Putting Innovations into Practice for Education

The Grapevine

Issue #7 - Summer 2006












MERLOT International Conference - 2006

The MERLOT International Conference “Working With and Learning from the World’s Best” is fast approaching.  This year’s meeting will be held in Ottawa, Canada, August 8-11, and is hosted by the Co-operative Learning Object Exchange (CLOE) and the University of Ottawa. Complete conference details, including registration, travel and program information are at: https://conference.merlot.org/2006/ send e-mail inquiries to merlotconference@merlot.org. The deadline for a discounted rate at the conference hotel, Westin Ottawa is June 30th.  Call central Westin Reservations at 1-800-WESTIN-1 (within the US and Canada), or +1-613-560-7000 (outside the US and Canada), or make your reservations online and don't forget to request the MERLOT group rate.

JOLT – Journal of Online Learning and Teaching - June 2006 Issue Now Available

The June 2006 issue of  JOLT, (Journal of Learning and Online Teaching) has been released.  JOLT is a peer-reviewed, online journal that addresses the scholarly use of multimedia resources in education. JOLT welcomes papers on multimedia educational resources for learning and teaching including research papers, theoretical/conceptual papers, position papers, case studies, and instructional design notes. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer or have an article ‘in the making’  and wish to publish in JOLT, contact Tracy Penny Light or Ed Perry at: tracy@temagami.uwaterloo.ca or eperry@memphis.edu. For more information and to view the Guidelines for Authors go to https://jolt.merlot.org/.

New Release of Desire2Learn Includes Integrated MERLOT Search

Desire2Learn unveiled the latest version of their eLearning Suite including Learning Environment 8.1, Learning Repository 3.5, LiveRoom 4.0, and integrated search of the MERLOT collection. D2L now provides solutions for clients to structure the assessment and evaluation of learner progress. Learning Repository 3.5 enables D2L clients on the same instance to build common repositories among different organizations. D2L will preview the new release at their user conference, Expanding Horizons and also host webinars this summer to demonstrate their e-learning Suite. Visit http://www.Desire2Learn.com for additional information.

New Federated Searches of IEEE Computer Society and NIME-glad Collections
MERLOT Federated Search capability continues to grow with the addition of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society and NIME-glad digital library collections. Federated searching is an important technology for MERLOT, allowing users to perform cross-sectional searches of multiple partner collections instead of having to search each separately. The results are combined together into one list and sorted by relevance, title, or originating collection. Federated Search hides the complexity of the system searches by presenting one search tool to the user to perform the search.

The IEEE Computer Society, an association of 90,000 IT academics and practitioners, publishes more than 100 magazines, transactions, conference proceedings, and podcasts all contained in the Computer Society Digital Library which is now searchable directly from MERLOT.  Try the new search at


NIME-glad is a website allowing retrieval of educational content offered at universities and other institutions to be shared over the Internet. The website is developed and operated by an independent administrative institution in Japan, the National Institute of Multimedia Education (NIME). E-learning courses for developing learner skills, open lectures, and university syllabus information are available.  Try the new search at https://fedsearch.merlot.org/main/search.jsp



MERLOT Awards Program Honors Authors and Volunteers

Since 2002 the MERLOT Awards Program has recognized MERLOT members for their exemplary online teaching and learning materials and/or participation in MERLOT-sponsored activities.  MERLOT supports the following award programs:

  • Classics Awards and Editors’ Choice Awards - awarded by our 15 editorial boards to honor authors of high quality learning resources. Award winners showcase their material at the MERLOT International Conference and discuss how they use it and how it impacts their teaching and learning.
  • The Volunteer of the Year Award - recognizing those who serve as peer reviewers, faculty developers, and MERLOT advocates . 

Please join us in congratulating the following 2006 award winners:

MERLOT Classic Awards - The Editors' Council's Classic Award selections are:


Larry Green's Applet Page

Larry Green
Lake Tahoe Community College


José Rodríguez Alvira
Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico

World Languages

Páginas de ayuda para estudiantes de español

Enrique Yepes, Bowdoin College



Anne Zeiser, Jason J. Hunke & Karen Cariani

WGBH – Boston


Cash Flow Statement

David Annand

Athabasca University


Animated Chemistry Tutorials and Models

Patrick Wegner and Andrew Montana Cal State – Fullerton


Sampling Distribution of the Mean Tutorial

Dale Berger
Claremont Graduate University


The Brain from Top to Bottom!

Bruno Dubuc (Canadian Institutes of Health Research)

Teacher Education

Cyber Newseum

Mike Fetters
Cyber Newseum


Seventeen Moments in Soviet History

James von Geldern &

Lewis Siegelbaum
Macalester College

Teaching and Technology

FAST - Free Assessment Summary Tool

Bruce Ravelli
Mount Royal College

Health Sciences

Neuroscience for Kids

Eric Chudler
University of Washington


Information Technology

Web Tutorials:  XHTML, DHTML, ASP.NET, JavaScript

David Adams
Macon State College


MERLOT Editors' Choice Awards

The MERLOT Editors' Council reviews the Editors' Classic Award winner from each discipline and selects resources considered to be exemplary models for all disciplines. The Council confers upon these exemplary resources its highest honor, the MERLOT Editors' Choice Award.

The Editors' Choice Award winners this year are:



Timothy Philpott (University of Missouri-Rolla)


PhET – Physics Education Technology

Carl Wiemann, Noah Finkelstein, Kathy Perkins, Ron Le Master (University of Colorado)

MERLOT Volunteer of the Year Awards
The winners of these awards were nominated by MERLOT Editors and selected by the Project Directors’ Council. Two of our Volunteers of the Year (*) will be at the MERLOT International Conference to share their experiences and discuss the impact that MERLOT has had on their careers. The winners are:

Natasha Anthony* (Hudson Valley Community College - SUNY) – World Languages

Jackie Miller (Ohio State University) - Statistics

David Wicks* (Seattle Pacific University) – Teacher Education




MERLOT and TLT Cosponsored Workshops

Back by popular demand!  MERLOT and TLT will sponsor a 3 workshop series - July 11, 18 and 25 (3:30 to 5:00 PM EDT) for faculty, faculty development professionals, instructional designers, technologists, and directors and staff at teaching and learning centers to explore how to:

  • Become a MERLOT member  - membership is free.
  • Move beyond browsing MERLOT resources - learn how MERLOT supports discipline-based community-building.
  • Contribute Materials – MERLOT disseminates instructional resources and confers professional recognition through peer review.
  • Create Personal Collections - individualized and annotated listings of online instructional resources.
  • Use Personal Collections - identify other MERLOT members who share specific interests.
  • Visit the Member Directory -  contact and invite potential collaborators to join in collaborative activities.

The cost for all three workshops is $160 for TLT group subscribers, $175 for MERLOT Partners, and $250 for the general public. Registration includes all sessions and access to all resources, including the discussion forum.  For this and any other TLT Group on-line event, MERLOT members are automatically entitled to a substantial discount (the Co-Sponsor’s rate). For questions or comments contact Joanna Beiter at beiter@tltgroup.org.  To register visit http://www.tltgroup.org/Registration/DescriptionPage/MERLOTWebcast.htm.

The TLT Group has a variety of online offerings.  To see more TLT Group workshops go to https://www.tltgroup.org/

WebCT !MPACT 2006 - 8th annual WebCT Users Conference - July 10-14

The 8th annual WebCT Users conference will take place in Chicago with more than 1,000 educators, course designers, and system administrators from across the globe attending and presenting hundreds of sessions, panels, roundtables, and posters—all reflecting the challenges/concerns that campuses face today.  MERLOT and WebCT will be copresenting the session, MERLOT & WebCT - The Next Generation.  For conference information visit http://www.webct.com/2006.  WebCT is a MERLOT LMS Initiative partner.

Desire2Learn UC06 Expanding Horizons

d2lpictDesire2Learn educators, course designers, technical and system administrators share their knowledge about online teaching and learning at the 3rd Annual Desire2Learn Users Conference, July 31st – August 2nd at the University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario.   Registration opens March 27th, 2006.   Conference details are at: http://www.Desire2Learn.com/UC06 or via inquires to: UC06@Desire2Learn.com.  Desire2Learn is a MERLOT LMS Initiative partner.


2006 22cnd Annual Distance Learning Conference

The 22nd Annual Distance Teaching and Learning conference"Focusing on quality ... mobility ... interactivity"  will be held August 2-4 in Madison, Wisconsin.  It will offer a unique and exciting program that combines expertise and practical applications with a focus on designing quality courses, using mobile devices, and harnessing the interactive potential of the Internet.  For more information, go to http://www.uwex.edu/disted/conference/.    University of Wisconsin is a MERLOT Higher Education Partner

EDUCAUSE 2006 Annual Conference
The Educause 2006 Conference,"Spurring Innovation and Marshalling Resources" will take place October 9 – 12, 2006 in Dallas, Texas.  Attendees will learn how to engage with peers in the higher education IT community and will hear from leading figures in the field including pre conference seminars; track sessions; poster sessions; small group meetings; and corporate exhibits, presentations, and workshops.  For more information, go to http://www.educause.edu/conference/annual/2006. 

EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) is a MERLOT Partner.



Dear Webmaster,

I recently heard that MERLOT is going through a make-over. Is that true? Please don't take away the things I have grown to know and love on the site! What is the extent of the changes being made? 


Stuck in my ways

Dear Stuck in my ways,

Yes it's true that MERLOT is going through some changes. It is approaching its 10th anniversary and some parts were starting to sag and droop. It is being updated to make it even easier for you to join, contribute materials, browse for materials, and create personal collections. MERLOT members will also be able to expand their member profiles and easily locate others in their discipline.  Not to worry though; all materials, members, personal collections, comments, and even assignments will still be there when the new site is unveiled. Look for it on a computer near you before the end of the summer. In the meantime, there's a preview of the new homepage below.

- MERLOT Webmaster





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