Okay, this dog is going to anger management.
After our recent barking on Sipping MERLOT’s RSS Feeds: Is this Boone’s Farm or Dom Perignon?, we enjoyed some good discussion with some MERLOT insiders.
The bottom line is that MERLOT still has a fabulous wealth of intstructional resources, and should be on the Bookmark list of every faculty and on the Frequently referred list of all technology folks that work with teachers. All of us should be contributing the MERLOT. It is the “Big Daddy” of “learning object repositories” and a prime example of how it can grow once the number of items inside reaches a useful tipping point.
(1) MERLOT finally has a good number of useful RSS feeds that will soon be integrated into the main site.
(2) They are considering creating a developer’s weblog that will better communicate what is brewing in the back of the wine lab.
(3) They still seem (IMHO) overly concerned about some evil entity harvesting dynamic generated RSS (i.e. a feed from a custom search result), cracking the secret meta-data and exploiting it to offer a non-MERLOT-ian service. This seems far fetched to me, and I think the user community would benefit from being able to have more focussed feeds (“Comparaitve essay English Lit”, “Animation Biology Cell”), etc.
(4) Significant re-designs are in store for MERLOT and a lot of back end work is being done to keep it up to the heavy load it carries.
(5) Oddly, the MERLOT-ians were “caught off guard” at the conference with all the interest in RSS and Learning objects, despite this, this, this, and this. We think they should get out of the wine presses a bit more ;-)
Now please pass the cheese, Gromit.