Putting Innovations into Practice for Education

The Grapevine

Issue #12 - Winter 2008








MERLOT By the Numbers



Executive Director's New Year's Message

We at MERLOT wish you the very best in 2008. 

With each New Year, the MERLOT community begins identifying, planning, and implementing  the services that are strategically important for the well-being and success of our individual members and institutional partners.  As you will read in this issue of the Grapevine, MERLOT continues to recognize excellent work of people and institutions,  putting educational innovations into practice. Sharing case studies of how individuals and institutions use MERLOT’s services to advance their own institutions initiatives will be an important part our communications and efforts this year.  Learning how your colleagues are using MERLOT to redesign courses (or academic transformation), accelerating the development of quality hybrid and online courses, improving “ textbook affordability,” and/or implementing  K-20 initiatives can help you learn lessons and be more successful in your own initiatives.  We look forward to recognizing and supporting the teaching/learning-technology leadership communities around the world.

Each time you contribute a material, add an assignment, write a comment, create a personal collection, or tell a friend about MERLOT, the benefits to teachers and learners around the world grow through collective network of expertise and knowledge about teaching and learning with technology.  You make a difference!

Thank you for your continue support and contributions to the MERLOT community.

Gerry Hanley
Executive Director, MERLOT


2008 MERLOT International Conference - Proposals due February 15th
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.  The conference is being hosted by Minnesota State Colleges and University System. This year's theme is Still Blazing the Trail and Meeting New Challenges in the Digital Age. Proposals are due February 15, 2008 . Visit https://mic08.merlot.org/proposals/call.htm for all the information.

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

This year's theme recognizes that trailblazers do more than just keep people on the right path. They help people see where to begin, and they provide direction. How can educators and users of instructional technology around the world prepare for a future filled with technology that provides content at a faster-and-faster pace? How can instructional technology be used to enhance teaching and learning? Who will organize all this change? This year’s attendees will all do this together. Conference attendees span all disciplines and the continuum from novice to expert in the development and use of online resources. For more information, visit https://conference.merlot.org/2008.  And don't forget, February 15, 2008 is the deadline to get your proposal in!

OpeniWorld and Digital Marketplace at MIC08
The 2008 OpeniWorld Conference will be held in conjunction with MIC08 in August, 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.

New MERLOT Awards for 2008
MERLOT Partners are introducing new awards to recognize unusual effort by MERLOT members and partners. They are:

Innovative Use of MERLOT Award – presented to an individual, department, or program that demonstrates novel, comprehensive, or creative use and/or application of MERLOT materials and services. Nominees must provide evidence of an impact on students that can be demonstrated through qualitative or quantitative research, or anecdotal evidence. Nominations are due by February 28, 2008 and the award will be presented at MIC08. Contact Cathy Swift for an award application.

Institutional Stewardship Award – recognizes efforts to promote MERLOT at an institutional level. MERLOT seeks to identify models that can be used to sustain support for MERLOT. Recipients (individual or group) will have exhibited an outstanding example of stewardship in spreading the use of MERLOT throughout the campus or system. Nominations are due by January 31, 2008; the award will be presented at the MIC08. Contact Cathy Swift for an award application.

MERLOT Announces GRAPE Camp
grapesMERLOT GRAPE Camp, introduced in Fall, 2007, is a new initiative to train peer reviewers about the process of evaluation of online learning materials.  The Camp is for those wishing to become MERLOT peer reviewers, and features three, one-hour, weekly online webinar workshops. Campers will be introduced  to their discipline’s Editorial Board; learn how MERLOT evaluates learning materials; conduct and do a group peer review; use MERLOT's online review tool, Workspace; and do a real review within their discipline.

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 two reviews per academic year, although many have committed to more. 

The next two GRAPE Camps will be:

  • Fridays at 4 PM Eastern (February 1, 8, & 15)
  • Tuesdays at 11 AM Eastern (February 5, 12, & 19

 If you are interested in “attending” a MERLOT Grape Camps, contact Cathy Swift.

New Editorial Boards and updates
MERLOT Partners and Leadership have created formal processes for developing new disciplines for the MERLOT collection. Editorial boards-in-training, called Taskforces, are presented with a series of action items that ultimately result in the introduction of Editorial Boards.

Two new Editorial Boards - 1) Criminal Justice and Fire Safety announced their first peer reviewed materials, “The Stanford Prison Experiment” and “Ladder Class 2000."

In other Editorial Board news, Dr. William Paquette, MERLOT History Editor, has developed a Civil War course using MERLOT and joined with Professor Marty Zahn, MERLOT Biology reviewer, at Thomas Nelson Community College in developing a multidisciplinary course called "Unraveling Mysteries in History." 

MERLOT Taskforce update
Several Taskforces are currently in development:

  • Allied Health, MERLOT's second Workforce Development group is currently in the planning stage.
  • The Library and Information Services Taskforce is going through peer reviewer training and will soon publish its first review.
  • English Language and Literature is the next Taskforce to be developed from MERLOT's general membership of MERLOT. 

If you'd like to participate in these or any other Editorial Boards, or if you have a suggestion for new Editorial Boards not already in the MERLOT collection, contact Cathy Swift.

NOYCE Scholar Leadership
The California State UniversityThe California State University (CSU) System is developing a project to pair the NSDL and NSF’s Robert Noyce Scholars (RNC) program.  The RNC is a prestigious, national, forgivable, loan incentive program that provides scholarships to highly qualified mathematics and science students to acquire mathematics or science teaching credentials if they agree to teach in high-needs schools.  

The CSU will use its MERLOT Institutional Teaching Commons (ITC) program to create and support a network of pilot, micro-California communities of RNC science and math teachers across the MERLOT consortium. The project will serve as a national model, extendable across NSDL collections and Pathways, to 1) other institutions with Noyce Scholars; 2) the nation’s Colleges of Education, Science, and Mathematics, and; 3) K-12 mathematics and science instructional programs. The integration of MERLOT's ITC and NSDL through MERLOT's federated search capability will enable the sharing of locally developed expertise for teaching science and mathematics in high-needs schools.   The benefits of these programs will accrue primarily to under-served, high-needs schools, many of which enroll large numbers of students currently underrepresented in STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines.



Journal of Online Learning and Teaching JOLT - Journal of Learning and Online Teaching - December 2007 Now Available!
The December, 2007 issue of the quarterly 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"and 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.

JOLT Special Issue - the Next Generation of Learning/Course Management Systems
joltspecial 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 JOLT or would like more information, please contact jolteditor@merlot.org.

MERLOT and Creative Commons
merlotMERLOT has deployed Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org/) licenses and will spend the next year promoting the use of Creative Commons to the MERLOT community.  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 different Creative Commons licenses, each depending on the nature of the member's participation in www.merlot.org. As the 2007/08 academic year progresses, MERLOT will provide 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 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.

MERLOT and McGraw-Hill Higher Education Partnership

McGraw-Hill Education LogoMcGraw-Hill Higher Education has recently become a MERLOT Corporate Partner.  Through the partnership, McGraw-Hill will:

  • Be a Platinum Sponsor at the MERLOT International Conferences
  • Provide a discount to MERLOT partner institutions that purchase McGraw-Hill online courses
  • Integrate MERLOT learning materials into their courses
  • Brand such McGraw-Hill Higher Education course as MERLOT-enhanced

MERLOT will:

  • Create a new MERLOT “Partner Portal” for online courses within the Communities section of MERLOT
  • Promote McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions as its key, online publisher partner in 2008
  • Integrate examples of MERLOT-Enhanced” McGraw-Hill online courses in other relevant parts of the MERLOT’s web site

MERLOT welcomes McGraw Hill Higher Education as the first publishing Corporate Partner and looks forward to working with others in similar relationships.

MERLOT Participates in Language Contest
The MERLOT World Languages community and the Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR) are working with The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) on its first national Student Video Podcast Contest entitled “Not Just a Language Class!” This contest is part of ACTFL’s national public awareness campaign Discover Languages…Discover the World! The theme encourages students to consider the impact that language study has had on their life beyond the classroom. The Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR) has provided technical support and will host the video podcasts on their server.

Contest participants will make up to two-minute video podcasts, reflecting the theme, asking themselves:

  • Is learning a language more than just “another class”? 
  • How do you use the language and cultural information you are learning in your language class? 
  • Do you use your language outside the classroom? 

Consider sharing your experiences by entering the ACTFL Student Video Podcast Not Just a Language Class! Contest.  participation is limited to students who are enrolled in a K-16 world language class at the time of submission. Videos must be rated “G”, suitable for all audiences.

The MERLOT World Languages portal will feature contest information and will also follow the contest with details on the winning videos from elementary, middle school, high school, community colleges and universities. MERLOT members who would like to receive more information about how to have their students enter the contest should go to:  http://www.DiscoverLanguages.org  or https://worldlanguages.merlot.org.  For more information and the contest flyer, go to https://grapevine.merlot.org/ACTFL_PodcastFlyer_v2.pdf

MERLOT at Educause in Seattle
The2007 Annual Conference Logo MERLOT Management team sponsored a reception at the EDUCAUSE Conference in Seattle in October for invitees to learn more about MERLOT and the benefits of being a MERLOT academic partner. If your institution or association are interested in exploring similar opportunities, please contact Phil Moss.




Global Information Technology Management Association (GITMA)
gitmaThe 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


96th Annual Meeting, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture - Call for Papers
archThe theme for the 96th Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture is Seeking the City: Visionaries on the Margins.  It will take place March 27-30, 2008 in Houston Texas. For more information visit https://acsa-arch.org/conferences/annual2008.aspx

Lilly Conference on College of University Teaching
uncgFebruary 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. 

MERLOT International Conference 2008
Minneapolis � Jim Parkin - FOTOLIA The 8th Annual MERLOT International Conference (MIC08) will be held in Minneapolis, August 7-10, 2008.   Proposals are due February 15 - https://mic08.merlot.org/proposals/call.htm. For more information about the conference visit https://conference.merlot.org/2008

Pan-African Forum on Open Education Resources
merlotThe MERLOT Africa Network (MAN) in collaboration with e-Learning Africa (eLA) and the Africa Virtual University (AVU) announces the First Pan-African Forum on Open Education Resources (OER) to be held as a component of the 2008 e-Learning Africa conference in Accra, Ghana, West Africa, May 28-30, 2008.   Information on papers, works-in-progress, case studies, and abstracts for an e-Learning Africa Special Focus Session on OER can be found at https://man.merlot.org/research/Call Paper.html

TechEd 2008 - Registration now open
TechEd 2008, with over 250 concurrent sessions focusing on issues related to Technology in the Learning Environment, will be held April 13 - 16, 2008 at the Ontario, California Convention Center.  Join colleagues from MERLOT and others from around the world for the most instructive and innovative hands-on educational technology conference of its time! TechEd brings together cutting-edge innovations and real-world solutions for the problems facing today's educational community. For registration information visit http://www.techedevents.org/2008/

11th Annual Community of Academic Technology Staff (CATS) Conference
The Community of Academic Technology Staff (CATS) conference themed, "Shared Knowledge Empowers" will take place March 26-28, 2008 at Sonoma State University.  The conference focus is on issues, topics, and technological and educational advances influencing the direction of academic technology. For more information, go to http://cats.cdl.edu/catsconf2008

Knowledge Generation and Communication - Submissions being accepted

Submit a paper or abstract to The 2nd International Conference on Knowledge Generation, Communication and Management: KGCM 2008, which will be held jointly with The 3rd International Symposium on Knowledge Communication and Peer Reviewing: KCPR 2008, and The 3rd International Symposium on Knowledge Communication and Conferences: KCC 2008. June 29th - July 2nd, 2008 in Orlando, Florida. The deadlines for submissions is February 7th, 2008For more information, go to http://www.sciiis.org/KGCM2008 Awards will be granted to the best paper of those presented at each session. From these session's best papers, the best 10%-20% of the papers presented at the conference will be selected for their publication in Volume 6 of JSCI Journal (www.iiisci.org/Journal/SCI) and sent free to over 220 research libraries.

Blackboard World 2008 - Call for Presentations
bbThe 2008 Blackboard World conference will be held in Las Vegas, NV July 15-18, 2008.  BbWorld '08 will offer a client-centered program built on Bb's clients' feedback, innovation and success. The Call for Proposals is open for BbWorld, BbWorld Pre-Conference Workshops, and the Blackboard Developers Conference. The deadline to submit a presentation is February 22, 2008. Submit Today!

Educause 2008 Annual Conference educause

Educause 2008 will be held in Orlando, Florida October 28-31, 2008.  The Call for Presentations and Pre-Conference seminars is now open. Proposals must be submitted by February 11, 2008. For information, visit http://www.educause.edu/e08



Dear Webmaster,

I was contributing a material today to the MERLOT collection and noticed that the way that I select the categories for my material has changed. Does that mean more categories were added?

    -  Categorically speaking

Dear Categorically,

No. More categories were not added to MERLOT, but the tool has changed to present the selection of categories in a more user-friendly way.  Starting with the first drop down, you now make a selection for the subject category the material best fits.  These include Arts, Business, Education, Humanities, Mathematics and Statistics, Social Sciences and Science and Technology. Based on your first selection, additional drop down menus will populate so that you can drill down to narrow your material’s subject category to a maximum of 6 levels.


It is important to remember to select multiple subject categories for the material. You can also categorize a single material into multiple subject categories. Once you have made all your menu selections, click Add (and repeat the process!).

-MERLOT Webmaster


MERLOT by the Numbers

as of January 15, 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 8,073
  • Bronze: 329
  • Silver: 65
  • Gold: 60

Number of Members that have contributed:

  • Learning Materials – 2,918
  • Assignments - 367
  • Peer Review - 573
  • Member comment – 1,680
  • Personal Collection – 5,486

433 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, go to the MERLOT Tasting Room at 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.



______________________Information about The Grapevine__________________

The Grapevine is a free service provided to all members of MERLOT who wish to receive it as well as to non-members who choose to subscribe. Links from previous issues of The Grapevine emails are not supported. You may access previous Grapevine news via the Archives navigation links on this page.

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.

Join MERLOT.ORG: If you would like to join MERLOT.ORG  to take advantage of our content and services, go to  https://www.merlot.org/merlot/join.htm

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.

© 2007 MERLOT.ORG. All rights reserved.