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What is MERLOT

Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching
Published in Chapter:
The Role of Learning Objects in Distance Learning
Robin H. Kay (University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch267
In the past 10 years, a considerable amount of money and effort has been directed toward distance education, with growth estimated as high as 30%-40% annually (Harper, Chen, & Yen, 2004; Hurst, 2001; Newman, 2003). The popularity of distance learning appears to be founded on personal control over instruction (Burgess & Russell, 2003, Pierrakeas, 2003), the variety of multimedia formats available to students (Hayes & Jamrozik, 2001), and customized support (Harper et al., 2004). However, the success of distance education is anything but a foregone conclusion. Multiple obstacles have impeded acceptance including reluctance to use technology (Harper et al., 2004), time required to develop course resources (Harper et al., 2004; Hayes & Jamrozik, 2001) and to support students (Levine & Sun, 2002), lack of technology skills (Berge & Smith, 2000), and cost (Burgess & Russell, 2003; Levine & Sun, 2002). In addition the promise of interactivity and constructive learning in distance learning has not been realized. Most distance learning offerings resemble traditional classroom courses (Coates & Humpeys, 2003; Levine & Sun, 2002, Navaro, 2000). When interaction does take place, it is usually in the form of online discussion, however, a number of studies have reported that true social interaction leading to cognitive development is rare (e.g., Berge and Muilenburg, 2000; Bisenbach-Lucas, 2003; Garrison, Anderson, and Archer, 2001; Hara, Bonk and Angeli, 1998; Meyer, 2003; Wickstrom, 2003).
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Cross-Cultural Learning Objects (XCLOs)
The Multimedia Educational Research for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) was built to house RLOs created by educators and to make them available to other educators (“Multimedia educational research for learning and online teaching [merlot],” 2006).
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Virtual Practices, Virtual Laboratories, and Virtual Internship Experience in Engineering Training
Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online Teaching at AU43: The URL has been redirected to Please verify the URL. is a program of the California State University System partnering with education institutions, professional societies, and industry in online learning resources.
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