MERLOT Grapevine
Putting Innovations into Practice for Education

The Grapevine

Issue #14 - Fall 2008









MERLOT By the Numbers


mic082008 MERLOT International Conference: a rousing success!!!
 “MIC08”, with a theme of MERLOT: Still Blazing the Trail and Meeting New Challenges in the Digital Age, hosted by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities was held this year in August in Minneapolis. More than 400 registrants attended more-than 150 presentations.  The program is online at  Keynote speakers were Darcy Hardy (Texas Online), Bernie Dodge (San Diego State University) and Robbie Melton (Tennessee Board of Regents).  Hear what each of them had to say at   

micThe event also featured a variety of awards to outstanding MERLOT contributors.  For a list of awards and award winners, please visit  Corporate sponsors of the MIC08 included ANGEL Learning, Avenet, BlackBerry, Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Elluminate, Follett, Giunti Labs, LodeStar, Pearson Learning Solutions, Soft Chalk, TechSmith, Turning Technologies, Unicon, Wiley and Wimba.  

2009 MERLOT International Conference - save the date
MIC2009 will be held August 13 - 16, 2009, in San Jose, California.  Watch the MERLOT home page ( for the Call for Papers, scheduled for November, 2008. 

MERLOT has new features - check them out!!!
Last month MERLOT added significant new functionality to its popular website.  This upgrade included a new Affiliation Finder to enable MERLOT and its Partners to better identify and quantify faculty participation in MERLOT activities.  Members now specify their affiliations to be shown on their profile page. There is also a new and improved Web Service search technology to provide MERLOT users with more detailed information about acceptable use of the learning materials through new Creative Commons license information. MERLOT's Federated Search has been redesigned and upgraded to include direct search of the NSDL repository. For information on the Web Service and Federated Search, go to

To allow more members to contribute and find materials more easily, we have reorganized our Faculty Development taxonomy, updated our Health Sciences taxonomy, and added a new English taxonomy.  We have also improved MERLOT’s browsing capabilities by adding a “Browse by Material Type” section on the learning materials hit list.  Members can drill down to find specific materials, such as animations, simulations, tutorials, etc.

New Portals: Pedagogy and Online Courses
MERLOT has recently added two new portals – Pedagogy ( and Online Courses ( to our growing list of Partner Communities which are modeled after the Carnegie Foundation’s Teaching Commons. The Pedagogy Portal is designed to help instructors learn about different instructional strategies and issues to become better teachers.  The Online Courses Portal, Developing and Delivering Online and Hybrid Courses, provides online and hybrid courses that are open and available for re-use.  It also includes links to resources related to the design and delivery of online and hybrid courses.  McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions has partnered with MERLOT to help develop ways for publishers and MERLOT to blend their resources and give faculty the best choices for high quality and easily customized content at more affordable prices.  These all can be found under Partner Communities on the Communities Tab as MERLOT Online Courses. 

New Web 2.0 community communications tool
MERLOT Voices -- our new community communications tool -- was announced at MIC08 .  Voices is MERLOT’s new center for members to participate in discussion forums, ask questions, and network with others about online learning and teaching.  Visit and join Voices, discuss issues of importance with your colleagues around the world, or even create your own, special Collaborative Community.   Access MERLOT Voices at

MERLOT Mobile Search for BlackBerry users
bblogoMERLOT has partnered with Research in Motion (RIM), makers of BlackBerry® smartphones, to provide a convenient tool, MERLOT Mobile Search, for anyone wishing to search the MERLOT repository.  With MERLOT Mobile Search you can search and find learning materials in MERLOT and email them to yourself or to a colleague. All this is delivered in a simple interface that makes it easy to search MERLOT when you are away from your computer.  For more information visit  To download the search application, go to  You will find directions on how to quickly add it to your BlackBerry desktop.


New MERLOT Media Center
MERLOT has created a central location in where news and press releases about our members and partners can be readily found.    Keep up to date on MERLOT happenings by going directly to

New MERLOT Partners
MERLOT is pleased to welcome Montana State University (Billings) and University of North Dakota as MERLOT “Partners.”  Partners participate in the governance of MERLOT and are active participants in strategic direction setting.  For a full list of MERLOT Partners visit

The MERLOT ELIXR project has its first international partner: a group of four universities in Ontario Canada who will be producing 16 case stories of exemplary teaching practices on Academic Integrity. The Canadian team has funding from a Canadian corporate source, and will use MERLOT ELIXR resources for developing, evaluating and sharing digital case stories for faculty development. ELIXR has also released a set of case stories on Universal Design for Learning, featuring 5 case stories developed by institutions in the California State University. Other case stories scheduled for availability in Fall 08 include contributions from Savannah State University (GA), Northeastern State University (OK) and the Ohio State University.  Several MERLOT institutions have also been contributing to the new ELIXR web log for faculty development leaders using the First Day of Class module for new faculty orientation and workshops for experienced faculty. A parallel blog for faculty developers has been set up for users of the new module in Universal Design for Learning to share their experiences, ideas and resources.  Say current on the MERLOT ELIXR project by subscribing to the RSS feeds at


languageACTFL to sponsor National Student Languages for Life Video Podcast Contest
ACTFL is sponsoring a national student podcast contest to celebrate Discover Languages month during February 2009! This effort is part of the sustained public awareness campaign, Discover Languages ... Discover the World! designed to bring media attention to the critical need for all students to have the opportunity to learn a second language.  Students across the country, from elementary school through college, are encouraged to submit video podcasts on how language learning has been important in their lives. Students will develop a video public service announcement that promotes language learning and provides the audience with compelling reasons why students should be developing proficiency in more than one language. The podcasts will be judged for originality and creativity by a celebrity panel of judges, and cash and product prizes will be available to the winning students. For contest rules, go to  The contest deadline is December 1, 2008.  The contest is also supported by CLEAR (The Center for Language Education and Research) and MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching).

Journal of Online Learning and Teaching JOLT - Journal of Learning and Online Teaching - September issue now available online!
The September 2008 issue of JOLT (Journal of Online Learning and Teaching), with more than 4,000 readers in August, and with the new issue containing 16 papers of 165 pages is now online at This issue JOLT marks its fourth year, with the journal's popularity and content doubling since 2007. To see how JOLT has grown over the years, go to  JOLT is published in March, June, September, and Decembe, with submission deadlines of November 30, February 28, May 31, and August 31 - see Guidelines for Authors.  If you would like an email sent when a new issue is released, join the JOLT listserv at

MERLOT and Creative Commons
MERLOT has deployed Creative Commons ( licenses and continues to promote the use of Creative Commons (CC) to the MERLOT community and beyond.  MERLOT's most recent technology release, our new Web Services now returns Creative Commons license information, if available, for all returned search items. 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

Would you like to become a Peer Reviewer for MERLOT?
MPj03878700000[1]MERLOT GRAPE Camp is a series of three webinar training sessions focusing on the MERLOT "Peer Review Process,"  and is open to anyone wishing to do peer reviews for MERLOT. The final, 2008 GRAPE Camp series will be offered on December 2, 9, and 16 -- at 10-11 AM Eastern, and repeated at 9-10 PM Eastern.  Sign up to participate at Contact Cathy Swift for further information.





2008 Association for Educational Communication and Technology International Conference
The 2008 AECT International Convention, On the Horizon: Rays of Change, will be held November 4-8, 2008 in Orlando, Florida. AECT is a professional association directed towards improving instruction through technology. Visit

TLT Online Institute - ePortfolios, Co-Sponsored by ePAC

Educators exploring the use of ePortfolios on their campuses often assume that 1) using ePortfolios requires a departure from existing educational practice, and 2) there is little research and few documented models from which to draw. In fact, both assumptions are incorrect. This workshop, November 4, 11, 18 at 1pm eastern, will deal with three major issues: 1) What activities are participants already invested in that ePortfolios might support?  2) How have other campuses and programs been using ePortfolios to support these activities, and how successful have they been? 3) How can we measure the learning that ePortfolios capture in a way that helps us make connections across disciplines and institutions?  Leaders:  Darren Cambridge, George Mason University, and Steve Ehrmann, TLT Group  Course outline and registration info:   The full fee is $225, members of co-sponsoring organizations including MERLOT Partners pay $185. The lowest fee of $150 is reserved for TLT subscribers and individual members.

WCET 20th Annual Conference: Celebrating E-Learning's Bright Role in Transforming Higher Education
WCET’s 20th anniversary conference will be held November 5-8 at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. See

11th Annual Accessing Higher Ground: Accessible Media, Web & Technology Conference for Education, Business Web & Media Designers
In Collaboration with AHEAD, EASI, ATHEN and CSUN ATACP, the conference will be November 11 - 14, 2008 at the University of Colorado-Boulder.  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.  The keynote Speaker will be Jason Regier, President, Denver Harlequins, Wheelchair Rugby.  Visit:

CSU Business Conference on Online Teaching and Learning
November 20-21, 2008, CSU Dominguez Hills, Los Angeles, CA.  The purpose of this conference is to build a vibrant community of CSU Business educators who are involved and/or interested in teaching with technology, providing a system-wide forum for sharing of best practices, pedagogical innovations, content development, collaborative multi-campus academic projects, and other related issues.  For more information, go to

An ACR/TLT Group Online Workshop - Information Literacy Best Practices in Undergraduate Education
This workshop, December 2, 9 and 11 at 1:00 pm Eastern, co-sponsored by ACRL and the TLT Group will have both synchronous and asynchronous components. While some of the activities and resources developed for this workshop will be focused on the needs and capabilities of librarians, others will be directed at interdepartmental teams that also include faculty, technology professionals, administrators, professional development experts, and others.Visit

2nd International Symposium on Academic Globalization: AG2009
The Call for Papers/Abstracts and Invited Sessions Proposals for The 2nd International Symposium on Academic Globalization: AG 2009 is open at  The symposium will take place in Orlando, Florida, on July 10th - 13th, 2009.  The 2nd Symposium on Academic Globalization: AG 2009, part of the Academic Globalization Project, is being organized in the context of WMSCI 2009, and its collocated conferences. The purpose of AG 2009 is to bring together scholars, educators and practitioners with the objective of exploring, reflecting and sharing ideas about the impact of globalization on universities and the impact that academia is generating about globalization. Visit

SLOAN-C International Symposium - Emerging Technology Applications for Online Learning - CALL FOR PROPOSALS
The Sloan-C International Symposium on Emerging Technology Applications for Online Learning will be held on June 17-19, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, CA. Symposium tracks concern research, application and best practices of important emerging technological tools related to social networking, assessment, open educational resources, new media and support services. To submit a proposal, go to  The deadline is December 8, 2008. For information go to

National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) 6th Annual Conference
The conference, scheduled for January 4-7, will focus on Understanding the Value: Entrepreneurship Education, Economic Development, Fundraising. For more information please visit

Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) - Call for Presentations

The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC), RIDING THE WAVES OF INNOVATION, holds its 13th annual conference March 9-11, 2009 in Long Beach, CA. Proposals are being sought for presentations, demonstrations, and panel discussions focused on network-enabled applications and research.  K-20 research and education community from California will come together, with many of their colleagues from around the world, for presentations, demonstrations, and keynote speakers illustrating the value of the high-performance networking made possible by the California Research & Education Network to their communities. For information on submitting a proposal, go to

TechEd 2009 - The New Face of Technology
The annual Technology in Education International Conference & Exposition, a hands-on technology conference for educators and educational decision-makers from around the world, will take place March 22-25, 2009 at the Ontario (California) Convention Center.  For more information, go to

12th Annual Community of Academic Technology Staff (CATS)
The 12th annual CATS Conference takes place April 1-3, 2009 at San Diego State University. The Community of Academic Technology Staff (CATS) conferences focus on the major themes, issues, topics, as well as the technological and educational advances influencing the direction of academic technology. Conference goals include providing useful information and training about current and emerging technologies. This year's theme is "Community Arcade: Exhibits of Excellence."



Dear Webmaster,

I was at the MERLOT International Conference this summer and heard lots of talk about MERLOT Voices.  I didn't get a chance to go to the presentation.  What is it and how can it benefit me?

- Heard it through the grapevine

Dear Heard it,

MERLOT Voices is a form of social media that enables you to collaborate with other MERLOT members.  The MERLOT Voices website requires a separate log in from the main MERLOT site. Once you join Voice, you can participate in community conversations, customize your own Voices page, and even add videos related to online learning and teaching. You can also invite others to join and participate in conversations you start, or ones that you join.  MERLOT Voices is an efficient way to find information, ask questions, and contribute efficiently to the online teaching and learning community.  To join, go to

-MERLOT Webmaster


MERLOT by the Numbers

Totals as of October 31, 2008

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 Members that have contributed to MERLOT by member ribbon categories:

  • Burgundy (1-9 pts) - 9,340
  • Bronze (10-29 pts) - 370
  • Silver (30-69 pts) - 74
  • Gold (70+ pts) - 65

    For more informaton on member contributions and ribbons, go to

Number of Members that have contributed:

  • Learning Materials – 3,217
  • Assignments - 404
  • Peer Review - 660
  • Member comment –1913
  • Personal Collection - 6522



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 System and Campus Partners.  If you are a MERLOT Partner and have a job to offer, please send it to the MERLOT Webmaster at 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.


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