Putting Innovations into Practice for Education

The Grapevine

Issue #10 - Summer 2007









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MERLOT By the Numbers



2007 MERLOT International Conference 2007 - Registration Now Open!

007037The 2007 MIC will be hosted by the Louisiana Board of Regents in New Orleans August 7-11th. The conference theme is Jazzing IT (Instructional Technology) Up with MERLOT. The Highlighted Community of Practice this year is Humanities.

The conference is devoted to the design, creation, utilization, and evaluation of online teaching and learning materials, and provides opportunities to share, learn, and participate in conversations about teaching and learning with technology. Presenters will encourage audience participation and feedback.

In addition to the regular conference schedule, there will be opportunities to earn MERLOT certification for workshop attendance. MERLOT provides a full pre-conference day of professional development workshops that provide value for your travel dollar. Registration is now open at: https://conference.merlot.org/2007/registration.html and the full program is at: https://mic07.merlot.org/program/overview.htm.

Keynote Speakers Announced

044 Bruce Chaloux directs the 16-state Electronic Campus initiative of the Southern Regional Education Board. The Electronic Campus, the South’s “electronic marketplace” for distance learning courses and programs, now includes more than 20,000 credit courses and 600 degree programs from 300 colleges and universities in the region.  Bruce led SREB’s efforts to establish an integrated regional learning portal incorporating the Electronic Campus in early 2004 and the first “vertical” in the regional portal — www.TeacherCenter.org—launched in November, 2004.

Bruce's keynote address, "The Coming of Age of Online Learning - Now What?" will look back at the early days of online learning, survey the current status, and suggest where we might, or should be going.

Dave Megill Dave Megill, is a longtime music instructor at MiraCosta College as well as a published author, online instructor, and musician. He is a skilled programmer and key developer of rich multimedia and interactive components in music online classes. Dave has received numerous awards including the California Community College Hayward Award for Excellence in Education, a MERLOT Classics Award, and with his brother Don, the CVC Online Teaching Website Award, and the "Best Professor Website" in Prentice Hall's "Afternoon of Innovation."

Dave's Keynote Address, "Teaching Blue" will suggest that a career of teaching does not necessarily answer the questions and mysteries of learning. The science of music seems ultimately understandable, but the mystery of creativity unravels the specificity. Many of us face a similar dichotomy as we try to objectify our teaching when faced with the wonder of learning.

052 Barbara Dieu teaches EFL and coordinates the foreign language department at the Lycée Pasteur, the Franco-Brazilian secondary school in São Paulo. She is also Braz-Tesol EduTech SIG Coordinator and has been involved in international projects online since 1997, networking and collaborating in several national and international communities of practice, such as Webheads in Action, Vivencia Pedagogica, TALO and SCOPE. She presently leads the Blogstreams Salon, a monthly gathering at Tapped in for educators interested in Web publishing; Barbara also co-runs www.Dekita.org, advocating open approaches and participatory uses of Web applications in EFL/ESL teaching.

Barbara's address, "Open Networked Learning - Architectures of Participation" will show how we can harness the networking power of these tools and communities to engage in participatory communication and collective knowledge-building. She will focus on not only what is possible, but what is already happening, and invite participants to reflect on how architecture of participation can facilitate creativity, openness, interaction, and sustainable partnerships.

Community Service Day at the MERLOT International Conference

054 Because the 2007 MIC will be held in New Orleans, it offers an opportunity to make a contribution to those who have been impacted by Hurricane Katrina. August 6th, the day before the conference begins, we will have a Community Service Day in which MIC attendees and others can help to prepare a school in the Recovery School District for fall classes. The RSD will be opening 25 new schools in the district and we will be working at one of them, doing finishing work such as painting, landscaping and setting up classrooms. The entire MERLOT community is welcome to participate by registering at https://conference.merlot.org/2007/MIC_Service_Day.html

OpeniWorld Conference Held Along with MIC 07

O.K.I. Consortium Logo This year MERLOT has teamed up with the Open Knowledge Initiative to host OpeniWorld:eLearn (OiW) in conjunction with the MIC in New Orleans.  OiW will spotlight the key role of interoperability in making eLearning transparent, convenient for faculty and students, as well as efficient and affordable for administrators. By including OiW, the MIC has added issues of interest to CIO's, academic computing managers and educational technologists to the program. Specific OiW activities are scheduled for August 9th and 10th. Registrants for the MIC are welcome to attend OiWorld sessions. See the OiW website at: http://www.openiworld.org/

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 awards:

classic Classics Awards - Each year our Editorial Boards select and recognize a learning material that is an example of a high quality learning resource. Award winners showcase their material at the MERLOT International Conference and discuss how they use it and how it impacts their teaching and learning.


Editors' Choice Awards - These are Classics Awards that have been identified by the Editors' Council as being exemplary materials across all disciplines.

  • Volunteer of the Year Award - Many MERLOT members serve as peer reviewers, faculty developers, and MERLOT advocates without any form of partner support. This award recognizes those individuals for their tireless work on behalf of MERLOT.

These awards will be presented during the Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, August 8th at the MIC0,7 and winners will showcase their materials during the conference. Please join us in congratulating the following 2007 award winners:

Editors' Choice Winners


VR Molecules

Marc Couture (Tele-universite)


World Languages

Lingu@net Europa

Lingu@net Europa

Classics Winners


The eSkeletons Project

John W. Kappelman (University of Texas at Austin)


Guide to Financial Statements

Arthur Downing (Baruch College)

Faculty Development

Access e-Learning

Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access - CATEA (Georgia State University)

Health Sciences

Assessing Blood Pressure

Scott Barker (Cal State University - Chico), Danny Mistry (University of Virginia), and Andrew Winterstein (University of Wisconsin)


The Raid on Deerfield

Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association (Memorial Hall Museum)

Information Technology

Camtasia Tutorial

Michael Fimian (Providence College)


Graph Theory Lessons

Christopher Mawata (University of Tennessee at Chatanooga)


Music Theory and History Online

Brian Blood (Dolmetsch Musical Instruments)


Physics 8.02: Faraday's Law

John Belcher (MIT)


Rice Virtual Lab in Statistics

David Lane (Rice University)

Teacher Education

Quest Garden

Bernie Dodge (San Diego State University

Volunteer of the Year Award

Michelle Kunz

Morehead State University
Business Associate Editor

Elizabeth Smith

Southwest Virginia Community College
World Languages Peer Reviewer


Update: MERLOT Innovation Projects

The FIPSE-funded ELIXR project is moving ahead on schedule. You can track progress on ELIXR's creation of teacher-to-teacher case stories of exemplary instruction at the project wiki, https://elixr.merlot.org. The initial set of cases from the California State University and Coastline Community College are focused on the theme of Universal Design for Learning. Additional themes under consideration include:

  • Redesigning courses to address quality and cost
  • Engaging students and instructors in online courses
  • Developing student capability in ‘new literacies’
  • Active Learning in Large Classes
  • Using online teaching ideas and learning resources

The second set of cases is getting underway with MERLOT system partners in Georgia, Minnesota and Oklahoma and campus partners at Indiana State University, Brigham Young University and the Ohio State University, as well as our repository partner, Teach the Earth.

Several MERLOT partners are participating in the Carnegie Foundation's Institutional Leadership Program for the scholarship of teaching and learning. Members of this group (California State University, State University of New York, University of North Carolina, and Seton Hall University) are engaged in pilot studies to develop a proposal for a scaled-up project targeted for submission to the NSF program for Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement in January 2008, with the additional participation of Cornell University and the University of Memphis from the Tennessee Board of Regents. You can track this initiative at the project wiki: https://castl.merlot.org. The group will be holding a roundtable at MIC07 for others interested in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as part of MERLOT activities. Several MERLOT partners are also involved in our Course Redesign/Academic Transformation initiatives. Look for a birds-of-a-feather session on this topic in the Panel Sessions at MIC07.

Online Education Database (OEDb) Tools for Publishing/Developing Initiatives

OEDb Open Education Resources (OER’s) provide teaching and learning materials that are freely available and offered online for anyone to use. While some OERs include OpenCourseWare (OCW) or other educational materials, they may also offer the means to alter those courses through editing, adding to those courses through publication, and the ability to shape the tools that share those resources.  Online Education Database (OEDb) has published a feature story on open education resource initiatives where they list their 80 favorite resources (arranged in alphabetical order). You can find this at: http://oedb.org/library/features/80-oer-tools. These are resources you can use to learn how to build or participate in a collaborative educational effort that focuses on publication and development of those materials. Of course, MERLOT is on the list!

MERLOT Leadership Community News

hanley Gerry Hanley, Executive Director of MERLOT, and Senior Director, Academic Technology at Cal State University, recently testified at a U.S. Congressional public hearing in Portland, Oregon. In June 2006, U.S. Representatives Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) and David Wu (D- OR) asked the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance to conduct a one-year study with three objectives: to investigate further the problem of rising textbook prices; to determine the impact of rising textbook prices on students' ability to afford a post-secondary education; and to make recommendations to Congress, the Secretary of Education, and other stakeholders on what can be done to make textbooks more affordable to students. This was the third and final public hearing (others were in Illinois and California). Information gathered from these hearing will be used to inform the final report and is scheduled for delivery to Congress and the Secretary by the end of May.

diack Moustapha (Mous) Diack, MERLOT Chemistry Editorial Board Member and Professor at Southern University has been developing the MERLOT African Network (MAN). MAN is an effort to initiate collaborative networking between African Higher Education Institutions (AHEIs) 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 resource 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 initiators will be hosting a workshop during the upcoming e-learning Africa conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. William Paquette, History MERLOT Editor, has been awarded two National Endowment for the Humanities Landmark Grants. He will spend a week in San Antonio, Texas to study Hispanic-American culture at the Alamo, and a week studying the career of President John Adams, at Boston College and Braintree and Quincy Historic Sites.


Margarita Hodge, Professor of Spanish and MERLOT World Languages Associate Editor, received the 2007 Northern Virginia Community College Alumni Association Faculty of the Year Award. Nominated by her students, Margarita received her award in the presence of students and faculty on April 20, 2007. MERLOT World Languages is honored to have such a distinguished professor on its editorial board.

.moncada Susan Moncada, Associate Editor for the Business Editorial Board of MERLOT and Accounting Instructor at Indiana State University, will be presenting "How Accounting Educators in Two Year Schools Can Benefit from MERLOT" on August 7th at the American Accounting Association in Chicago. She will be on a panel with two volunteer Peer Reviewers, Carol Jessup (University of Illinois - Springfield) and Debbie Beard (Southeast Missouri).


Teaching and Technology Editorial Board Becomes Faculty Development Editorial Board

portal Have you noticed the change in the listing of Discipline Communities on the homepage of MERLOT? The Teaching and Technology Editorial Board has decided that their materials pertain more to Faculty Development and have therefore changed the name of the Editorial Board. You can still find the same resources in the collection, but now there are slightly different sub-categories. Although Faculty Development is not a discipline per se, it is a MERLOT Community that reaches across all disciplines.

MERLOT Receives Google Adwords Grant

Google AdWords grants are designed for 501(c)3 non-profit organizations as unique, in-kind advertising programs that typically cost Google customers thousands of dollars. The grant enables non-profits to seek, inform, and engage their constituents in creative new ways. Google Grants has awarded an AdWords Grant to MERLOT to use their award of free AdWords advertising on Google.com to raise awareness and increase traffic to the MERLOT website.

Google will provide MERLOT with at least three months of in-kind keyword advertising using the AdWords we develop with a Google specialist, allowing us to connect directly with our target audience. It will take up to a month to set up MERLOT and its corresponding keyword campaign in Google. Once we begin using AdWords, through simple, short text ads that run on Google.com, thousands (or even millions) of people can learn about MERLOT as they search for related information. When someone enters keywords into Google.com, the most relevant ads are displayed alongside the search results - including the new hit, MERLOT!

Search Results
With an index of billions of web pages and the industry's most advanced search technology, Google is the fastest and easiest way to find relevant information on the Internet.


Google users search on keywords related to MERLOT's mission.

a MERLOT ad appears next to relevant Google search results. When Google users click on our ad, it takes them to the MERLOT website.

With Google AdWords, MERLOT will only reach people interested in our information and services. That's because our ads will only be displayed on pages based on the keywords we have chosen. So instead of looking for an audience, we will have an audience looking for us. Once MERLOT gets started with the AdWords campaign, we will be able to see how well our ads perform, including how often people have clicked on each of our ads and keyword phrases.

JOLT - Journal of Online Learning and Teaching - Latest Issue Now Available!

005The March 2007 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 submissions on multimedia educational resources for learning and teaching, including papers on research, theory and/or concepts, 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 Ed Perry at eperry@memphis.edu or Michelle Pilati. To learn more view the Guidelines for Authors or go to https://jolt.merlot.org/.

If you want to discuss any of the articles or any issues about the journal, the editors welcome Letters to the Editor. Your letter should be submitted via e-mail, clearly indicating the article(s) you are commenting on; be sure to include your full name, affiliation, address, and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, style, and length. Published letters will include the writer's name and affiliation.

JOLT Gets New Co-Editor


Michelle Pilati, Editor of the MERLOT Psychology Editorial Board, has accepted the position of Co-Editor of MERLOT’s Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. Having served on the JOLT Editorial Board since its inception, Michelle will join Ed Perry in leading the Editorial Board. We thank Michelle for stepping up to this responsibility. She replaces Tracy Penny Light who was instrumental in developing the journal. Our thanks go out to Tracy for all of her efforts over the past few years.

ANGEL Learning Busy in 2007

ANGEL Learning ANGEL Learning has released version 7.2 of its learning management system, with integrated Learning Outcomes Management, podcast support, wikis, blogs, and assessment content management tools included. For more information, visit http://www.angellearning.com/news/documents/2007-02-26.html

ANGEL Learning has also created a Second Life experience as a cooperative effort between ANGEL Learning and the SLED (Second Life Educators community).  They have produced a virtual experience within the popular Second Life virtual world designed for educational experimentation.The Island, known as “ANGEL Learning Isle” opened to the public in May,2007. To visit, search for ANGEL Learning Isle using the Second Life search utility at http://www.secondlife.com. Educators who want to learn from the shared experiences of other educators in Second Life or who have questions about how to best use Second Life with educational projects, are invited to start at https://lists.secondlife.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/educators.

Requests for Resources for Virginia Tech

We've all struggled to understand what happened at Virginia Tech and to do whatever we can to support our friends there.  TLT has started a webpage at http://www.tltgroup.org/VaTechresources.htm to compile shareable and helpful resources.   If you have something you'd like TLT to add to the webpage, please send it to sallygilbert@tltgroup.org



Institutional Teaching Commons Now on MERLOT


Have you heard about the "MERLOT Institutional Teaching Commons?" This new MERLOT service is a partner-only benefit that will enable MERLOT partner institutions to bring customized MERLOT services to their faculty and students. The theme of the MERLOT Teaching Commons is, “Build Locally, Link Globally,” and the new MERLOT service helps an institution build a local community of practice based on MERLOT functionality but customizable for local institutional needs. The MERLOT Teaching Commons will enable intercampus collaboration that can result in a more cost-effective delivery of campus academic programs. The MERLOT Teaching Commons will provide faculty with a discipline-based, institutionally contextualized, professional development programs for new faculty.

MERLOT partners who deploy an Institutional Teaching Commons are responsible for supporting appropriate people to develop and sustain the work and services of their Teaching Commons based on MERLOT-supplied templates and guidelines. You can customize your Teaching Commons by following the "handbook" developed by our partners as well as a roadmap and technical implementation instructions. We provide an Adobe Dreamweaver template to begin your implementation, and you can use Adobe Contribute to easily update the information on your own server. What could be simpler than that?

If you are you interested in some real life examples, there are three California State System implementations that can be found on the MERLOT Communities page. You can access these by clicking on the Communities tab on the MERLOT homepage where you will find, under Partner Communities:

  1. California State University - Business
  2. California State University - Science Education for K-12
  3. California State University - ePortfolios

Many times, faculty members do not have colleagues in similar content areas and the Teaching Commons provides the opportunities for isolated faculty to connect with colleagues with common interests. Imagine, within your own system or community, you could create a cross-discipline or cross-campus effort to do such things as the following (currently being considered/planned)::

  • Critical Thinking Skills at University A
  • K-20 Education at College B
  • Internationalizing the Curriculum in System C

If you see ways that your institution might more actively engage faculty and students with this new service, or if you want to explore new ideas, or if you'd like to get a copy of the "handbook," contact the MERLOT Webmaster at webmaster@merlot.org.

Global Learning Objects Brokered Exchange (GLOBE)

globelogo When you visit the Communities page at https://www.merlot.org/merlot/communities.htm, you may notice that GLOBE (Global Learning Objects Brokered Exchange) is now found in our Partner Communities area of MERLOT. If you want to find out more about this project, you can visit the site from the Communities tab or get additional information at https://taste.merlot.org/globe.html.

California Virtual Campus Projects with MERLOT

California Virtual Campus

Congratulations go to Doug Cremer, Project Director of California Virtual Campus. Doug tells us of several projects within California Virtual Campus Project (CVC) and CCC (California Community Colleges’) Technology Center (CCCTC)

Teaching Competition - CVC has re-introduced an expanded, online teaching awards competition and is funding 21 faculty this year ($1,000 each) to develop online learning objects, encouraging them to add them to the MERLOT repository. Participants can choose to be considered for one of three competitive awards for additional compensation when presenting at the annual CCC Online Teaching Conference. The first place winner will also be encouraged to submit their work for presentation at next year’s MERLOT International Conference and if selected, will have their conference and travel expenses paid for by the CVC Project. Joe Georges – El Camino – is the Chief Judge this year and Raquel Rios, the CVC Project Manager, is the CVC Lead).

MERLOT Fellows - The CVC Project has also recently selected four CVC/MERLOT “Fellows” for 2006-2007. The first is Donna Eyestone from the City College of San Francisco. Donna was selected based on discussions at the mid-year MERLOT Director’s Meeting, to champion the development of podcasting pedagogy within the CCC System and to work with the MERLOT Team on a Teaching Commons area dedicated to the effective use of podcasting in online classes.

MERLOT and Creative Commons

050 MERLOT has been exploring the use of Creative Commons for both learning material authors and for content found in MERLOT webpages.  Creative Commons provides free tools that enable authors and educators to easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. One can use Creative Commons to change copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved." It can mean offering some usage rights to any member of the public but only under certain conditions.  We will be enabling Authors who submit materials to MERLOT the ability to determine what type of license they want their materials to carry.  We will also be determining the type of Creative Commons permissions for our own page content such as Peer Reviews, About Us, and other MERLOT materials.  You’ll be hearing more about this project at the MIC but you can find out about Creative Commons at:  http://creativecommons.org/



MERLOT International Conference - 2007

micnolaThe 7th annual MERLOT International Conference will be held August 7-10, 2007 in New Orleans, LA at The Sheraton Hotel.  The MERLOT International Conference is the venue for educators, administrators, and technologists who have interests and expertise in technology-enabled teaching and learning, and who recognize the need to remain current in this rapidly advancing field of educational practice and theory. For more information, go to https://conference.merlot.org/2007

5-Minute Clips and 5-Minute Workshops - TLT Online Workshop

Date: May 30, June 6, and June 13,2007 TIME: 3:00 - 4:00 pm EDT
Lead by: Steve Gilbert, TLT Group, and Todd Areas, Central Michigan University

In this age of too much to do, too little time, 5-minute clips and 5-minute workshops provide an attractive solution for exploring current options for teaching and learning with technology. A 5-minute workshop may be intended for independent individual use or for group activities such as workshops.This workshop explores the rationale behind such 5-minute wonders, shares some existing examples and other resources,and shows you how to build some on your own. To register, go to http's://www.tltgroup.org/Registration/Registration/5minute.htm. For information about this and other TLT Group workshop go to http://www.tltgroup.org/OLI/calendaroli.htm. If you have questions or comments, contact Sally Gilbert at sallygilbert@tltgroup.org

Information Literacy Assessment - ACRL/TLT Online Workshop

How can you access information literacy (IL)? Should you assess the process or what students find?  Should there be an IL graduation requirement? Educators often ponder these questions and others connected with IL programs. Bring your questions and opinions to this seminar for lively discussion in a search for answers. Three synchronous Webcasts will frame IL programs and student learning assessment within the context of AAHE 9 Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning, ACRL's Characteristics of Programs of Information Literacy That Illustrate Best Practices, and Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. For more information, go to: http://www.tltgroup.org/Registration/DescriptionPage/ILA.htm

Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) Online Conference - Innovating e-Learning

The second year of this online conference, taking place June 11-14, 2007, focuses on the potential of e-learning in transforming practice within institutions and in supporting lifelong learning. The keynote presenters will offer a rich variety of perspectives on themes such as Institutional transformation and Supporting Lifelong Learning.  Because of the range of content available, delegates can join the conference starting June 4, 2007 for pre-conference reading. The conference will run from June11-14, 2007 and will then remain open for viewing until July 15th.  Early booking is strongly recommended owing to the high demand for places. For more information and registration: www.jisc.ac.uk/elp_conference07

BlackBoard World '07

043BbWorld ’07 will be the first combined Users Conference in North America for Blackboard and former WebCT clients. In 2006, BbWorld® and WebCT !mpact hosted more than 2,500 education professionals sharing innovative ideas and best practices.  The conference is July 10-12, 2007 in Boston, Massachusetts at the Hynes Convention Center.  Pre-conference workshops on will be held on Sunday, July 8 and Monday, July 9, 2007.  For registration information go to https://www.bbworld07.com/bbReg/2007/bbw07/BlackboardLookup1.asp

International SoTL Conference

The inaugural SoTL Commons:  An International Conference for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning will be held November 1 - 2, 2007 at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. Presentations are listed at http://www.georgiasouthern.edu/ijsotl/conference/presenters.htm.  Presenters are from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Swaziland, Switzerland, and the United States. 

96th Annual Meeting, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture - Call for Papers

annualThe 96th Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture will take place March 27-30, 2008 in Houston Texas. Session Chairs are Rumiko Handa, rhanda1@unl.edu, and Jim Potter, jpotter2@unl.edu, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Papers are invited that explore how the authors, directors, and artists incorporated architecture into the “world” they were creating. Humanities works to be discussed include, but not limited to: pieces of literature or paintings which depicted a historical or fictional event that took place in a building; theater performances whose set designs included a building; films that used a building named in the original literature or adopted another building for a stand-in. Papers are expected that discuss a particular piece of architecture and how it is incorporated in a specific work of literature, art, film, or theater,; those that deal with a group of humanities works in a certain time period in which a particular type of association was predominant, e.g. 19th-century romanticism that referred to historical buildings in creating a sense of past; that discuss synchronic associations, but also welcome those that deal with diachronic relationships. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this session topic, submissions are welcome from cross-disciplinary collaborative teams, as long as one team member is from an ACSA member school. For more information on submitting a paper or the conference, please go to: https://acsa-arch.org/conferences/annual2008.aspx  



Dear Webmaster,

A university colleague of mine recently discovered some MERLOT members to collaborate with on an article he was writing. I was surprised that he was able to find other members with the same interest as his. He started to explain how he did it and that it had something to do with the homepage, but I didn’t understand. Do you know what he is talking about?

- Trying to Find My Way Home

Dear Finding Your Way Home,

Indeed your friend could have located members with the same interests as his from the MERLOT homepage.  Within the newly designed MERLOT, as a member, once you are logged into MERLOT, the homepage changes to reflect the primary discipline interests you specified in your member profile. 

For example, if you indicated that your primary discipline is Biology, the webmasterExploring MERLOT section of the homepage (in the middle bottom) changes to reflect Biology when you are logged in. You can click on any of the 5 links, Learning Materials, Colleagues, Personal Collections, Assignments or Guest Experts, and be taken to a hit list of information that is specific to your discipline.  If you select Colleagues, the list of all MERLOT members in Biology will appear. They will appear in order of their contributions to MERLOT, so the most active members are first on the list. 

As your friend was able to do with members in his discipline, if you want to find peer reviewed materials, click the Learning Materials link, and only materials in your specified discipline will be displayed.

- MERLOT Webmaster

To join MERLOT, go to https://www.merlot.org/merlot/join.htm and sign up for free!

We had so many comments from about how to pick a category when contributing a material in MERLOT that we decided to run it again in case you missed it.

Dear Webmaster,

I've been a member of MERLOT for years and recently noticed that when I contribute materials, the new subject category selector is different. Why did it change and is there an easy way to select categories?

- Category Challenged

Dear Category Challenged,

First, thank you for contributing learning materials to MERLOT; contributions such as yours are an essential part of our value to MERLOT members. As for selecting the appropriate or best fit subject category for your submission, follow these simple instructions and you will have your materials posted in no time.

Once you are ready to contribute material to MERLOT, log in to https://www.merlot.org.

  • Click on the Learning Materials tab at the top, then select the Contribute A Material button at the top right of the page. (You can also start the process right from the homepage on the right side, under the heading “Contribute a Material.”)
  • I will use an example of adding a site that teaches about Spanish culture for a Spanish class. To begin, complete Step 1 (shown on the page) by entering the Title and URL of the material; then complete Step 2, the description of the material.
  • In Step 3, from the subject Category drop-down list, select your primary category. In this case, Humanities. It will be shown above the drop down menu (as a link).
  • The drop-down then shows, “Select sub-categories in Humanities” and repopulates with a more detailed list of sub-categories for the primary category, to narrow your focus. Now select World Languages. Again, above the drop-down you will see another link for this selection.
  • Continue to select sub-categories, Spanish and Culture (from the repopulated drop-downs).
  • Each category selection you make will be displayed above the drop-down, as a link. If you want to change any level of your selected categories, click on the link above the drop-down menu and you will be taken back to that category level in the drop down.
  • By selecting UP from the drop-down, you can remove your most recent choice of category or sub-category selection and you can then select a different topic.

Note that you will be able to add additional subject categories, so don’t be concerned that you are limited in your choices.

- MERLOT Webmaster



MERLOT is offering a new service for its Higher Education Partners of jobsposting brief job listings.  The job listing itself is only available for MERLOT Higher Education Partners – both System Partners and Campus Partners.  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.

There are no job listing to post this issue. If you are a MERLOT partner and have a job to offer, please send it to the MERLOT Webmaster at webmaster@merlot.org to be included in the next edition of The Grapevine.


MERLOT by the Numbers

So are you using MERLOT? 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 Burgandy Ribbon 7054
  • Bronze: 288
  • Silver: 57
  • Gold: 53

Number of Members that have contributed:

  • Learning Materials – 2623
  • Assignments - 303
  • Peer Review - 477
  • Member comment – 1422
  • Personal Collection – 4603

363 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



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