodle was not created by MERLOT, and MERLOT does not provide technical support for the plugin. MERLOT has provided a set of instructions for information purposes only, and are subject to change at any time. Click here to download the information guide.
All our technology initiatives rely on a strong collection of learning materials. Since MERLOT only stores materials created with their Content Builder, we strive to maintain valid links to all materials in the MERLOT database. To do this, we conduct a series of link checking activities on a monthly basis. Questions about MERLOT Technologies should be directed to Barbra Bied Sperling, Manager of Technical Development at email@example.com.
revised 4/26/12 BBS