CONTENTS OF THIS NEWSLETTER
Welcome Message from Executive Director
We had an outstanding 2007 MERLOT International Conference (MIC) this past August. Many heartfelt thanks to Diane Didier and her Louisiana Team for their wonderful hospitality and hard work in Jazzing MERLOT Up in New Orleans. Ray Purdom and the MIC program committee deserve a standing ovation for the high quality program – the most frequent comment I received was about the consistent high quality of the presentations. For those who missed the MIC 2007, you can review the presentations at https://conference.merlot.org/2007/ProgramGrid.htm. Just click on the titles of the presentations and you'll have access to the materials.
The MIC is also the watershed for continuously growing MERLOT to serve the needs of the education community. The powerful theme that emerged from many conversations and presentations that I heard at MIC 2007 was the breaking down of barriers among people who share a passion for improving people’s lives through education. How do we make MERLOT a more international and multi-lingual community? How do we make MERLOT a more multi-disciplinary community? How do we make MERLOT a community where students and faculty both share and learn from their learning experiences? Our job on the MERLOT Administrative Team is to listen to you and make MERLOT better. With your voice, MERLOT is continuously improving. Thank you all for your thoughtful insights.
One step in making MERLOT a more international and multi-lingual community is represented by the wonderful work led by Dr. Moustapha Diack at Southern University with the support of the Louisiana Board of Regents, Moustapha's colleagues, and MERLOT. The MERLOT Africa Network (MAN) at https://man.merlot.org is now reaching out to higher education institutions throughout Africa as colleagues use and contribute to the global MERLOT services. We are very thankful for the leadership and dedicated work of so many people on this project. Please check out the MAN project.
As we start our 10th year as a consortium, I’d like to thank you all for your time and talents that you dedicate to MERLOT. I hope you benefit from MERLOT as others have benefited from your contributions to MERLOT.
Executive Director, MERLOT
2007 MERLOT International Conference - A Huge Success!
The 2007 MERLOT International Conference (MIC07) was held August 7-10 in New Orleans, LA. There were 400+ registrants from 12 countries, 37 states, and 254 organizations. Attendees were entertained, intrigued, and educated by 170 presentations and 3 spectacular keynote speakers.
Bruce Chaloux, in the opening keynote, “The Coming of Age of Online Learning – Now What,” reviewed the progress of online education, and challenged us to speculate on how, in the future, we will educate and communicate with today’s toddlers. To view the keynote address, go to https://admin.acrobat.com/_a48491121/p36743367/
MERLOT's own Dave Megill (MiraCosta College) and his identical twin, Don, in “Teaching Blue,” entertained us by tickling our creativity as we tried to “imagine” tunes in our memories which they had created for us on their authentic Irish penny whistles. The presentation can be viewed at https://admin.acrobat.com/_a48491121/p15872139/
Barbara “Bee” Dieu, from Brazil, introduced us to social networking, as she chatted with colleagues from around the world in real time, using Second Life and other conferencing technologies. This was a fascinating introduction to virtual worlds. See it at https://admin.acrobat.com/_a48491121/p67812527/
In addition to the presentations, attendees could attend poster sessions, visit Editorial Board tables, network with colleagues, and interact with corporate sponsors in the Connections Room. Equally popular were the MERLOT “Dine-arounds” in which small groups of people visited some of the more popular restaurants in New Orleans. Other MIC07 innovations included 15 minute mini-sessions, Learning Circles, and MERLOT Community breakfasts.
Many session presentations are accessible online at: https://conference.merlot.org/2007/ProgramGrid.htm
Community Service Day at the MERLOT International Conference
Being in New Orleans offered an unusual opportunity for the MERLOT community to help with ongoing reconstruction. The Recovery School District organized a work day before the MIC for attendees to work at the John Dibert School, scheduled to reopen September 4. Forty volunteers working in two shifts scraped, taped, and painted, walls, halls, and windows on two floors of the school. You can see their activities on the school website (and maybe even see some of the painted doors) at http://ed.uno.edu/Faculty/rspeaker/Dibert/DibertNet/About.html. Also, see MERLOT members in action at http://www.photoshow.com/watch/SZ3eE2Je
MERLOT Community Awards
Each year at the Awards Ceremony at the MIC, MERLOT presents the Classics Awards, Editors’ Choice Awards, Volunteer of the Year Awards, and Distinguished Service Awards. A complete list of all of the award winners can be found in About Us at https://taste.merlot.org/awardsoverview.html. (This year’s Classics Awards and Editors’ Choice Awards were published in the Summer issue of the Grapevine.)
2007 Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award is MERLOT’s highest honor and exemplifies the vision that brings MERLOT members together to create the MERLOT Community. Recipients have made many personal contributions to MERLOT and have demonstrated their dedication, serving as visionaries and leaders. Recipients are selected by previous winners, with consultation from MERLOT management. The 2007 Distinguished Service Award went to Bruce Mason (University of Oklahoma), Editor of the Physics Editorial Board. Bruce is the principle investigator for COMPADRE which is filling a stewardship role within the National Science Digital Library for educational resources used by broad communities in Physics and Astronomy. For more information on COMPADRE, go to - http://www.compadre.org/portal/index.cfm. Additionally, Bruce was one of the original MERLOT "leaders,” also serving as an Editorial Board representative on the MERLOT Advisory Board. The award was a well-deserved surprise for Bruce!
2007 Volunteers of the Year
The Volunteer of the Year Award honors the hard work and generous donation of our members’ time, energy and enthusiasm that, as peer reviewers, they direct towards the growth and development of MERLOT. These people do not receive support from their institutions for their work. MERLOT relies on peer reviewers to help expand and improve the quality of the MERLOT collection. Nominees are chosen by the Editorial Boards, and selected by our Project Directors. This year there were two awards.
The first went to Associate Editor of Marketing, Michelle Kunz (Morehead State University) who is responsible for triaging all the Marketing collection, and for recruiting and supervising 22 Marketing volunteer peer reviewers, each of whom has committed to completing 5 or more peer reviews annually. This past year, Michelle completed 27 Composite Reviews which were posted to MERLOT.
Elizabeth Smith (Southwest Virginia Community College) who received the second award has a unique approach to peer review, actively involving her students in the examination of French and Spanish learning materials. The students are then in a better position to judge the quality of online learning materials, giving Elizabeth valuable user perspectives to include in her own peer review. Student testing also serves a pedagogical purpose in that they spend more time on task with the materials. Elizabeth Smith has been a solid supporter of MERLOT and a great help to the World Languages Editorial Board.
New MERLOT Awards Established
Two new awards will be given in 2008. The Innovative Use of MERLOT can be awarded to the person, department, or program that demonstrates, through qualitative or quantitative research, or anecdotal evidence, a unique use of MERLOT. The Institutional Stewardship award, judged by a panel of professional organization representatives, can be given to the institution that demonstrates evidence of the diffusion of MERLOT by promotional activities in that institution. Information about these awards, including directions for nomination, can be found at https://taste.merlot.org/MERLOTAwards/ApplicationofMERLOT.html
Professor Laura Franklin Receives Technology Award
Professor of French, Laura Franklin, (Northern Virginia Community College - Alexandria Campus and Extended Learning Institute) received the annual American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Faculty Development Program-Houghton Mifflin Award for Excellence in Foreign Language Instruction Using Technology with the International Association for Language Learning Technology. The award recognizes excellence in the integration and use of technology at the post-secondary level. Franklin will accept the honor—which comes with a $500 cash award—at the ACTFL annual meeting in San Antonio on November 16. Franklin, who learned of her award while attending the 2007 MERLOT International Conference said, "It means so much to me to hear this news while at a MERLOT conference. I am sure that this award has everything to do with the work I have done in this area of online learning. To me, the best thing is that it will help me share MERLOT with more teachers. It is also a great day for community colleges. Thanks for all of you who have given me the opportunity to do this work,” Congratulations, Laura!
MERLOT Leadership Community News
Moustapha (Mous) Diack, MERLOT Chemistry Editorial Board Member, Professor at Southern University and developer of the MERLOT African Network (MAN), will initiate collaborative networking between African Higher Education Institutions (AHEI) and the MERLOT community to promote the adoption of e-learning repositories to support education in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). MAN's goals include fostering the diffusion of e-learning repositories in SSA, the initiation of collaborative networks between MERLOT and MAN institutions, the promotion of the development of MERLOT's collaborative Teaching Commons, and the provision of forums for cross-fertilization that will result in best practices in the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Mous has finalized a MOU between Addis Ababa University (AAU) in Ethiopia and MERLOT, and has pending MOUs with the Universities of Yaounde (Cameroun) and Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar (Senegal).
The project will host a workshop during the upcoming e-learning Africa conference in Nairobi, Kenya. MAN's Community Portal is at https://man.merlot.org/.
MERLOT Growing with Editorial Boards
This Fall, two Editorial Boards began formal operations. Fire Safety, found under Science and Technology, with J.D. Brown (Oklahoma State University) as Editor and Portal Editor, has a collection of 189 triaged learning materials. The portal, under Workforce Development Communities is at: https://firesafety.merlot.org/. If you know of anyone who would like to help with peer review as a volunteer, or serve on the Board, contact J.D.
The second new Board is Criminal Justice, with Jennifer Grimes (Indiana State University) as the Editor. The material collection has been completely triaged with 365 learning materials and 92 members. If you know of someone in that field who could serve on the Editorial Board or be a volunteer peer reviewer, contact Jennifer.
Help Wanted - MERLOT Announces GRAPE Camp
Speaking of Editorial Boards, this Fall MERLOT kicked off GRAPE Camp - a new initiative to train peer reviewers about the process of evaluation of online learning materials. MERLOT GRAPE Camp, designed for those who wish to become peer reviewers, features a series of 3, one-hour, weekly online webinar workshops. New reviewers will be introduced to their discipline’s Editorial Board; develop an understanding of MERLOT; learn how MERLOT evaluates learning materials; conduct and do a group peer review; demonstrate how to use the Workspace tool for review; and be assigned a review within their discipline. The first round of MERLOT GRAPE Camps began the first week of October, with others going on throughout the year.
If you are unfamiliar with MERLOT’s Peer Review Process, this is a great opportunity to get involved. After the webinars, participants will be prepared to participate in the MERLOT Peer Review process. Reviewers are asked to do at least 2 reviews per academic year, although many have committed to more. In fact, many of the Editorial Boards will add reviewers to the Editorial Board as honorary members the following year, if they do 5 reviews per year! If you are interested in “attending” one of these MERLOT GRAPE Camps, contact Cathy Swift., Director of Academic Partner Services.
JOLT - Journal of Learning and Online Teaching - September 2007 Released!
The September Issue of JOLT (Journal of Online Learning and Teaching) is now online with 10 new papers. JOLT - the online publication that addresses the scholarly use of multimedia resources in education is published quarterly: in March, June, September, and December, with submission deadlines of November 30, February 28, May 31, and August 31.
Manuscripts can include theory and research studies, position papers, case studies, or "Instructional Design Notes." Topics may include learning theory and the use of multimedia to improve student learning, instructional design theory and application, online learning and teaching initiatives, the use of technology in education, or innovative learning and teaching practices. Readers are encouraged to submit manuscripts at any time - see the Guidelines for Authors.
JOLT Special Issue - the Next Generation of Learning/course Management Systems
The world of learning has rapidly changed since the first learning management system, and new technologies present diverse ideas and opportunities for engaged e-Learning. A reflection of this change will be demonstrated in the June 2008 issue of JOLT that will include JOLT's traditional, peer-reviewed topical exploration as well as a new experiment in social software. In conjunction with the issue, JOLT will invite readers to venture into distributed knowledge with comment, critique, and feedback on each of the articles via a Wiki dedicated to creating new knowledge related to the topics. If you are interested in reviewing for the Journal, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual Universities: Responding to Greater Demand Conference
Universities worldwide face many challenges and faced with competing priorities, most governments cannot afford to allocate funding and resources necessary to meet those higher education challenges. Creative institutions have turned to information and communication technology solutions such as virtual universities to address these challenges. Go to the April-June 2007 issue of International Institute for Educational Planning Newsletter to see how the African Virtual University and the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth, are examples of creative approaches that address resource limitations within the context of Africa and the Commonwealth.
Adobe and MERLOT Produce Great Things
MERLOT shares resources and expertise online using Adobe software for Web-based collaboration, training, and publishing. For college instructors, MERLOT is an invaluable repository of reusable digital content and pedagogical services. For MERLOT, using a variety of Adobe software products to further its mission related to online teaching and learning is essential. Staff and content contributors use Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Contribute to build and manage Web portals—categorized by discipline and program areas—that house a broad spectrum of teaching and learning assets and resources. Adobe products are also used for webinars and collaboration among discipline boards and the educational community. To learn more about Adobe and MERLOT's relationship, read the whole success story at https://taste.merlot.org/documents/adobestory.pdf
MERLOT and Creative Commons
MERLOT has begun deploying Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org/) licenses and will spend the next year informing, educating, recommending, and implementing the use of Creative Commons. MERLOT has incorporated Creative Commons to 1) encourage creators of online materials to share their work with others who might wish to reuse the materials in creative ways, and 2) ensure that contributions of online materials by MERLOT members are protected from misuse and abuse.
Our new Acceptable Use Agreement requires new MERLOT members to agree to abide by different Creative Commons licenses, each depending on the nature of the member's participation in MERLOT (https://www.merlot.org). As the 2007/08 academic year progresses, MERLOT will provide more information about Creative Commons through visual changes to the website as well as through programs to encourage the sharing and labeling of online materials with Creative Commons licenses. For example, MERLOT will providing authors who submit materials to MERLOT the opportunity to determine the type of license they want their materials to carry. For more information regarding the types of Creative Commons permissions assigned to MERLOT’s page content such as peer reviews, About Us, and other MERLOT materials, visit https://taste.merlot.org/acceptableuserpolicy.html.
Five Minute eClips and Brief Hybrid Faculty Development Workshops
A barrier to the effective use of new options for improving teaching and learning is that most faculty don't have time to learn them. Traditional approaches to faculty development have relied on workshops lasting an hour or a day or a week - on one's own campus, at a regional event, or a national or international conference. Several years ago, Todd Zakrajsek, Central Michigan University, developed the 5-Minute Workshop to address this issue. This past year, Steve Gilbert (President of the TLT Group), Ray Purdom, (UNC – Greensboro and Editor of the MERLOT Faculty Development Board), Todd Zakrajsek, and others have explored the expansion of the face-to-face 5-Minute Workshop concept to an online or hybrid format. The result has been the development and compilation of short video clips (eClips) and brief hybrid workshops. For more information, see http://www.tltgroup.org/tlt5.htm. To promote the sharing of these eClips and workshops, the MERLOT Faculty Development Board has encouraged submissions of these resources to MERLOT and has begun organizing them by using personal collections. See, for example: https://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewPortfolio.htm?id=268934. If you have any faculty development eClips or brief hybrid workshops, please contribute them to the MERLOT's Faculty Development discipline.
LOUISiana Digital Library
The LOUISiana Digital Library is a state-wide digital archive of 84,000+ digitized photographs, artwork, audio recordings, maps, letters, and other objects from more than 19 Louisiana libraries, archives, museums, and historical centers. Examples of items in the collections include photographs of the Great 1927 Mississippi River Flood, audio recordings of Cajun and Creole folk music, Civil War photograph albums, paintings by Louisiana artists, and early 18th Century maps of Louisiana. Visit the LOUISiana Digital Library online at http://ww.louisianadigitallibrary.org
10th Annual Accessing Higher Ground: Accessible Media, Web and Technology Conference for Education, Business, Web and Media Designers
November 6 - 9, 2007 at University of Colorado-Boulder - in Collaboration with AHEAD, EASI, ATHEN and CSUN ATACP. The conference focuses on the implementation and benefits of Assistive Technology in the university and college setting for sensory, physical, and learning disabilities. Other topics include legal and policy issues, including ADA and 508 compliance, and making campus media and information resources - including Web pages and library resources - accessible. For conference registration and general information, visit http://www.colorado.edu/ATconference.
Educause Learning Initiative: Webseminar
November 6: Supporting Student Learning: The Open Learning Initiative and ASSISTments. Candace Thille and Neil Heffernan discuss how the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University and ASSISTments, a Carnegie Mellon and Worcester Polytechnic Institute collaborate to create dynamic, flexible, and responsive learning environments that foster robust learning. This 1-hour webseminar will be at 1:00 p.m. ET (12:00PM CT, 11:00AM MT, 10:00AM. PT); International participants: Visit external time-conversion Web site to calculate the event's start time in your time zone. Vist http://www.educause.edu/ELIWEB0711
NMC Symposium on the Evolution of Communication - Call for Proposals
The Symposium on the Evolution of Communication will explore the premise that technology has not only mediated communication in countless ways, but that the very ways we communicate—and even the ways we talk and think about communication—are changing as a result. Proposals for presentations for the NMC Symposium on the Evolution of Communication, a special 2-day, live online event to be held December 4-5, 2007 in the virtual world of Second Life. See http://www.nmc.org/2007-fall-virtual-symposium for full details. Proposals may be submitted at http:// www.nmc.org/2007-fall-virtual-symposium/proposals. More information about the Symposium can be found at http://www.nmc.org/2007-fall-virtual-symposium.
96th Annual Meeting, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture - Call for Papers
The 96th Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture - March 27-30, 2008 in Houston Texas.
For more information visit https://acsa-arch.org/conferences/annual2008.aspx
Innovate: Call for Manuscripts and Innovate-Live Webcasts
Innovate an open access, bimonthly, e-journal focusing on the use of information technology to enhance the educational process in K-12, higher, corporate, and government announces a call for manuscripts. The journal, published by the Fischler School of Education and Human Services, and sponsored by Microsoft will consider manuscripts presented at a conference or published in conference proceedings. Visit http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=submit. InnovateOnline will consider a manuscript that has been presented at a conference or even published in conference proceedings.
Innovate-Live is offering webcasts on 5th and November 9th as opportunities to interact synchronously with authors of selected articles in the October/November issue. To participate, register at http://www.uliveandlearn.com/PortalInnovate/. Topics include, Designing the Online Collaboratory for the Global Social Benefit Incubator, The Rice University Press Initiative: An Interview with Charles Henry, Distance Learning in Micronesia; Experiences in a Virtual Classroom Using Synchronous Technologies, and Using Digital Mapping Programs to Augment Student Learning in Social Studies.
Lilly Conference on College of University Teaching
February 8-10, 2008, Greensboro, NC. at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center near the University of North Carolina at Greensboro campus. See Lilly Conferences for more information. Internationally-known scholars join new and experienced faculty members and administrators from all over the world to discuss topics such as gender differences in learning, incorporating technology into teaching, encouraging critical thinking, using teaching and student portfolios, implementing group learning, and evaluating teaching.
NMC Releases Horizon Project: Call to Scholarship
The report, a collaboration between the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), highlights six technologies that will become very important to higher education over the next five years. This year, the NMC has undertaken for the first time a concerted, international effort to describe a research agenda and call to scholarship based on the six practices and technologies featured in the 2007 edition of the Horizon Report. The Call to Scholarship is designed to encourage a deeper level of understanding around each of the topics in the Horizon Report. Download the Call to Scholarship at http://www.nmc.org/pdf/Horizon-Project-Call-to-Scholarship.pdf
Call for Proposals - 8th Annual MERLOT International Conference - August 7-10, 2008
The Call for Proposals is now open for the MERLOT International Conference set to take place August 7-10, 2008 in Minneapolis, MN. To submit a proposal, go to https://mic08.merlot.org/. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2008, but it is never too early to start thinking about your proposal. This year our Community of Practice is the Education field, but proposals are also welcome from all other disciplines as well. With our conference theme, “MERLOT: Still Blazing the Trail and Meeting New Challenges in the Digital Age,” there will be many opportunities to share, learn and participate in conversations about teaching and learning with technology. Again this year, OpeniWorld and Digital Marketplace will be meeting in conjunction with the MERLOT International Conference. We hope to see you there!
FROM THE WEBMASTER
I am a member of an Editorial Board in MERLOT. Am I an Editor? One person calls me an Editor and another calls me a Peer Reviewer. And I’ve also heard about Volunteer Peer Reviewers. So, what am I? And what’s the dif?
- Muddled MERLOTer
I’ll try to clarify some of these terms for you. An Editor is appointed to be the leader of an Editorial Board. Normally these people are selected by the MERLOT Institutional Partner (system or campus). In some cases, there are two Co-Editors, each of whom is appointed by the Institutional Partner. I prefer to refer to them as Editors rather than Co-Editors. If you are not the leader of an Editorial Board, then you are either a Peer Reviewer or an Associate Editor.
A Peer Reviewer is a Member of the Editorial Board, whose responsibilities include completing peer reviews on learning materials, adding learning materials to the collection, completing Member Comments and Learning Assignments, and spreading the word about MERLOT. In some cases, the Institutional Partner may require more from the Board Members, such as conducting workshops or preparing an annual report.
An Associate Editor is a Board Member who has served as a Peer Reviewer and has indicated the desire for more responsibility or has been promoted to the position. The Editor and the individual’s Project Director determine whether the person will be promoted to Associate Editor. In most instances, the Associate Editor leads a sub-discipline within the general discipline. For example, on the Business Editorial Board - there are Associate Editors for Accounting, International Business, Management, and Marketing. Each of those Associate Editors operates like a “mini-me.” They recruit Peer Reviewers, triage their sub-discipline, assign reviewers to materials, and consolidate the final review. In some cases the Associate Editor may take on another role, such as mentoring new board members.
A volunteer Peer Reviewer is someone interested in participating in the peer review process, but receives no support from a MERLOT Institutional Partner. In fact, the volunteer’s institution need not be a partner of MERLOT. Those people participate in MERLOT in order to make a contribution to their discipline, improve their own teaching, or to advance the scholarship of teaching. In some disciplines, volunteer Peer Reviewers who conduct five or more peer reviews during a one year period are invited to join the Editorial Board and are recognized for their contribution on the discipline portal.
An Editorial Board consists of Editor(s), Associate Editors, and Peer Reviewers (supported and volunteer). To the outside world, we do not distinguish between the two types of Peer Reviewers. If you know of anyone interested in becoming a peer reviewer, please contact Cathy Swift at email@example.com
MERLOT by the Numbers
as of October 31, 2007
In case you were wondering what goes on in MERLOT, here are some statistics to give you a sense of Member activity! Check back in the next issue for more MERLOT by the Numbers!
Number of Contributors to MERLOT by member ribbon categories:
- MERLOT Burgundy Ribbon: 7797
- Bronze: 319
- Silver: 65
- Gold: 57
Number of Members that have contributed:
- Learning Materials – 2836
- Assignments - 360
- Peer Review - 542
- Member comment – 1618
- Personal Collection – 5301
402 requests have been made for a "key" to integrate MERLOT search services into Blackboard, WebCT, Angel Learning, or Desire2Learn. For more information about MERLOT's LMS relationships, visit https://taste.merlot.org/lms.html
MERLOT is offering a new service for its Higher Education Partners of posting brief job listings. The job listing itself is only available for MERLOT Higher Education System and Campus Partners. If you are a MERLOT Partner and have a job to offer, please send it to the MERLOT Webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in the next edition of The Grapevine. However, anyone may apply for the positions. If you are interested in any of the following positions, please see the link below for more information.
Science Education Position
University at Albany, State University of New York
Department of Educational Theory and Practice
Download the full job lisiting here for more information.
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If you have been forwarded this email newsletter and would like to subscribe to The Grapevine, you may do this 1) automatically by becoming a MERLOT member at https://www.merlot.org/merlot/join.htm or 2) without becoming a MERLOT member by signing up at https://lists.merlot.org/newsletter/index.htm?action=add
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Your input about The Grapevine: If you have comments, suggestions, or news items to contribute to The Grapevine, contact the MERLOT webmaster at email@example.com
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