Issue No. 17, Fall 2009

news features tech stuff upcoming events the numbers



2010 MERLOT Conference Information Now Available. 2010, MERLOT will be partnering with Sloan-C and MoodleMoot to create an entirely new kind of international conference for educational users of online technologies. The joint conference, entitled "The Emerging Technologies for Online Learning" will bring together people interested in the technological aspects of online learning. Experts, intermediate users and novices are welcome to participate in the conference activities that will include face-to-face and virtual components. This event will be held July 20-23, 2010 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California.

The conference will highlight and demonstrate research, applications, and best practices of important emerging technological tools related to instruction, social networking, assessment, open educational resources, new media and support services. Sessions will incorporate programmatic elements of the Sloan Consortium, MERLOT and Moodle. For more information and the call for papers, visit



2009 MERLOT International Conference - A Success

The new 2010 conference format follows the highly successful 2009 MERLOT International Conference (MIC), held in August in San Jose, California with the theme, "Teaching and Learning in a Networked World." Recordings as well as PowerPoint’s of many of the presentations are available at:

Thailand Cyber University AttendeesCorporate sponsors were: Gold level - Blackboard, eCollege, Epsilen, Bedford/St. Martin’s, SoftChalk, Wiley, W.H. Freeman, Worth Publishers; Silver - CafeScribe, Sify, and Turning Technologies; Patron - Desire2Learn, EduStream, InTeleCom Online Resources, LodeStar, Tegrity, Unicon, and Yolink; and Conference Partners were Elluminate, NISOD, and TechSmith.

Host institutions were the California State University System and California Community Colleges, and Jane Moore (National Louis University) was conference chair.

The MIC has become an international conference, with 15 countries represented, the largest contingent being from Thailand Cyber University (pictured here meeting with Gerry Hanley).

The MERLOT International Conference Awards Ceremony at the MIC recognizes the efforts of those working with MERLOT through the following awards:

MERLOT Classics Awards for Exemplary Online Learning Resources - See the 2009 MERLOT Classics Award Recipients at

Two MERLOT Service Awards:

  1. Volunteer of the Year Awards - View this year’s winners here:
  2. Distinguished Service Award - See this year's winner here:

Three Applications of MERLOT Awards:

  1. The Innovative Use of MERLOT -
  2. The MERLOT Institutional Stewardship Award -
  3. The MERLOT House Cup -

MAN@eLA 2009 Awards:
The MERLOT Africa Network (MAN) presented three 2009 International MAN@eLA Awards for Exemplary Open Education Resources (OER) Practices for Development:

  1. Leadership Award: Teacher Education in Subsaharan Africa
  2. Virtual Laboratory Award: Reseau Africain de L'Education Pour La Sante-Raes
  3. Software for OER Content Authoring Award: Scenari Plateform (Scenari is an open source application suite for designing publishing chains, used for creating professional standard multimedia documents.)



MERLOT Now in Second Life

Sify Technologies, MERLOT, and the University of Oregon have partnered to develop a presence in Second Life. The new MERLOT 3D Campus which is described in the MERLOT partner community CLIVE (Center for Learning in Virtual Environments) is, among other things, a virtual gathering place for those interested in learning and teaching in virtual learning environments. The 3D Campus will facilitate creating, discovering, contributing, and reviewing learning materials for virtual environments, to the MERLOT repository. Watch a video here, or on our YouTube channel, or visit the 3D Campus at



MERLOT Launches Learning Materials Development Initiative

MERLOT has launched the MERLOT Learning Materials Development Initiative (LMDI) to provide an understanding and foundation for developing online learning materials and to select from among free, open access tools or proprietary, commercial ones.  The LMDI also suggests tools for novice as well as more experienced users.

This first release of the LMDI features the new MERLOT Content Builder, and a new partnership with the company Softchalk. More information about the LMDI is available at

MERLOT's New Content Builder

MERLOT's new, integrated Content Builder, previously the Carnegie Foundation KEEP Toolkit, is an easy-to-use tool for creating learning materials and defining and contributing the MERLOT-hosted material metadata directly into the MERLOT collection. More information about the MERLOT Content Builder is available at

MERLOT's Partnership with SoftChalk - Member and Partner Discounts Available

If it's not easy, It's not SoftChalkMERLOT and SoftChalk, LLC, a developer of content authoring software for eLearning have entered into a strategic partnership to support the discovery, distribution and sharing of eLearning digital resources.  SoftChalk is offering MERLOT registered members discounted pricing on the purchase of SoftChalk individual licenses, and MERLOT Academic Partners discount pricing on enterprise/site licenses. 

Two private, online demonstrations are scheduled for:

  • Thursday, November 12th @ 10:00am PST
  • Tuesday , December 1st @ 1:00pm PST

Email invitations are forthcoming. More information about the partnership is available at



Elluminate Partners with MERLOT MERLOT and Elluminate have entered into a partnership that enables MERLOT to use  Elluminate Live!®  and Elluminate  LearnCentral™ to promote the mission of MERLOT. We are looking forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship. More information about our joint activities will be available in the next few months.



Follow MERLOT on Twitter @MERLOTorg


MERLOT has created a new Twitter account - MERLOTorg. If you Twitter, please start following MERLOT here: Its a
great way to keep informed on updates, conferences
and network with others.



Video Podcast Contest

MERLOT World Languages has announced the third ACTFL Video Podcast Contest, sponsored by Pearson Prentice Hall and ASC Direct, to recognize exemplary, one-minute, K-16 level student videos. Technical support of the contest is provided by CLEAR at Michigan State University. Complete submission guidelines can be found at



line features

Would you like to Become a Peer Reviewer for MERLOT?


MERLOT GRAPE Camp, a series of three webinar training sessions focusing on the MERLOT peer review process, is open to anyone wishing to do peer reviews for MERLOT. The GRAPE Camp schedule is:

  • November - Tuesdays (10, 17, 24) at 4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific and Wednesdays (11, 18, 25) at 11am Eastern/8am Pacific
  • December - Thursdays (3, 10, 17) at 11am Eastern/8am Pacific

Read about it and register at:



JOLT - Journal of Learning and Online Teaching - September issue now available online!

The September 2009 issue of the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT) is available at The deadline for the Spring 2010 issue is November 15th.

JOLT welcomes new reviewers. For more information and to view the Guideline for Authors, visit



MERLOT Community Updates

New MERLOT Partners
MERLOT welcomes three new campus partners – 1. Drexel University, 2. the University of California Office of the President Health Sciences, and 3. Open Educational Resources for Cancer.

Drexel University Known as “Philadelphia's Technological University” and a leader in curricular innovation, Drexel has a history of integrating the latest technological advances into the learning process.


UCOPThe University of California Office of the President (UCOP) Health Sciences' focus will be on development of a digital library of health sciences learning materials for use by UC health sciences faculty across seven campuses.

oercOpen Educational Resources for Cancer (OERC): MERLOT is a leading partner in an international consortium focused on building a freely available collection of online learning materials for healthcare providers, patients, and their families dealing with cancer. The International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) and MERLOT announced the launching of the OERC Teaching Commons at; for project updates visit:

New Communities Being Organized
MERLOT is developing Taskforces (eventually to become Editorial Boards) in Agriculture,
Geosciences, Native American Studies, Virtual Worlds, and Tourism/Hospitality. If you would like to participate in their formation, please contact Cathy Swift at



MERLOT Technology updates

MERLOT Web Services
MERLOT offers a "simple search" web service for free to the community, and an "advanced search" web service for Partners as part of their Partnership Memorandum of Understanding. The free web service has been incorporated into many Web-based applications including Desire2Learn and ANGEL LEARNING. For more information and to request a 'key' to the simple search, visit

MERLOT can also be searched via a MERLOT Blackboard Building Block. For more information and to download the Building Block, go to

Coming soon are a Contribute material and Register (join) web service for Partners. To access web services, you must obtain a license key at or contact the webmaster at

MERLOT YouTube Channel
You TubeMERLOT has been granted a proprietary YouTube channel license under a plan designed for non-profit educational organizations to promote their educational objectives worldwide. The channel, MERLOTPlace, allows MERLOT to post playlists of educational materials that support MERLOT’s objectives related to the use of technology for teaching and learning. MERLOTPlace is organized into a variety of technology and instruction-oriented playlists, with the ability for others to cross-list their own, related YouTube videos in the MERLOT playlists. If you have videos you want included on the site, please email

rssAny MERLOT search can become an RSS feed. Click the RSS button at the bottom of any search results page and add that search feed to your reader!

MERLOT Mobile Search
BlackBerryThe MERLOT Mobile Search for Blackberry's is an easy to install and use tool to search and find learning materials in MERLOT, and email them to yourself or a colleague. Go to, enter your email address, and you will be sent a link to install it on your Blackberry.

Voices is designed to encourage conversations, discussions, debates and social networking among community members interested in teaching and learning with technology. Members can work together with others to participate in community conversations, create personalized Voices pages, and include comments, blogs, and videos related to online learning and teaching.

For more information on anything highlighted here, contact the Webmaster at



tech update


CSU Business Conference on Online Teaching & Learning (Nov 13, 2009)

CSUThe CSU Business Conference on Online Teaching & Learning will be held at the California State University, Los Angeles. For information visit:

2010 Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching (Feb 5-7, 2010)

The 2010 Lilly Conference at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center, Greensboro, North Carolina. For information visit:

Global Time Conference on Technology Innovation, Media and Education (Feb 13-19, 2010)

AACEA cross-disciplinary online conference focusing on technology, media and education, organized by AACE.

CENIC 2010 Annual Conference (March 8-10, 2010)

cenicThe Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) will hold its 14th annual conference, FULL SPEED AHEAD, at the Hyatt Regency Monterey, Monterey, California. For information visit:

21st Annual SITE International Conference - Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (March 29 - April 2, 2010)

To be held in San Diego, CA. For information visit:

TechEd 2010 Conference (April 11-13, 2010)

This year's conference, "Technology in Education for the Real World" will be held in Pasadena, California. For information visit:

eLearning Africa's 5th International Conference on ICT (May 26, 2010)

eLearning AfricaeLearning Africa's 5th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training will be held at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, Zambia. For information visit:


3rd International Symposium on Academic Globalization (June 29 - July 2, 2010)

AG 2010 will be held in Orlando, Florida. For information visit:



Upcoming Events

Why is it SO important to update my MERLOT profile?


Your personal MERLOT profile page is where you present yourself and your curriculum vita, to the MERLOT community. Keeping your contact information current is vital, but that’s only the beginning. Your MERLOT profile gives you a place to display your skills and interests, your educational and occupational history, any publications or presentations, honors you’ve received, and any associations you are a part of.

Make sure you've identified your institution through our new Affiliation Finder (see below). This ensures that your institution knows you've been active.

And to make your MERLOT profile even more inviting, add a photo! Either click Edit in your Account Details and enter a URL for your photo, or just email your photo to us and we’ll add it for you!

Remember, the more materials you contribute, comment on, add to a personal collection, or create an assignment with, the more presence your name (and thus your profile) has in MERLOT.

And to really boost your presence join MERLOT Voices, our new professional networking site!

If you ever have any questions, or need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to email us.

- Webmaster


To identify your affiliation:

  1. In My Profile, click "Edit" in the Affiliations box (figure 1)
  2. Select your institution from the drop-down list and click "Add" (figure 2)

Figure 1  Figure 2



The Numbers

In case you were wondering what goes on in MERLOT, here are some statistics to give you a sense of Member activity.

As of November 1, 2009 here's what's in the MERLOT collection:

  • Learning Materials – 21,427
  • Peer Reviews - 2,969
  • Member Comments – 6,949
  • Personal Collections - 15,191
  • Learning Exercises - 1,418

How reliable are the links to materials in MERLOT?

  • Of the 21,220 materials in MERLOT, 98.6% of the links are valid*
    (*We are constantly trying to fix broken links to valuable learning materials, and you can too. If a material link doesn't work, just click on Report Broken Link to let us know!)

How many people are using MERLOT?

  • MERLOT averages 45,277 visits per month

What are the top 10 countries using MERLOT?

1. United States  6. Brazil
2. Mexico  7. Spain
3. India       8. Australia
4. Canada  9. Egypt
5. United Kingdom 10. Chile




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