Issue No. 27, Spring 2013

news features tech stuff upcoming events the numbers



MERLOT Providing Affordable Learning Solutions for Students and Faculty!

The California State University System is using MERLOT’s collection of almost 40,000 OER (Open Educational Resources), over 2,000 Open Textbooks, and over 3,500 Open Courseware resources as the backbone of their strategic initiative to lower the cost of course materials for students. Explore and use Cal State’s Affordable Learning Solutions website as your own one-stop shop for free teaching and learning materials. You can type in the ISBN of your textbook and the MERLOT OER Finder tool will provide you a list of related OER to your textbook.  You can even add the MERLOT OER Finder widget on to your own website for FREE. Check out how individual campuses are deploying their customized Affordable Learning strategies and see if any of these could be adapted to your own institution.

2013 Emerging Technologies Conference

We hope you have marked your calendar for the Emerging Technologies Conference at the Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 9-11, 2013.  We will again be co-sponsoring the conference with the Sloan Consortium due to the success of last year’s conference.  We have lined up some major speakers who should provide some challenging ideas. 

Registration is now open and we encourage you to register early, as the cut-off date is February 12, 2013.  After that day, the registration fee increases by $50.

Keynote and Plenary Speakers

Our Keynote Speaker, Steve Wheeler, is Associate Professor of Learning Technologies at Plymouth University, in South West England. Originally trained as a psychologist, he has spent his entire career working in media, technology and learning, predominantly in nurse education (NHS 1981-1995) and teacher education and training (1976-1981 and 1995-present). He is now in the Faculty of Health, Education and Society.

Steve is the author of more than 150 scholarly articles, with over 2000 academic citations and is an active and prolific edu-blogger. His blog Learning with is a regular online commentary on the social and cultural impact of disruptive technologies, and the application of digital media in education and training. It attracts in excess ofone million views each year.

One Plenary Speaker is Dr. George Veletsianos, who is Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies at the University of Texas, Austin. His research focuses on the design and study of emerging technologies and pedagogies in online and hybrid education settings, and their relationship to student and instructor experiences and practices. More specifically, he studies Adventure Learning, pedagogical agents, and Networked Participatory Scholarship.  Recently he has published an edited book under an open access license entitled Emerging Technologies in Distance Education, which can be downloaded for free at He has been involved in global projects and investigations including work in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, and Cyprus, and is active in consulting, teaching, and research.

Our second plenary session will include a panel of our Launch Pad participants. This is a new concept of bringing start-up companies to the conference for exposure for them and greater "emerging tech" gravitas for us.  They will have a small exhibit area as part of the main exhibits.  This final session will enable them to share their experiences in starting up a company as well as get feedback from participants.

JOLT - Current Issue Available Online current issue of MERLOT’s JOLT (Journal of Online Learning and Teaching) is now available. This issue features four research articles, tw0 case studies, and a concept paper. As always, articles can be viewed in two formats: html and pdf. Consider submitting one of your manuscripts to JOLT, or become a JOLT Peer Reviewer by sending an email to:


Become a MERLOT Peer Reviewer

Are you interested in becoming a MERLOT Peer Reviewer?  By doing so, you can be involved in providing high quality resources to MERLOT followers around the world.  Join your colleagues in evaluating the resources cataloged in MERLOT.

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

New MERLOT Peer Reviewers

The following people graduated from GRAPE Camp this fall and are currently reviewing materials for MERLOT.  We welcome them and appreciate their assistance.


Editorial Board


Mark Cubberley


Wright State University-Lake Campus

Adam Wear


University of West Alabama

Judith McDaniel


Union Institute & University

Michelle Franz

Faculty Development

Northern Virginia Comm. College

Tiffany Hoeffer

Faculty Development

University of South Carolina

Deb Genet

Faculty Development

University of Northern Colorado

Bonnie Riedinger

Faculty Development

University of New Haven

Kelly Massey

Health Sciences

Georgia College and State University

Megan Mocko


University of Florida

Billy R. Woodson

Teacher Education

Central Texas College

Bruce Bennett

Teacher Education

Grand Canyon University

Laurie Tenzer

Teacher Education

Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division

Sophie Queuniet

World Languages

Columbia University

Cory Duclos

World Languages

Vanderbilt University

Beatrice Russell

World Languages

California State University, Sacramento


Editor’s Book Receives Award

Congratulations to Jeanne Sewell, Editor of MERLOT’s Health Sciences Editorial Board, who recently published the 4th edition of her book, Informatics and Nursing Opportunities and Challenges, co-authored by Linda Q. Thiede.   The book recently received an AJN (American Journal of Nursing) 2012 Book of the Year award in the category of Information Technology and Informatics.  The journal had this to say about the book:

 “Informatics and Nursing is broad enough to serve as a technological bible for nurses with any level of knowledge on this topic. Its scope is sweeping, ranging from basic hardware concepts and elementary Internet terminology to technical database and data-mining concepts; the authors describe how these benefit nurses in everyday practice. Moreover, the book is organized so that nurses who are adapt at using computers but interested in nursing informatics can easily find what they need to know, whereas those who want a primer will find it. The information is current in both technology and health care considerations.

  • Scope: this book goes from the ground up and contains both basic and advanced concepts
  • Timeliness: the information is not outdated, as is the case with many technology-related books, and contains useful data for upcoming health care changes.
  • Organization: the book is arranged in such a manner that nurses can easily skip through it and read only the parts they need.”



line features

Free Webinars by MERLOT

Looking to learn how to use MERLOT for your classes? Or, has it been awhile since you’ve visited the MERLOT site?  Or, do you just want to update your MERLOT skills?

Based on the response to a pilot webinar last fall, MERLOT is now offering free webinars to help people understand how to best use MERLOT.  Each month, we will offer MERLOT 101, which is an introduction to browsing and searching MERLOT.  Additionally we have scheduled specific topic webinars to help users understand some of the other MERLOT services, including how to create personal collections, guides to our portals and how to use them, and Content Builder. The next free webinasr are Personal Collections on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 3 PM Eastern/ Noon AM Pacific and Browsing and Searching in MERLOT on February 14, 2013 at Noon Eastern/9 AM Pacific.

We use Blackboard’s Collaborate so we can easily communicate with those attending the webinar. No special equipment is needed, as you will be provided with a link to access the live webinar. We encourage interaction and are willing to answer any questions you have about using MERLOT.

You can find a schedule for the webinars here. We ask that you register for the webinars so we can send a reminder before the session.  However, anyone is welcome to join us.

If you have any specific topics you would like to see in a webinar, please contact us.




tech update

What's new in MERLOT?

A few changes we made in the past few months including:

Social Networking with MERLOT

facebooknewLike MERLOT on Facebook!  We use this to communicate information that may be of interest to MERLOT users, such as apps, online teaching, and other topics.    Please go to the MERLOT page and “Like” us.  You’ll then receive updates to the page.  

twitter2MERLOT Tweets daily about issues of interest to those involved in higher education and teaching in general (and also about MERLOT).  To get our Tweets, you can follow us on Twitter at  Then you’ll be assured of getting the latest news updates.

MERLOT also now has a Linkedin account.  We will use this to stay in touch with the MERLOT community.  Make sure you join us and network with other MERLOT Users.


Dear Webmaster

Dear Webmaster:

Everyone I know seems to spend a lot of time on Twitter and Facebook. I see MERLOT has a Twitter feed and a Facebook page as well, but I don’t really see the purpose. What is this all about?


Lost in Social Media

Dear Lost in Social Media:

It’s a big, overwhelming world out there in the land of Social Media, but don’t be alarmed, we’re all learning together. Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks are all about communication of ideas, news, and information. MERLOT’s Twitter feed and Facebook page are here to keep you informed about what’s going on in MERLOT, share teaching and learning resources we think are cool, and to be available to answer any questions you might have about our website or about online learning. Feel free to start a conversation with us anytime, or share links that might be interesting to our community. MERLOT wants to be more social, and we encourage our members to join in. The conversation is only as interesting as the people talking, so we want to hear from you.

MERLOT Webmaster




Upcoming Events

Quality Matters – Great Northwest

The Call for Papers is now open for the QM Works! Great Northwest Regional Conference planned for April 25 & 26, 2013in Vancouver, Washington.  The program committee encourages panels and other proposals reflecting participation from more than one institution. This is a great opportunity to work with your peers at other colleges, universities and institutions. Handouts and takeaways are also encouraged. The topics include Implementing Quality Matters, Impact of Quality Matters, The Course Review, and Meeting the Quality Matters Standards. The deadline for submitting proposals is February 1, 2013.  You can also now register for the conference.

Sloan-C Blended Learning

The 10th Annual Sloan Consortium Blended Learning Conference and Workshop will be held on July 8-9, 2013 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee.  This year’s conference theme,Trend to Blend: Lessons from the Field,reflects a renewed interest in blended learning while emphasizing the importance of research and proven effective practices of the past decade in guiding our future. The Call for Presentations will close on February 11, 2013.  The tracks for this conference include: Teaching and Learning, Research, Student Support, Faculty Development and Support, and Leadership and Administration. The conference is organized into two days, with the first day starting with an array of interactive workshops, followed by an afternoon of information sessions, vendor showcases, and poster sessions, and highlighted by our key note presentation. You can now register for the Blended Learning conference.


AAEEBL’s 2013 Annual ePortfolio Conference will be held July 29 - August 1, 2013 at Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA.  This location offers proximity to many of Boston's attractions and provides a wide array of more options in terms of lodging and dining. The Call for Proposals is open and proposals are due February 18, 2013.  2013 conference will serve as a gathering space for shared collective knowledge about how we, as a scholarly community and as a community of practice, answer questions posed through roughly 10 years of experience.What do we know about eportfolios?What do we know about eportfolio research?What do we know about best practices with eportfolios?What do we know about the integration of technology into teaching and learning?What have we learned about assessment and the role eportfolios play?How do we know what we know about eportfolios?What documentation do we have to validate what we know?Where do we need to go from here with both research and practice to further the implementation of eportfolios in the service of learners?What has eportfolio use taught us about learning? Registration will be open in March.


The Numbers

Who Uses MERLOT?

As of December 31, 2012 here is what is in the MERLOT collection:

  • Learning Materials – 39,382
  • Peer Reviews – 3,766
  • Member Comments – 10,466
  • Personal Collections – 21,985
  • Learning Exercises – 1,440

How many people have visited MERLOT in 2012?  868,672

How many searches were done using our web services?

  • Basic Searches:  450,564 by 373 institutions
  • Advanced Searches 1,867,812 by 9 institutions

How many page views have been viewed in 2012? 4,811,235

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

1.     United States

2.     Philippines

3.     Canada

4.     Israel

5.     United Kingdom

6.     India

7.     Australia

8.     Mexico

9.     Spain

10.  Chile



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