Putting Innovations into Practice for Education

The Grapevine

Issue #13 - Summer 2008









MERLOT By the Numbers



2008 MERLOT International Conference: Still Blazing the Trail and Meeting New Challenges in the Digital Age
mic08The MERLOT International Conference, MIC08, co-sponsored by the University of North Carolina, will be held August 7-10, 2008 at the Hilton Minneapolis Hotel and will be hosted by the Minnesota State Colleges and University System.

Featured tracks are:

          • Adopting, Adapting, and Authoring Digital Learning Resources
          • Committed and Connected International Communities of Learning through Technology
          • Researching New Learning Paradigms and New Teaching Models
          • New Paths: Expanding Teaching and Learning Opportunities with Web 2.0
          • Reinventing Libraries in the Digital Age
          • Engaging and Emerging Faculty Development Processes
          • Community of Practice: Harvesting the Promise of Technology in Education

The conference program is now online at https://mic08.merlot.org/program/index.php and for more information, visit https://conference.merlot.org/2008

Registration Open!
Have you registered yet for MIC08? Please see https://conference.merlot.org/2008/hotelandtravel.html to make your reservation at the conference rate of $155 per night. Rooms will be held until July 1st.

Conference - Keynote Speakers

darcyDr. Darcy W. Hardy is Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Executive Director of the UT TeleCampus. The UT TeleCampus serves as a portal for students and faculty from University of Texas System institutions to access courses, programs and virtually all services necessary for success when teaching and learning online. The TeleCampus offers over 17 online programs and sees approximately 11,500 enrollments annually.


dodgeDr. Bernie Dodge is a Professor of Educational Technology at San Diego State University where he teaches courses in technology integration and educational game design. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Instructional Design from Syracuse University. He has received two MERLOT Classics Awards in Teacher Education.


robbieDr. Robbie Kendall-Melton is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Educational Technology and the Tennessee Board of Regents' Executive Director at the Renaissance Center (TBR). Her responsibilities include coordinating TBR's Regents Online Degree Programs, faculty-staff development in technology, online teaching and learning initiatives, technology innovations, and system-wide distance education.


Program Preview - Pre-Conference Workshops
Pre-conference workshops shown below are scheduled for the day before regular sessions. 

  • A Crawl through Second Life: Enhancing Learner Engagement using 3D Virtual Worlds
  • ECON201: An Online "Video Game" College Course - Presented by: Jeffrey Sarbaum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Understanding Web 2.0 Technologies: Using Wikis, Blogs, & Podcasting - Presented by: Cris Guenter, CSU, Chico
  • Moodle 101 - 9:00 - Presented by: Kurt Hochenauer, University of Central Oklahoma
  • Creating Engaging Lessons and Reusable Learning Objects with SoftChalk - Presented by: David Evans and Steve Saltzberg, SoftChalk
  • Noyce Scholars & MERLOT: Helping Science & Math Teachers in Training Succeed in High Need Schools - Presented by: Gerry Hanley, MERLOT, Ron Hughes, CSU, Bakersfield, David Andrews, CSU, Fresno
  • MERLOT Librarian Workshop - Presented by: Peter Nerzak, Director, Pellissippi State Technical Community College, Amy Harris, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Lisa Baures, Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Faculty Development Workshop - More Than a Taste of MERLOT - Presented by: Laura Franklin, Northern Virginia Community College, and Idana Hamilton, Southwest Virginia Community College
  • Creating and Using Brief Online Teaching & Learning Resources - Presented by: Ray Purdom, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, & Steve Gilbert, TLT Group
  • Cool Tools for Learning and Online Teaching - Presented by: John Prusch, Excelsior College
  • How to Write Assignments that Work for a Variety of Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligence's - Presented by: Linda Scharp and Steve Rowe, McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions

OpeniWorld and Digital Marketplace at MIC08
The 2008 OpeniWorld Conference will be held in conjunction with MIC08, with exhibits in the MIC Connections Room.  The Digital Marketplace will also hold meetings in the same facility, allowing MERLOT attendees to attend both Digital Marketplace and OpeniWorld presentations. For up to the minute information about the Digital Marketplace, go to https://conference.merlot.org/2008/DMinfo_000.html

eFolio Summit at MIC08
MERLOT is pleased to announce that we have aligned our 2008 International Conference with the eFolioWorld 2008 eFolio Summit. On August 6, at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, the eFolio Summit will gather together individuals from K-12, Higher Education, and Workforce organizations who use, or who are interested in using, the eFolio software system. Colleagues from Minnesota and across the nation will share best practices in their successful use of the eFolio system software for learning, for life, and for institutional purposes. Learn more about the 2008 eFolio Summit, visit http://efoliosummit.project.mnscu.edu.

Bruce Mason receives
Outstanding Teaching Award at University of Oklahoma
For his commitment to undergraduate education in the College of Arts and Sciences along with his innovative use of advanced instructional technology at the University of Oklahoma, Bruce Mason, associate professor of physics, was named the 2008 Longmire Prize recipient at the fifth annual Teaching Scholars Initiative colloquium. Mason, Editor of the MERLOT Physics discipline also recently received the MERLOT Distinguished Teaching Award and is the recipient of the OU General Teaching Award, and the Regents’ Award for Superior Teaching.  The annual prize is given to a faculty member who, in addition to exhibiting exemplary dedication to students and teaching, is active in the scholarship of teaching and actively shares this knowledge with others.  For more information, visit http://casweb.ou.edu/home/news/press/press_20080507.html

University of Michigan Group Awarded Grant
Thursday evening and Friday 020A subgroup of the University of Michigan MERLOT Community of Practice 2008-2009 has been awarded a NINI (New Initiatives/New Infrastructure) Grant for the proposal "Enhancing Undergraduate Education through the Deployment of Good Learning Objects" from University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science, and Arts. The project, through a series of workshops and guided tasks, will train graduate students from large gateway courses in the recognition, evaluation, collection, implementation, and design of good online learning objects. Project participants are Lynne Crandall (LSA Instructional Support Services), Brenda Gunderson (Statistics), Nancy Konigsberg Kerner (Chemistry), and Brian Malley (Psychology). More information is available from Victor Wong (vkw@umich.edu) and at http://sitemaker.umich.edu/merlot.um.
(This photo shows some of the U of Michigan attendees at the MIC07).

ACTFL Video Podcast Contest Winners Announced
image4MERLOT World Languages is pleased to showcase the winners of the first ACTFL Student Video Podcast Contest on its portal page. Students in elementary, middle school, high school, colleges and universities submitted digital videos in February that described why language study was important to them outside the classroom. The contest was an official activity of Discover Languages Month and part of the ongoing Discover Languages campaign. The aim of Discover languages is to keep the importance of speaking a second language on the minds of educators, students and all citizens.

IMS Global Learning Consortium Announces Winners
The IMS Global Learning Consortium announced the results of the annual competition of high impact use of technology to support and enhance learning.  The Tennessee Board of Regents – Regents Online Campus Collaborative: ROCC – was one of 3, out of 23 finalists to win the top 2008 Learning Impact Platinum Award. They received major points for a broad range of submitted issues including their systemwide strategic plan, vision and mission, business and central operations and coordination, common online curriculum, innovative practices, etc. For more information go to http://www.imsglobal.org/pressreleases/pr080515.html



Journal of Online Learning and Teaching JOLT - Journal of Learning and Online Teaching - New issue now available!
The March 2008 issue of JOLT (Journal of Online Learning and Teaching) is now online. JOLT publishes submissions on theory and research studies, position papers, case studies, and "Instructional Design Notes." JOLT is published in March, June, September, and December, with submission deadlines of November 30, February 28, May 31, and August 31 - see the Guidelines for Authors.

MERLOT and Creative Commons
MERLOT has deployed Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org/) licenses and will be promoting the use of Creative Commons (CC) to the MERLOT community and beyond.  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.

MERLOT's new Acceptable Use Agreement requires new MERLOT members to agree to different Creative Commons licenses, each depending on the nature of the member's participation in https:// www.merlot.org. MERLOT will be providing more information about Creative Commons through visual changes to the web site as well as through programs to encourage the sharing and labeling of online materials with Creative Commons licenses. For example, MERLOT will provide authors who submit materials to MERLOT the opportunity to determine the exact CC 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.

Would you like to become a Peer Reviewer for MERLOT?
MERLOT offers GRAPE Camp webinars for those interested in learning the MERLOT process of peer review. The initiative introduced last Fall is designed to train peer reviewers about the process of evaluation of online learning materials. It features three, one-hour, weekly online webinar workshops. Campers are introduced  to their discipline’s Editorial Board; learn how MERLOT evaluates learning materials; how to conduct and do a group peer review; use MERLOT's online review tool, Workspace; and do a real review within their discipline. MERLOT GRAPE Camp prepares participants to participate in the MERLOT "Peer Review Process."  New camp sessions are starting in June. To enroll, visit: http://tinyurl.com/4dn3zj.   If you have any questions, contact Cathy Swift

MERLOT and Student Success - Help Wanted!
Several MERLOT institutional partners are involved in system initiatives that address the needs of the academically at-risk. These initiatives seek the promising practices that will help students persist to graduation and reach their academic and professional goals.

The MERLOT community at-large can play a role in promoting student success by bringing together a collection of online learning materials that will engage the 18-22 year-old age group who make up a large proportion of students who do not complete a college degree in four years. If you know of materials in developmental mathematics, English and other MERLOT core subjects that could be packaged in a special collection, please send their titles to Laura Franklin at lfranklin@nvcc.edu. Our hope is that student engagement through technology-enhanced instruction will lead to persistence.

MERLOT and the Student PIRG's
Textbook CampaignThe Student Public Interest Research Group (PIRGs) and MERLOT are discussing an alliance to further our mutual goal of getting more high-quality, open, online learning materials into classrooms.  After five years of research and advocacy to address rising college textbook costs, the Student PIRGs are looking to digital, open textbooks as a promising solution to rising costs.  The goal is to increase the number of faculty who incorporate open learning materials into their courses in place of commercial books, and MERLOT’s collection furnishes high-quality, peer-reviewed learning materials for faculty to consider.

PIRG will focus on “open textbooks” – complete, openly licensed, high-quality textbooks.  Nicole Allen, PIRG’s director for open textbook campaign says, “The end-all solution to high textbook prices is to get more comparable, affordable options on the market, and we think that powerful innovations over the past years make open textbooks our best hope.”  PIRG wishes to build a base of 1,000-2,000 faculty willing to make a simple commitment to seek, consider and adopt open textbooks.

PIRG has already begun to archive the list of open textbooks they have identified in MERLOT, tagged as “open textbook,” and will encourage interested faculty to visit WWW.MERLOT.ORG and offer their comments and reviews. We encourage MERLOT's individual faculty members to support the effort by signing the Open Textbooks Statement at http://www.maketextbooksaffordable.org/statement.  For more information contact Nicole Allen of at (503) 231-4181 x322 or nicole@studentpirgs.org.




MERLOT International Conference 2008 in Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis � Jim Parkin - FOTOLIA
The 8th Annual MERLOT International Conference (MIC08) will be held in Minneapolis, August 7-10, 2008.  
Registration now open https://conference.merlot.org/2008

New Media Consortium (NMC) Summer 2008 Conference
The 2008 NMC Summer Conference, June 11-14 in Princeton, NJ, will be hosted by Princeton University, New Media Center. The NMC Summer Conference is a one-of-a-kind event, attracting an audience of highly skilled professionals knowledgeable interested in the integration of emerging technologies into teaching, learning, and creative expression. For more information, go to http://www.nmc.org/conference/

Global Information Technology Management Association (GITMA)
The GITMA conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, June 22nd - 24th, 2008. For more information go to http://www.science.kennesaw.edu/~pdembla/gitma/ or http://www.gitma.org/conferences.htm

American Library Association
The 2008 Annual Conference will be held in Anaheim, CA, from June 26–July 2, 2008. For more information visit http://www.ala.org/ala/eventsandconferencesb/annual/2008a/home.cfm

Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education
Ed-Media 2008 World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications will take place June 30 - July 4, 2008 in Vienna, Austria. This conference, organized by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE),  is a multi-disciplinary forum for the discussion and exchange of information on the research, development, and applications on all topics related to multimedia, hypermedia and telecommunications/distance education. Information can be found at http://www.aace.org/conf/edmedia/default.htm

2nd International Conference on Knowledge Generation and Communication
KGCM 2008 will be held jointly with the 3rd International Symposium on Knowledge Communication and Peer Reviewing and the 3rd International Symposium on Knowledge Communication and Conference, June 29th - July 2nd, 2008 in Orlando, Florida. The best 10%-20% of the papers will be selected for their publication in Vol. 6 of JSCI Journal (www.iiisci.org/Journal/SCI). Visit http://www.sciiis.org/KGCM2008

9th Annual Sakai Conference
sakaiThe 9th Annual Sakai Conference will be held in Paris, France July 1-3, 2008. Information can be found at http://sakaiproject.org/

Association of Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education
The ACUTA Annual Conference and Exhibition will take place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, July 13-17. Visit http://www.acuta.org/events/annual_conference/sce08.cfm

Desire2Learn Fusion Users Conference 2008
d2lThe Desire2Learn conference will be held in Memphis, Tennessee from July 20th to 23rd for the main conference and stay for the post-conference as well from July 23rd to July 25th.  For more information, visit http://desire2learn.com/Fusion/

Blackboard World 2008 - Registration now open
The 2008 Blackboard World conference will be held in Las Vegas, July 15-18, 2008. 
For all the information you need to attend the conference, visit http://www.blackboard.com/company/events/bbworld08


Educause 2008 Annual Conference educause

Educause 2008 will be held in Orlando, Florida October 28-31, 2008.  For more information, go to http://www.educause.edu/e08

11th Annual Accessing Higher Ground: Accessible Media, Web and Technology Conference for Education, Business Web and 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.  Accessing Higher Ground focuses on the implementation and benefits of Assistive Technology in higher education for sensory, physical and learning disabilities. 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: www.colorado.edu/ATconference




Dear Webmaster,

I want an easy way to create a course syllabus using MERLOT for the new classes I am teaching in the fall. Can I do that with MERLOT?  It would be great to provide a link for my students to get all the online materials in one place. 

-Personally Collected

Dear Personally Collected,

Yes, you can create a MERLOT personal collection, which is like an electronic folder.  To do that, you ‘put’ MERLOT materials relevant to a course, workshop, or just about anything into a 'folder'.  You can name each folder to easily identify what they contain.

pcA new personal collection can be created from any learning material detail view page. From the “Add your Own” box circled in red in the accompanying figure, do the following:
- from the "Add to a Personal Collection" drop down, select New Personal Collection
- Click the Add button below the drop down menu.
- In the pop-up box that appears, enter a title and description and click Save. This title and description will identify the collection and its contents.

The next pop-up allows you to add notes or comments that you wish to convey to anyone who might want to make their own copy of your personal collection [See below for more information on copying a personal collection.].

Once you complete the information and close the dialog box, your material is added to the personal collection. That's all there is to it!  When you are logged in, and on a detail view page of any MERLOT material, all the personal collections you have created are listed in the Add Your Own box drop down.  To view any of your personal collections, click the My Profile tab at the top of the page, and in the View MERLOT Contributions box, click the Personal Collections link.  Your personal collections are displayed by the date they were created.  I hope that helps you understand how you can organize learning materials in MERLOT. 

I mentioned above the ability to copy another members personal collection to your profile. This is a new feature in MERLOT that is quickly growing in popularity. From any learning material detail page, there is a personal collection link, indicating how many members have added this material to one of their personal collections.  Now when you view a members' personal collection and like what they have included,  you can copy the contents to your own profile; essentially making their personal collection your own. This process doesnt remove their personal cellection from their profile.

To copy a personal collection, click the link at the top of a personal collection page that says, Copy this Personal Collection to my profile, from a members personal collection page. The personal collection will then be put in your list of collections accessible from your profile page. Thats all there is to it!  Once it is yours, you can add to it or remove some of the materials you don't want included. You can also reorder the materials listed within a personal collection by clicking the little burgundy arrows to the left of any material listed in a collection.

-MERLOT Webmaster



MERLOT by the Numbers

As of May 20, 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) - 8860
  • Bronze (10-29 pts) - 337
  • Silver (30-69 pts) - 71
  • Gold (70+ pts) - 62

Number of Members that have contributed:

  • Learning Materials –3035
  • Assignments - 371
  • Peer Review - 619
  • Member comment –1765
  • Personal Collection - 5964

468 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 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 webmaster@merlot.org to be included in the next edition of The Grapevine. However, anyone may apply for the positions.



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To Subscribe: 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

To Unsubscribe: If you no longer wish to receive The Grapevine, please remove yourself from the mailing list at https://lists.merlot.org/newsletter/index.htm?action=remove  If you are a MERLOT Member, this will not delete your membership.

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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 webmaster@merlot.org

Information in The Grapevine regarding third parties, their products, and/or services is provided for your information. Since third parties provide the information to MERLOT and MERLOT relies on the information without performing any independent investigations, MERLOT makes no warranty or guarantee concerning the third party products or services.

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