Issue No. 16, Spring 2009

news features tech stuff upcoming events the numbers



2009 MERLOT International Conference - August 13-16, 2009 - San Jose, California Doubletree Inn.

mic 2009 logo

Register now at:

Hotel reservations can be made at:

Post a flyer in your department! Get flyers and other promotional materials at:


Program Preview – Keynote Speakers

John Wilbanks John Wilbanks
Vice President, Science Commons Project, Creative Commons
Topic: Uncommon Knowledge and Open Innovation
Wade Ellis Jr. Wade Ellis, Jr.
Mathematics Instructor, Emeritus, West Valley College.
Topic: Inquiry-based Software Micro-Worlds: Promoting Understanding and Retention of Concepts
Carl Berger Carl Berger
Professor and Dean Emeritus, School of Education, University of Michigan.
Topic: Recognition, Reward, and Tenure


Program Preview – Preconference Workshops

  • iTunes U in Education
  • Google Docs, Wikis, Blogs and Other Cool Tools
  • You Have Your Second Life Avatar. What's Next?
  • Next Steps in Second Life: Creating Quality Experiences for You and Your Students
  • The Networking of Micro-Communities to Advance Math and Science Instructional Excellence in High Need Schools
  • Connecting Teachers, Students, & K-12 Curriculum in a Digital World; NASA Resources and MERLOT Professional Development
  • Interactive & Online/F2F: Brief Hybrids & MERLOT Meet Top Teaching and Learning with Technology Challenges
  • Faculty Development Help for You
  • Calling All Librarians


Do you Twitter?

twitterMERLOT International Conference is now on Twitter! Follow us at:

New to Twitter? Here’s a video introduction:

New MERLOT OpenCourseWare membership

MERLOT is now a member of the Open Courseware Consortium - a collaboration of more than 200 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model.

New MERLOT partner portals

OERC Community
The International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) and MERLOT have created the Open Educational Resources for Cancer (OERC) portal - a repository of cancer educational materials covering diverse aspects of oncology to promote global sharing of cancer educational resources (WHO 2007 Cancer Report).
Find out more at

World Futures community
The World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF) has a new MERLOT teaching commons portal where you can read all about their activities at

New Center for Learning in Virtual Environments website

The MERLOT Center for Learning in Virtual Environments (CLiVE) announces our new website, CLiVE, a collaborative of The Center for Advanced Technology in Education (CATE) and The University of Oregon, Sun Microsystems and MERLOT, to compare, contrast, and inform educators about the potentials and challenges for learning and teaching in multi-user virtual environments such as Second Life. Visit the site at

Check out MERLOT's new YouTube channel

MERLOT has a new YouTube channel, currently with 70+ MERLOT videos, at Videos are organized into playlists including instructional videos, MERLOT International Conference keynote addresses, faculty development case studies, and more!

Does your institution have a YouTube channel? If your institution subscribes to our channel we will reciprocate and will mutually broaden our outreach!


MERLOT members making news

MERLOT@Michigan member wins Teaching Innovation Prize at the University of Michigan
Perry Samson, a member of the MERLOT@Michigan Cross-disciplinary Community of Practice, has been awarded the Teaching Innovation Prize honoring original approaches to teaching and creativity in the classroom at the University of Michigan.

At the MERLOT International Conference 2009, Perry Samson will be featuring these prize-winning innovations in a 2-hour hands-on workshop. More information about Perry Samson's innovations may be found at

MERLOT History Editor awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Association Grants
Dr. William Paquette, Professor of History at Tidewater Community College (Virginia) and MERLOT History Editor, was awarded two summer National Endowment for the Humanities Association Grants.  One, sponsored with Northeastern University, will focus on the 19th Century Lyceum Movement and will include study tours of Massachusetts Lyceum locations.  The second grant's topic is Progress and Poverty during the Gilded Age, and will be done at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio.


line features

Would you like to become a peer reviewer for MERLOT?

grapesMERLOT 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 next two GRAPE Camps are:

June 2, 9, & 16 (Tuesdays) - 4:00 PM Eastern

June 5, 12, & 19 (Fridays) - 11:00 AM Eastern

Sign up to at: Contact Cathy Swift for further information.

Spring 2009 GRAPE Camp graduates:

Sarah Keim-Janssen Biology, U. of Nebraska Medical Center
Josh Overcast World Languages, University of Kurdistan-Hawler
DeAnn Ambroson Health Sciences, Allen College
Robert Morrison Business, U. of Texas – Pan American
Trellany Thomas-Evans   Faculty Development, U.S. Military Posts – Europe
Kim Eccles Library and Info Sc., Mercer University
Diana Jones Health Sciences, Slippery Rock University
Don Peavey History, University of Phoenix
Arun Nambiar Engineering, CSU-Fresno
Keven Jeffery Library and Info Sc., San Diego State University
Sadhana Ray Psychology, Delgado Community College


MERLOT website enhancements

For a complete list of the latest enhancements and improvements to MERLOT, go to

  • MERLOT website in over 30 languages. We've added a Google(tm) Translator to MERLOT in the top-left corner of the footer (see below). Select any language from that list to translate the MERLOT website into that language.

  • MERLOT news ticker. If you haven’t been to the MERLOT home page recently, take a look. We have news and information scrolling along the top of the page – our news ticker. Click on any of the headings to find more information

  • Making contributions easier. We have added a new text editor to the description field in the Material Contribute wizard to make it easier to format information and links for a material.

  • Accessibility improvements. MERLOT has been working very hard to incorporate Section 508 accessibility requirements into the website. We have completed Phase I and will soon start on Phase II. For a list of improvements, go to
  • RSS feeds for member and materials. We also have predefined RSS feeds for Members and Materials. Find these at
  • Turn a search into an RSS feed. Did you know that any member or material search you perform in MERLOT can be turned into an RSS feed? Simply create a search, and on the first page of the hit list, in the bottom right is an orange RSS button. Click on it to subscribe or get the XML for your RSS reader.

MERLOT has a Voice!

Voices, MERLOT’s social networking site is a great place to discuss and collaborate about technology and learning. MERLOT wants your participation. If you want to have your own voice heard, register at (even if you are already a registered MERLOT member). Don’t let your voice get lost in the crowd! Join MERLOT Voices.

MERLOT training materials now available

MERLOT has prepared several collections of materials that will help you train faculty to use MERLOT. Want to copy the collection of videos into your own personal collection? Click Here.


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

The March 2009 issue of the MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT) is now online with 17 new papers. The June issue will contain a special section on "Integrity and Identity Authentication in Online Education," based on recently enacted Higher Education Act (HR 4137). The act requires institutions offering distance education courses to "…have processes through which the institution establishes that the student who registers in a distance education or correspondence education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the program and receives the academic credit."

Check out JOLT at - 18,998 people per year do!

Call for papers - special issue: Integrity and Identity Authentication in Online Education - contact Michelle Pilati and Ed Perry, at

MERLOT community activities

Calling all Librarians
We are beginning a major effort to include a librarian on each of the 20 Editorial Boards. Often a librarian will have a discipline interest. Librarians can assist the Editorial Boards in a number of ways:

  • Contributing Materials to that discipline
  • Writing Member Comments for the materials that are already there
  • Developing Personal Collections that would be of use for discipline community members
  • Assisting with updating the Discipline Community Portal
  • Supporting the Editorial Board with Board activities such as "curating" the collection, improving the taxonomy, and triaging materials (determining the priority of peer review)

If you are a librarian or if you are interested in serving on one of the discipline Editorial Boards, contact Cathy Swift –


tech update

2nd Pan-African Forum on Open Education Resources and Open Access (May 27)

Please join the MERLOT Africa Network (MAN) and the Africa Virtual University (AVU) in Dakar, Senegal for a unique journey dedicated to OER and eLearning. The full program is now available at: This forum is part of the 2009 eLearning Africa International Conference. Information can be found at:

EDUCAUSE Southeast Regional Conference 2009 (June 1 - 3)

This year's EDUCAUSE Southeast Regional Conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia. For information go to:

New Media Consortium (NMC) Summer 2009 Conference (June 9 - 13)

This year's NMC Summer Conference will be held at the California State University, Monterey Bay. For information go to:

Online Teaching Conference (June 11 - 12)

This year's Online Teaching Conference is in Aptos, CA and is offered in a "hybrid" format. Attend your way: in person in Aptos, virtually via live webcasts, or on your schedule by downloading archives. For information visit:

Global Information Technology Management Association (June 14 - 16)

The 10th annual GITMA conference will be held in Mexico City, Mexico. Visit

SLOAN-C International Symposium - Emerging Technology Applications for Online Learning (June 17 - 19)


The Sloan-C International Symposium will be held at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, CA. For information go to:



Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (June 22 - 26)

This year's conference will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii. For more information go to:

National Educational Computing Conference (June 28 - July 1)

The 30th annual NECC 2009 Conference will be held in Washington DC. For information go to:

10th Annual Sakai Conference (July 8 - 10)

The 10th Annual Sakai Conference will be held in Boston, Massachusetts. Information can be found at:

American Library Association (July 9 - 15)

This year's annual ALA conference will be held in Chicago, Illinois. For information go to:

Desire2Learn Fusion Users Conference 2009 (July 13 - 17)

This year's Desire2Learn conference will be held in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnisota. For information go to:

Blackboard World 2009 (July 14 - 17)

The Blackboard World 2009 conference will be held in Washington DC. For information go to:

International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 2009 - call for proposals (October 22-25)

The 6th annual ISSOTL conference will be held in Bloomington, Indiana. For information and the call for proposals visit:



Upcoming Events

RSS Feeds…What’s the big deal?


Ever wondered what that RSS button is actually for?

RSS feeds allow you to stay on top of what’s new in a website without even visiting the site. When you subscribe to a particular RSS feed using a feed reader (such as My Yahoo or Google Reader), new items appear in your reader as they are published.

With MERLOT this means you can keep informed about new materials and even members, in real time – as they’re being added! But it doesn’t stop there. Say you want to hear about only the new materials that interest you. Just go to our list of RSS channels,, and select a feed of materials in the discipline that interests you.

And you can even customize it further. Any advanced search of materials or members can be turned into an RSS feed – it’s that easy! Just perform a search using whatever criteria you like, then at the bottom of the hit list click on the RSS icon to subscribe. Whenever a new material or member is added that meets your specified criteria, you’ll be the first to know!

To learn more about RSS feeds and for a more complete list of feed readers, visit:




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 May 1, 2009 here's what's in the MERLOT collection:

  • Learning Materials – 20,589
  • Peer Reviews - 2,722
  • Member Comments – 6,393
  • Personal Collections - 13,929
  • Assignments - 1,359

How reliable are the links to materials in MERLOT?

  • Of the 20,589 materials in MERLOT, 98.9% of the links are valid*
    (*We are constantly trying to fix broken links to valuable learning materias, 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 averaged 150,979 visits per month over the last three months

What are the top 10 countries using MERLOT?

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




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