Issue No. 28, Summer 2013

news features tech stuff upcoming events the numbers



From your Wine Steward - Gerry Hanley

Dear MERLOT Community,

We had another outstanding conference with our Sloan-C partners this year with a combined total of about 1,800 people through face-to-face and virtual participation. You all deserve a bit THANK YOU for the roles you played in making this event a wonderful success – from reviewing proposals, participating in the conference programs, sharing conference information with your colleagues, and encouraging people to join of friendly community of educators with a passion for “emerging technologies for online learning”.

MERLOT continues to grow with new partners – Oregon State University, National Interpreters Education Consortium, and the University System of Georgia. As with all our partners, there organizations will share their expertise and energy, strengthening MERLOT for the world of learners and teachers.

Check out some of MERLOT’s new services too! - like the “sneak peak” of the new MERLOT. The MERLOT technology team is doing an excellent job in transforming MERLOT to be much more usable while sustaining the sophistication of technology services. The MERLOT student portal – – is a streamlined way for learners anywhere to get quick access to the wealth of MERLOT’s free learning resources.

As you are finishing up your spring semester/quarter, I wish you the very best and thank you for making MERLOT a place for supporting learners and teachers anywhere and anytime.

Cheers, Gerry

2013 Emerging Technologies Conference

The 2013 Emerging Technology Conference, a partnership of the Sloan-C Consortium and MERLOT, was held in Las Vegas, NV April 9-11, 2013.  This was our fourth year in partnership with Sloan-C, which has proven to be beneficial for both parties.  Almost 900 participants attended the conference and an estimated 900 attended virtually, a significant increase over last year's meeting. With 37 exhibitors, people were able to see the latest and greatest in academic technologies. This year also saw lots of action at the Social Networking Center as people shared tweets and messages on various forms of social media.

We had a full program at the conference, with the MERLOT Leadership Meeting running from 1 PM to 5 PM on Monday, April 8th.  We again used the Flipped Format, by providing PowerPoints and other materials to attendees prior to the conference.  Attendees had all the facts, and we utilized the meeting time for discussions.  Feedback was very positive, so this undoubtedly will be the format followed in the future.  You can still see the materials that were sent out in Voices (although you will have to join first): Of great interest to attendees was the information on the new look of MERLOT:  MERLOT II.

During the conference we were entertained, educated, and stimulated by our three keynote/plenary sessions:

Steve Wheeler, Associate Professor of Learning Technologies atPlymouth University, in South West England, was the keynote speaker.  His talk was, “What’s that Coming Over the Hill?  Digital Futures, Emerging Cultures, New Learning.”  Using examples from recent research his presentation explored the new ways students are learning, and he provided some examples of how education might adapt to these new trends.


Dr. George Veletsianos, Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies at the University of Texas at Austin, was the first plenary speaker.  During his session, he encouraged several opportunities for attendees to share ideas with those at their table.  During his talk, “Seven Tales of Learning Online with Emerging Technologies,” he told stories that highlight how learning and education are (and are not) changing with the emergence of certain technologies, social behaviors, and cultural expectations.

The second plenary session was somewhat unusual in that it involved a panel of start-up representatives who had participated in the new LaunchPad.  Moderated by Tony Wan of EdSurge, the entrepreneurs were asked for their insights on the evolving education landscape, and how their efforts are breaking down existing barriers and creating new opportunities for learners of all ages.

All attendees were able to attend two workshops on Tuesday morning, with concurrent sessions beginning after lunch.  We also had a very successful Unconference on Thursday afternoon, thanks to David Wicks, the Program Chair.  The sessions were led by Jen Ross (University of Edinburgh, Scotland) and provided a lot of opportunity for discussion.

JOLT – the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching

 The March 2013 issue of the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT) is now online at

This issue contains four Research Papers, two Case Studies, one Concept Paper, and one Position Paper.  We also want to advise you of the Special Issue: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that will be published in June.

RSS JOLT now has an RSS feed so that one can be updated easily when an issue is published.  The RSS feed can be found at the bottom of the homepage.

Did you know that you can also search JOLT when you are doing research having to do with teaching and learning?  Just enter your search term in the box, and find JOLT articles that are related to your search.

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




One of the highlights of the annual conference is the Awards Ceremony at which we recognize those who have made outstanding contributions in learning materials, service, and use of MERLOT.  This was held during a luncheon on Wednesday, April 10, 2013. 

MERLOT Classics Awards for Exemplary Online Learning Resources

This program recognizes and promotes outstanding online resources designed to enhance teaching and learning.  Each of the MERLOT Editorial Boards selects an outstanding resource from its discipline to receive the MERLOT Classics Award.  MERLOT considers this learning material an exemplary online learning resource and it is now recognized as so on the MERLOT website listing. Not all recipients were able to travel to Las Vegas for the conference.  However, those present are shown on the stage, holding their award plaques.

Pictured are Balazs Koren (Math), Robbie Melton (accepting for History), Larry Press (Information Technology, and Cammy Huang (Biology) holding their award certificates.

Congratulations to all of the Classics award winners for creating high quality learning materials that can be used around the world.  You do great work!

Application of MERLOT Awards

The Application of MERLOT awards recognize those who demonstrate leadership in the use and application of MERLOT.

Innovative Use of MERLOT award is given to an individual, department, or program that demonstrates novel, comprehensive, or creative usage and/or application of MERLOT materials and services. Nominees must provide evidence of an impact on students that can be demonstrated through qualitative or quantitative research or anecdotal evidence. The impact on learning is valued above the impact on student interest.  Matt Smock, Northern Michigan Project Director accepted the award.

Institutional Stewardship award recognizes efforts to promote MERLOT at an institutional level. MERLOT seeks to identify models that can be used to sustain support for MERLOT and that demonstrate the value of MERLOT. Recipients of the award will be judged by a panel of professional organization representatives such as EDUCAUSE, etc. (maximum of two each year).  The recipient of the award (individual or group) will have exhibited an outstanding example of stewardship in spreading the use of MERLOT throughout the campus or system.  Robbie Melton, Associate Vice Chancellor of eLearning and Emerging Mobilization Technology at the Tennessee Board of Regents accepted the award.

MERLOT Service Awards

The Distinguished Service Award is reserved as MERLOT’s highest honor. The recipient of this award exemplifies the vision that brings MERLOT members together to create the MERLOT Community.   Jane Moore, Editor, Teacher Education received the award.

The MERLOT House Cup is an award to recognize the level of contributions made to the MERLOT collection during an academic year. This year’s winner is the Health Sciences Editorial Board.  The Editorial Board was responsible for making 1246 contributions to MERLOT during the nine-month period of July 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013.  Note that this was only a nine-month period, due to the change in the conference date.  Jeanne Sewell, Editor of Health Sciences is pictured here receiving her award.


Peer Reviewers Extraordinaire

This year, MERLOT re-introduced the Peer Reviewer Extraordinaire program in which Peer Reviewers were required to complete 10 Peer Reviews over a nine-month period.  There were 25 Peer Reviewers who completed the program this year, resulting in 364 Peer Reviews. Those receiving the award were:

Aftab Merchant


Cleveland Chiropractic College

Patty Feller


Nashville State Community College

Paul Bowdre

Criminal Justice

SUNY – Canton

Ray Purdom

Faculty Development


Lynn Johnson

Health Sciences


John Okewole

Information Tech

Fed Inst. Of Research-Nigeria

Sergey Belyi


Troy University

Larry Green


Lake Tahoe Community College

Vanessa Wright


Excelsior College

Catherine Honig


National Louis University

Beverly King


UNC – Pembroke

Sherri Restauri


UA - Huntsville

Michael Miller


UT – San Antonio

Doris Dickerson

Teacher Education

Shorter College

Loretta Driskel

Teacher Education

Colorado Mountain College

Angela Gunder

Teacher Education

Northern Virginia Community College

Ryan Ingersoll

Teacher Education

Seattle Pacific University

Elaine Lawrence

Teacher Education

SUNY – Oneonta

Jane Moore

Teacher Education

Professor Emeritus, National Louis University

Stephanie Robinson

Teacher Education

Walden University

Janiess Sallee

Teacher Education

Seattle Pacific University

Mary Wall

Teacher Education

Thomas Edison State College

David Wicks

Teacher Education

Seattle Pacific University

Esperanza Zenon

Teacher Education

Clark Atlanta University

Laura Franklin

World Languages

Northern Virginia Community Coll.

We want to thank our Peer Reviewers Extraordinaire for all of their hard work in completing reviews.  They all received a certificate for this accomplishment and will be recognized on our website. Those who were able to attend the conference are pictured to the left.



MERLOTx for Students

What is MERLOTx?

   • MERLOTx is MERLOT's new student portal, created to help students easily find resources to support their learning goals.

   • MERLOTx is leverages MERLOT's existing library of free online learning materials and presents it in a way that's direct and easy to use.

   • MERLOTx connects students to an open online community of learners and teachers from around the world, with over 110,000 members .


How can students use MERLOTx?

   • To LEARN the prerequisite concepts and skills for the courses students are taking.

   • To FIND supplemental materials to help students expand their knowledge and skills for the classes you are taking.

  • To EXPLORE subjects students might be interested in studying in the future.

  • To PERSONALIZE and ORGANIZE students' online learning materials into a collection with notes on how and why they find them useful, so they can keep track of their learning.

  • To SHARE their personal collection, explore others' personal collections, and contribute to the online learning revolution.




line features

Update on the MERLOT Community

New Editorial Boards

We have had some interest expressed in the following disciplines, so if you know someone who might be interested in participating in the Task Force to build the collection and community, please let Jane Moore know

      • Fine Arts
      • Virtual Environments


New Partners in the MERLOT Community

MERLOT welcomes several new partners:

University System of Georgia

NIEC – National Interpreter
Education Center


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As of May 1st, Cathy Swift transitioned her responsibilities to conducting GRAPE Camp, doing the free MERLOT webinars, and a lot of other things, including being Editor of the Business Editorial Board.

Starting May 1st, Jane Moore, Editor of Teacher Education and also this year’s Distinguished Service Award winner will take over many of Cathy’s responsibilities, including the Editorial Boards, Emerging Technologies Program Chair, and this newsletter. She also will remain as the Editor of the Teacher Education Editorial Board.




tech update

What's new in MERLOT?

The MERLOT Development Team has been very busy the last few  months focusing on the development of  a “new” MERLOT or MERLOT II. Look for MERLOT II coming to a computer near you soon. In addition to a new look and feel, MERLOT II will showcase some of the rich system features that make up the site. We want to make as many of our valuable features more obvious, available, and accessible to our community of users. MERLOT has a treasure trove of features and functions, and wants the OER community to know that we’re “Open” for business!


MERLOT on Facebook and Twitter

MERLOT has a Facebook pagefacebook and we'd love for you to "Like Us."

You can also visit our Twitter page and receive our posts. To get our Tweets, follow us on Twitter at http// twitter

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.





Upcoming Events

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 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 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 opened in March.

Quality Matters Conference 2013

The Quality Matters 5th Annual Conference on Quality Assurance in Online Learning will be held October 1-4, 2013 at the Sheraton Music City in Nashville, Tennessee.  The theme of this year’s conference is "Celebrating 10 Years of Making Quality Matter - Taking Stock and Looking Ahead.”  The CFP is now closed, but registration will soon open.  You can view the website for registration information.


The Numbers

Who Uses MERLOT?

As of March 31, 2013, here is what is in the MERLOT collection:

  • Learning Materials – 40,187
  • Peer Reviews – 3,766
  • Member Comments – 10,466
  • Personal Collections – 21,985
  • Learning Exercises – 1,440

How many people have visited so far this year?


How many searches were done using our web services for the first quarter of the year?

  • Basic Searches: 41,297
  • Advanced Searches 52,325

How many page views have been viewed in 2012?


The top 10 countries that have visited MERLOT to date in 2013:

1. United States

2. Philippines

3. Canada

4. United Kingdom

5. Israel

6. Chile

7. India

8. Australia

9. Spain

10. Mexico



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