Issue No. 26, Fall 2012

news features tech stuff upcoming events the numbers



2013 Emerging Technologies Conference – Now In April – Call for Proposals

The joint symposium of MERLOT and the Sloan Consortium on EmergingEmerging technologies Technologies for Online Learning (ET4Online) will now be held April 9-11, 2013 in Las Vegas at the Planet Hollywood Resort

The Call for Proposals for the conference is now open.  Proposals due December 10, 2012 in the following tracks:

  • Learning Spaces and Communities
  • Open and Accessible Learning
  • Evidence-based Learning
  • Faculty and Student Development
  • Innovative Media and Tools

For information about the conference tracks, go to


2012 MERLOT Awards Presented at ET4 Online Conference

The MERLOT Classics Award recognizes and promotes outstanding online resources designed to enhance teaching and learning.  Each MERLOT Editorial Boards selects an outstanding resource from its discipline, to receive the MERLOT Classics Award, and recognition on the MERLOT website. The winners of the 2012 MERLOT Classics Awards, presented at the ET4 Online conference this summer are:

Two other awards were also provided:

  • awardsThe Distinguished Service Award is MERLOT’s highest honor. The recipient exemplifies the vision that brings MERLOT members together to create the MERLOT Community.  This year’s winner is:  Jeanne Sewell, Editor of Health Sciences. 
  • The MERLOT House Cup recognizes the level of contributions made to the MERLOT collection during an academic year.  This year’s winner is the Biology Editorial Board.


A Sip of MERLOT: FREE Webinar on MERLOT Basics

Would you like a helping hand to get started using MERLOT? Join us on Thursday, November 8th at 3 PM (Eastern Time)for a free, live webinar that will help you find high quality teaching and learning materials on MERLOT. The webinar will use Collaborate, so all you need to do is click on the following link about 10 minutes before the webinar begins:

Become a MERLOT Peer Reviewer

Are you interested in becoming a MERLOT Peer Reviewer and joining a MERLOT Editorial Board? MERLOT has developed training for Peer Reviewers to ensure that they become familiar with MERLOT Peer Review processes and policies. MERLOT Management conducts GRAPE Camp (Getting Reviewers Accustomed to the Process of Evaluation) on a regular basis, to train Peer Reviewers.  GRAPE Camp consists of a series of three one-hour workshops online, one per week.  You can also complete a self-study GRAPE Camp and progress at your own rate. For more information, got to

We’re looking for faculty to strengthen the following MERLOT Editorials as well as developing new Editorial Boards.  Please contact Cathy Swift at if you’re interested. Some of the Editorial boards we are looking to strengthen are Criminal Justice, Engineering, Music and Technical Allied Health.

MERLOT Releases Mobile App's for iOS and Android

MERLOT‘s Mobile App's provides a quick and easy way to discover high quality open educational resources that are freely available androidapponline on your mobile devices.  Search from 38,000 resources that have been curated by educators. iosapp The FREE downloadable app's lets you search the growing world of open education. The simplified design lets you search for Open Courses, Open Textbooks, and a broad array of Open Educational Resources (OER).  You’ll soon be able to search for other educationally useful mobile app's from MERLOT’s collection of over 900 mobile app's    For more information, see Dear Webmaster below or go to


Find Educational Mobile App's For Your Mobile Device

MERLOT now makes it easier to find mobile app's in the collection with an update to the Advanced Material Search. We have added the ability to search for learning materials by device (phone, tablet or other) and by operating system. So if you are looking for a resource for your mobile device, MERLOT is the place to find it!


JOLT - Current Issue Available Online

JOLTA new issue of MERLOT’s JOLT (Journal of Online Learning and Teaching) is now available.  This issue features five research articles, two case studies, and three position papers.  As always, articles can be viewed in two formats:  html and pdf.  Please consider submitting one of your manuscripts to JOLT or offering to become a JOLT Peer Reviewer by sending an email to:


JOLT Special MOOC Issue - Call for Papers

The MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT at has just released a Call for Papers for a special issue on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), to be published in Summer (June) 2013. The Guest Editors of the special issue are George Siemens (Athabasca University), Valerie Irvine (University of Victoria), and  Jillianne Code (University of Victoria).

Proposals in the form of extended abstracts (500 words) are due on November 15, 2012, with full manuscripts due on January 31, 2013, prepared in accordance with JOLT’s Guidelines for Authors. For more information, please contact the Guest Editors at or for the full Call for Papers, visit

Please feel free to share this information with others who you think might be interested.


line features

Tennessee Board of Regents Receives WOW Award from WCET

TBR Emerging Technology and MobilizationCongratulations to Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) for winning one of three 2012 WOW Awards from WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies). According to the press release, the award is for the “TBR Mobile App Education and Workforce Resource Center, a publicly accessible, growing repository of mobile app's for learning that have undergone peer review.” James Bowey, professor at Winona State University and chair of the WOW Awards Committee said, "At the heart of the award and this year's three honored projects is that each addresses a real and important need that is shared widely across higher education. It's the innovative, often collaborative, way in which these projects were carried forward that merits the award, as well as the fact that each serves as a model for others to replicate. "Also noted in the press release, “Utilizing a peer review rubric originally developed by MERLOT, a series of quality standards are utilized in the review of all app's, such as compliance with ADA standards, device neutral, cost, privacy, student engagement and outcomes. Since the TBR Mobile App Resource was launched in 2010, the number of subject matter disciplines has grown to 125 and the total number of educational and workforce app's has reached 60,000+ with continuous daily uploads.”


New Partnership with Quality Matters

MERLOT and Quality Matters have announced plans to explore potential synergies between their respective professional development and technology services and collaborate on joint projects to advance higher education’s capacity to design quality online courses and choose online content that meet quality requirements. 
QMThe first joint effort of these two internationally recognized organizations is crystallized in the theme of the Quality Matters' 4th Annual Conference on Quality Assurance in Online Learning: Where Design and Content Converge - Featuring Special Contributions by MERLOT, which recently took place October 3-6, 2012. Workshops, presentations, and the networking among QM and MERLOT community members is producing project plans and priorities to address our shared communities’ needs.

Deb Adair, Director of the Quality Matters Program, highlights the opportunities in collaboration:  “We see the potential for positive and productive synergy between two organizations that support faculty peer review for the continuous improvement and quality assurance of online and blended courses.  As design (QM’s focus) and content (MERLOT’s focus)  are clearly integrated in a course, developing ways to effectively and efficiently connect the development and review of these preconditions for course quality will benefit the online learning community.“ 


New Partner Community - UDL

Profile ImageOne of the new partner communities in MERLOT is the Cal State EnACT/Universal Design for Learning group.  You can find the portal at:  If UDL is an important topic to you or to your campus, you can find a lot of useful resources on the portal.

"UDL-Universe supports post secondary faculty and staff by providing resources and examples to improve post secondary educational outcomes for all students, including those with disabilities. UDL-U is designed to be useful for inquiries related to individual UDL topics, issues, or problems, as well as scalable to larger course redesign efforts (e.g., Faculty Learning Communities, accessible instructional media)."

New Partner Community - OER and Accessibility

OER and Accessibility

Access to open educational resources (OER) is growing, but not for all.   Not only do the online educational materials need to be freely available and with permission to use, the OER needs to be designed so people with disabilities can use the OER for their teaching and learning as well. The California State University (CSU), MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching), Open Courseware Consortium (OCWC), the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), and Flexible Learning for Open Education (FLOE) have partnered on a joint mission to enable the community of accessible technology experts, advocates, and users to build an online community and collection of open education resources that can improve universal learning by facilitating the contribution and sharing of accessible technology information, expertise, and accessible online teaching and learning materials.  (



tech update

What's new in MERLOT?

  • MERLOT Federated Search libraries now include more than 20 digital libraries.
  • Now when contributing a mobile app to MERLOT or searching for a mobile app, you can specify exactly which devices and operating systems fit your criteria. 
  • MERLOT Content Builder 2.0, our easy-to-use webpage development tool has been released. This release provides registered MERLOT users with a set of folders for each user-created Content Builder website; ability to download a website, gallery or collection in Common Cartridge format; ability to add header tags in the TinyMCE editor; breadcrumb navigation; and a help guide describing new changes in Content Builder.  For more information visit   
  • Visit our new MERLOT Mobile Learning Portal with tools, resources, and ideas to help you develop, discover, and/or use mobile computing in your teaching and learning. The URL is

For more information contact Barbra Bied Sperling, Manager of Technical Development ( or the MERLOT Webmaster at


**Notice to MERLOT and Content Builder Community**

If you are a MERLOT Content Builder user and your account has been inactive since December 31, 2010, you should have received the following email:

Dear MERLOT Content Builder Account Holder

Please be advised that MERLOT has been closely monitoring its Content Builder usage and your Content Builder materials have not been accessed since December, 2010.  In order for us to maximize the use of our resources we intend to delete all your Content Builder materials on October 31st, unless you request, via email to the MERLOT Webmaster (  that we retain your materials. Again, this must be done by October 31st. Please note that your MERLOT membership account will be unaffected by this action.

- MERLOT Webmaster

After October 31st, we will closely monitor disk usage to ascertain whether or not our resources are being disproportionately utilized, and if necessary, devise new policies regarding Content Builder usage of MERLOT resources.


Dear Webmaster, Can I search MERLOT on my mobile device?

Dear MERLOT Webmaster,

I was at the Emerging Technology conference in Las Vegas in July and heard that MERLOT has app's for iOS and Android devices.  Can you tell me about them and where I can find them? 

Thank you,
Mobile Enthusiast

Dear Mobile Enthusiast,

MERLOT did release an OER Mobile Search app for iOS and Android devices. These are in addition to our Blackberry MERLOT Search app. iosappYou can search by keyword, and filter by subject, education level, material type, media format, language or condition of use.  You can go to the resources via your device and/or email information about the resource to colleagues or to yourself for later use and reference. To get the Android-based app, go to: To get the iOS app in the iTunes store, go to

Each material in MERLOT’s collection also has a QR code so once you find one you like, you can easily share it with others.

-MERLOT Webmaster


MERLOT on Facebook and Twitter

facebooknewMERLOT has a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Please visit the MERLOT page and “Like” us.  You’ll receive daily news about MERLOT as twitter2well as relevant information about teaching and learning.
To get our Tweets, follow us on Twitter at



Upcoming Events

 WCET 24th Annual Meeting - Learn, Expand and Exchange

wcetThe 24th Annual WCET Annual Meeting and Conference will take place October 31st - Nov 3rd in San Antonio, TX. WCET is the premier professional development event for e-learning. By attending, you can gain practical solutions, expand professional networks and even influence WCET initiatives. For more information, go to

Educause 2012 Annual Conference

educauseThe EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, November 6-9 in Denver, CO and Online, will provide content and exploration of today’s toughest technology issues facing campuses around the world, and convenes some of the brightest minds in the community. When colleagues from around the world converge with some of the most innovative corporate solution providers, you have an event that creates invaluable networking opportunities and professional development. For more information on attending the conference in person or online, visit


2012 ELES for Africa Conference

ELES conferenceThe ELES4Africa Conference is the largest African conference dedicated to both eHealth and eLearning.  The conference, scheduled for Novembe26-29, 2012 will provide a series of technical sessions with a focus on specific and strategic actions for an innovative partnership on eLearning and eHealth in Africa. The conference includes a networked partnership of 38 African Countries and the association with the 105 Historically Black Universities (HBCUs) in the United States. The ELES Conference Professional Network has more than 350 members from around the Globe.  For more information:



The Numbers

Who Uses MERLOT?

  As of September 30, 2012 here is what is in the MERLOT collection:

  • Learning Materials – 38,475
  • Peer Reviews – 3,694
  • Member Comments – 9892
  • Personal Collections – 21,504
  • Learning Exercises – 1,440

How many people have visited MERLOT since January 2012?
638,999 visitors to

How many MERLOT web pages have been viewed in 2012? 3,624,420

The top 10 countries that have visited MERLOT to date in 2012.

1. United States

6. India 

2. Philippines

7. Australia 

3. Canada

8.  Mexico

4. Israel

9.  Chile

5. United Kingdom

10. Spain



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