Issue No. 15, Winter 2009

news features tech stuff upcoming events the numbers



MERLOT International Conference - CALL FOR PROPOSALS - Start planning for MIC09

The MERLOT International Conference will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in San Jose, California from August 13th to 16th. For more information visit

Proposals are due February 16, 2009 with theme, “Teaching and Learning in a Networked World,” and the following tracks:

  1. Innovations in Online Teaching and Learning
  2. Faculty Development
  3. Featured Community of Practice: Mathematics and Statistics
  4. Creative Collaborations
  5. Evaluation and Assessment of Success

We are also highlighting Mathematics and Statistics as our Communities of Practice.


MERLOT has a new voice

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, blog, chat, and network with others about online learning and teaching. Visit and join Voices, discuss issues of importance with colleagues around the world, or even create your own, special Collaborative Community. You can access MERLOT Voices at

MERLOT mobile search for BlackBerry users

MERLOT has partnered with Research in Motion (RIM), makers of BlackBerry® smartphones, to develop MERLOT Mobile Search. MERLOT Mobile Search lets you search and find learning materials in MERLOT, and email them to yourself or a colleague. All this is available in an 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

Integrate MERLOT into your LMS with MERLOT's new Web Services

MERLOT’s Web Service, which has been has been available since 2001, has recently been replaced with a greatly improved version that takes advantage of the many advances in Web Service technology as well as functional improvements and enhancements to MERLOT. This new product offers improved performance, more extensive searches of the MERLOT collection, and new information about Creative Commons licensed materials.

Existing users of our previous Web Service must get a new key to implement our new version. To do so, go to, complete the form, and a key and link to the documentation will be emailed to you. For more information go to or contact the MERLOT webmaster at If you are an ANGEL or Desire2Learn user, contact your support or account manager for further information on upgrading to the new service.

MERLOT Blackboard Building Block

With the release of MERLOT’s new Web Service we have also released an upgraded version of the Blackboard Building Block. Blackboard system administrators can download the Building Block here: Please contact the MERLOT webmaster at if you have any questions or need any more information .

New campus participation option

Campuses with limited resources, but with interest in being affiliated with MERLOT may join with MERLOT through a new participation level - Campus Subscriber. The annual fee of $3,000 allows the institution to engage with MERLOT, but at a level of commitment that is more manageable for smaller campuses. However, the benefits of the subscription are significant, including unlimited number of discounted registrations to the MERLOT International Conference, travel support for faculty Peer Reviewers Extraordinaire, and the use of MERLOT logos and materials for faculty development and training workshops.

The value of affiliation with MERLOT through a Campus Subscription is clear – for a modest investment, a campus may participate in and be recognized as a part of MERLOT along with dozens of other campuses and systems. Additionally, faculty and other campus leaders may receive discounts and travel subsidies that could save an amount totaling more than half of the subscription fee.

To learn more about affiliation and partnership with MERLOT, see, or contact Phil Moss, Director of Educational Partnerships and Planning, at or 1-562-900-3243.

MERLOT community member news

Surajit Sen

Physics Fellow
Surajit Sen (SUNY Buffalo), MERLOT Physics Editorial Board, was recently named a Fellow of the American Physical Society. This appointment was made for "the discovery of how solitary waves break and secondary solitary waves form in granular media, for his leadership in organizing forums to represent and recognize the physicists from India and for raising consciousness about the problems and the importance of rural science education in India and the developing world."

Kylie Hsu

Outstanding Professor Award
Dr. Kylie Hsu, Professor of Chinese and Linguistics in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, and Associate Editor of MERLOT World Languages Board, received the 2007-08 Outstanding Professor Award from California State University, Los Angeles. Dr. Hsu is Coordinator of the Chinese Program and former Associate Chair of the Department. Among her other successes were receiving early tenure, early promotion to full professor, and recipient of the university’s Distinguished Woman Award.

Merlot Editors

MERLOT Gets Published
MERLOT Psychology Editorial Board members Tom Brinthaupt (Associate Editor), Michelle Pilati (Editor), and Beverly King (former Associate Editor) recently published the article, “Psychology teaching resources in the MERLOT digital learning objects catalog,” in the Journal of Instructional Psychology. An online copy of the article can be found at:;col1



line features

Would you like to become a peer reviewer for MERLOT?

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 first three 2009 GRAPE Camps will be offered at the following dates and times:

February 4, 11, & 18 (Wednesdays): 11:00 AM Eastern  

March 3, 10, & 17 (Tuesdays): 5:00 PM Eastern

April 3, 10, & 17 (Fridays): 10:00 AM Eastern

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

Fall 2008 Grape Camp Graduates:
Topher Gee (UNC-Charlotte), Diana Morarescu (McMaster University), Margaret Trim (Central Ohio Tech Col), Bill Svihla (Indiana State Univ), Catherine Honig (National Louis Univ), Aruna Chandra (Indiana State Univ), Robin Marion (CSU-CO), Mary Knutson (Ace Group), Terry Brosche, Tom Rimmer (UAMS), Kevin Floyd (Macon State College), Julie Santiago (Macon State College), Sarah McCorkle (Ohio Dominican Univ), Gloria Nobles (American River College), Victoria Packard (Tex A&M University-Kingsvl), Kathy Autrey (Northwestern State Univ), Dorothy Keyser (Univ of North Dakota), Keren Meister-Emerich (Bresnan College), Mark Geary (Dakota State University), Cianan Russell (Georgia Institute of Tech), Juliette Bourdier Roberts (Univ of Colorado), Heather MacCorkle Edick (Kapella Univ), Ron Wagner (CSU of Pennsylvania), Amy-Jo Sutterluety (Baldwin-Wallace Col), Martha Colvin (Georgia Col and State Univ), Louise Ochoa (Appalachian State), Esperanza Zenon (Clark Atlanta Univ), Claire Kew (Salisbury Univ), Courtney Fell (Univ of CO - Boulder), Flor Bondal (Georgia Col and State Univ).

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

The December 2008 issue of JOLT (Journal of Online Learning and Teaching), containing 17 papers and 176 pages is now online at Four years on, the journal's popularity and content continue to grow. In 2008 JOLT received 52,053 visits from 169 countries & territories. To see how JOLT has grown over the years, go to JOLT is published in March, June, September, and December, 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

JOLT - Call for papers - Special Issue: Integrity and Identity Authentication in Online Education

A Special Issue of the MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT) is planned for June 2009 that will be focused on the topic of integrity in the online environment and authenticating the identity of students taking online classes. This is a timely topic in light of the provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (H.R. 4137) that requires that institutions that offer distance education "…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." As rule-making with respect to this legislation is in progress, articulating effective approaches to meeting this requirement is essential. Many in the distance education community have already sought to reframe the conversation to focus on pedagogical and curricular approaches, as opposed to costly and potentially invasive technological ones.

Full information, including suggested topics, is available 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 releases, our new Web Services and Blackboard Building Block now return Creative Commons license information, if available. For more information visit


tech update

Faculty Development in Blended/Online Learning Conference (March 2 - 4)

This conference will be held in Denver, CO, and is hosted by Academic Impressions. It will explore the best approaches for engaging and supporting faculty interested in the online and blended teaching experience. For more information, go to:

SITE 2009--Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education 20th Annual International Conference (March 2 - 6)


SITE 2009, to be held in Charleston, South Carolina, is sponsored by Information Technology and Teacher Education. This society represents individual teacher educators and affiliated organizations of teacher educators in all disciplines, interested in the creation and dissemination of knowledge about the use of information technology in teacher education and faculty/staff development. For more information on the conference, go to:

Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) - call for presentations (March 9 - 11)

CENIC holds its 13th annual RIDING THE WAVES OF INNOVATION conference in Long Beach, CA. K-20 research and education communities from California will come together to illustrate the value of the high-performance networking made possible by the California Research & Education Network to their communities. For information go to:

TechEd 2009 - The New Face of Technology (March 22 - 25)

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 at the Ontario (California) Convention Center. For more information, go to:

2009 AERA Annual Meeting and Exhibition (April 13 - 17)

AERA is the most prominent international professional organization, with the primary goal of advancing educational research and its practical application. Its more than 26,000 members are educators; administrators; directors of research; persons working with testing or evaluation in federal, state and local agencies; counselors; evaluators; graduate students; and behavioral scientists. For more information on the meeting, go to:

TCC 2009 Worldwide Online Conference (April 14 - 16)

This conference is designed for university and college faculty, academic support staff, counselors, student services personnel, students, and administrators to share expertise, experiences, and knowledge about the use of information technology in learning, teaching and academic services. For more information, go to:

Online Teaching Conference – call for proposals (June 11 - 12)

The call for proposals is open until January 30th, 2009 for the annual Online Teaching Conference in beautiful Aptos, CA. Learn from the experts, catch up on technical innovations, and pick up valuable tips all the while enjoying wonderful beaches and the many attractions of Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. This year's conference is again offered in a "hybrid" format - attend your way: in person in Aptos, virtually via live webcasts, or on your schedule by downloading archives from CCC Confer. For proposal and conference information, 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. 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. For information go to:

TLT Group helps faculty be the best they can be

The TLT Group is a non-profit MERLOT Partner that helps college and university educators take advantage of changing technology to improve teaching and learning. Check their online calendar of events to find a workshop or session from their list of Online Institute events. MERLOT members receive a discount on registration fees.

12th Annual Community of Academic Technology Staff (CATS)

Please visit the CATS Website for information.


Upcoming Events

Why is it SO important to update my MERLOT profile?


Your personal MERLOT profile page is where you present yourself, and indeed your curriculum vitae, to the MERLOT community (over 65,000 members and more than 3,400 daily visitors!). 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.

Wishing you the very best in 2009!

- 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

Totals as of January 1, 2009

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:

  • MERLOT (1-9 pts) - 9,448 Members
  • Bronze (10-29 pts) - 379 Members
  • Silver (30-69 pts) - 76 Members
  • Gold (70+ pts) - 67 Members

For more informaton on member contributions and ribbons, go to

Number of Members that have contributed:

  • Learning Materials – 3,232
  • Assignments - 400
  • Peer Review - 686
  • Member comment –1,967
  • Personal Collection - 6,613



-------- 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 or 2) without becoming a MERLOT member by sending a blank email to

To Unsubscribe: If you no longer wish to receive The Grapevine, send an email to 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
Your input about The Grapevine: If you have comments, suggestions, or news items to contribute to The Grapevine, contact the MERLOT webmaster at
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.
© 2015 MERLOT.ORG. All rights reserved

Creative Commons License