As I promised just last month, get ready for another new MERLOT, but this time with an old label. We are returning to our roots and dropping the “II” from our name, calling it just “MERLOT.” But there’s nothing old about this new MERLOT.
Available as of March 14, 2018, the newest version of MERLOT has a completely new user interface, modeled after the most popular Web search site on the face of the planet. (Guess what that is!) In our continued effort to make it easier and easier for you to find online learning materials, we are providing an even more familiar and simple way to access our powerful search engine to find useful OERs anywhere on the Web.
And while it’s unlikely that you’ll need assistance to find what you need, or to access MERLOT’s rich function set, we have completely redesigned our context-sensitive help to guide you through any issues that arise while you’re using our newest MERLOT. Of course our webmaster will continue to be available at firstname.lastname@example.org in the unlikely event you need even more help.
In our last release we introduced our proprietary Smart Search to automatically help focus search results for the kinds of specific needs you might have. Given the limitless ways a search can be constructed, it’s possible or even likely that you might not conduct a search using the best set of parameters possible to meet your needs for specific learning materials. Our new ‘recommender’ infers your search objectives and provides additional results relevant to your original search. Don’t be surprised, when you see the recommender’s recommendations, to hear yourself say, “Hey, that learning material is a good recommendation. I never thought to search that way.”
And in keeping with the growing trend towards mobility, MERLOT has been reengineered using responsive web design (RWD) which, according to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsive_web_design), is an approach to web design which makes web pages render well on a variety of devices and screen sizes.” So if you are out and about and suddenly have a craving for a new OER, just grab your smart phone or tablet, launch your browser and go to www.merlot.org. And lo and behold, depending on the speed of your network, the new MERLOT will be immediately recognizable as if you were working on your laptop or desktop computer.
So here we are, in our 21st year, not as good as ever, but a whole lot better. And we intend to keep getting better and better!