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Review Criteria

The following criteria are being developed for use by peers who review submitted activities and screen potential contributions to the MERLOT Mathematics pedagogic collections. Activity authors are welcome to revise materials until they are judged to meet these criteria.

  • Does the material present important mathematics concepts or models?
    • Is the content part of the core curriculum in mathematics?
    • Is the content a prerequisite for more advanced material?
  • Is the material accurate?
    • Does the material present valid (correct) concepts, models, and results?
    • Are there any factual, numerical, or conceptual errors?
  • Is the activity likely to lead to the desired learning?
    • Are the learning goals clearly stated?
    • Does the material help to develop conceptual understanding?
    • Is there good alignment between the stated learning goals and the likely learning outcomes of the activity?
    • Will the assessment strategies allow the instructor to determine whether the learning outcomes have been met?
  • Does the pedagogy promote learning? This question looks at whether the activity incorporates effective strategies based on learning theory and research.
    • Does the activity motivate and engage students?
    • Does it build on what they know and address their initial beliefs?
    • Is it appropriate for the type of students expected in the class?
    • Is there an appropriate balance of guidance and exploration?
    • Does the activity include opportunities for reflection, discussion, and synthesis?
    • Does it provide opportunities for students/faculty to assess learning and confirm that they are on the right track?
    • Are there opportunities for students to iterate and improve their understanding incrementally?
  • Are the activity instructions provided to instructors complete and helpful? This question examines whether the materials provided to instructors are successful in communicating the context, motivations and goals of the activity, and whether the instructions and questions are clear.
    • Is the summary description clear and concise?
    • Could you quickly make a decision about whether you would like to look further at this activity?
    • Are the motivations and goals of the activity clearly expressed?
    • Does the context for use provide adequate information about the intended audience, place in the curriculum and time required?
    • Is there sufficient information about the prerequisite knowledge required by students?
    • Does the activity description provide enough information and supporting materials in order to effectively carry out the activity?
    • Are additional supporting materials needed? What other supporting materials would you like to see?
    • Are the associated MERLOT resources appropriate and effective in the teaching/learning process?
    • Are the teaching notes and tips appropriate and sufficient?
    • Is there enough detail provided for you to implement an assessment of the activity?
    • Are the references useful?
  • Are the materials provided to students complete and helpful? This question looks at whether the materials provided to students, either written, oral, or otherwise, are useful and whether the instructions and questions are clear.
    • Are the instructions provided to students clear and thorough?
    • Do the materials for students (worksheets, assignment sheets, etc.) effectively address the activity learning goals?
    • Will students be able to easily employ the materials provided?
  • Is the activity a good example of the associated teaching method? Is it clear how the material in the associated teaching module (e.g., Interactive Lecture, Just-in-time Teaching, etc.) applies to the activity?

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