Issue No. 29, Fall 2013

news features tech stuff upcoming events the numbers




Congratulations to Barb Sperling and her team! MERLOT II was released on October 7 and made it's official debut at EDUCAUSE in Anaheim, October 15-18, 2013. Be sure to check out MERLOT at Read the press release atthe CSU Public Affairs site.

Find out more in the Tech Update.




Bruce Chaloux, Sloan Consortium

It is with great sadness that we share notice of the death of Dr. Bruce N. Chaloux, CEO and Executive Director of the Sloan Consortium. Bruce's vision, passion, expertise, wisdom and kindness were powerful inspirations for the MERLOT family as MERLOT and Sloan-C continued to build a strong partnership through the Emerging Technologies for Online Education conference.

Bruce led Sloan-C, an international organization dedicated to the growth, expansion and integration of online learning into the mainstream of higher education. He was a wonderful keynote speaker for the MERLOT International Conference in 2007. This year, Bruce was honored by the NUTN advisory board with their highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Bruce was to have been inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame as they meet jointly with Sloan-C at the November conference in Orlando. The award will now be conferred posthumously.

For many of us, Bruce was a mentor, whether he knew it or not, on how to empower the education of humanity through cheerful and compassionate collaboration and usable technologies. Bruce's legacy of doing more together than we can do alone will persist and grow. We and many around the world will miss Bruce but through our actions, we hope the world Bruce worked so hard to create will become a world the future will enjoy.

Gerry Hanley
Executive Director, MERLOT


2014 ET4OL Conference Call for Proposals

The Call for Proposals for the 2014 ET4OL conference is out.  The deadline is November 1, 2013.  You can get all the information at

The 2014 Emerging Technologies Conference will take place on April 9 – 11, 2014 at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel in Dallas, TX.  Please mark the date and polish up your cowboy boots for a great time in Big D!


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 focuses on MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses).

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



Peer Reviewer Extraordinaire Program 2014

The Peer Reviewer Extraordinaire Program for 2014 is underway. Peer reviewers should get the application blank from their editors. The program offers free registration at the ET4OL conference for reviewers who complete 15 reviews, approved by their editor between April 2, 2013 and March 31, 2014. Further information on the program can be obtained from Jane Moore ( The program is a way of honoring those reviewers whose contributions go above and beyond. The Peer Reviewers Extraordinaire will receive their awards at the ET4OL Conference in Dallas in April, 2014.


MERLOT At Texas A & M - Commerce

The recent integration of MERLOT GRAPE Camp into the MS in Global eLearning Program at Texas A&M University-Commerce has provided an opportunity for conducting further research of the programmatic student-learning outcomes. For example, metacognition may be assessed as it relates to MERLOT’S peer-reviewers serving as a content expert in assessing materials that pertain to one’s field. Communication may be assessed through interaction with peers and peer-reviews. Digital fluency is obviously what is required to contribute to MERLOT. Cultural Fluency may be demonstrated through peer reviewing submissions of MERLOT’s international community of partners. Global Fluency may be measured through the development and contribution of appropriate content for use in a global community of learners. Servant Leadership is the motto of MERLOT, “Give a gift, not a burden!” (Gerry Hanley, 2010).  Finally, the development of students into lifelong learners will help to establish the identity of the MS Global eLearning Program. Student performance outside of the program is one of the best measures of student learning, and the MERLOT Content Builder along with MERLOT peer-reviews is a tremendous platform for measuring student-learning outcomes.

Student Comments:

“Wow! There's quite a bit of information in these tutorials. Despite the length, it's very interesting to learn about taking MERLOT to that next step as contributor. We've learned to submit materials to MERLOT, and we've peer reviewed our own classmates' materials, but it's great that we're learning about contributing to MERLOT beyond our own group.”   Rudy

“I was introduced to MERLOT through the Global eLearning program, but have only ever created and submitted MERLOT pages. During this Grape Camp session, however, I have learned how to navigate through MERLOT and find great resources; this is why I think that the addition of Grape Camp to the Global eLearning program is a good idea. Students will have a more well-rounded understanding of MERLOT and what it has to offer.”   Johanna

“While I had explored MERLOT briefly when posting earlier assignments, there was nothing in my area of expertise so I was disappointed. This additional training has made the benefits much more tangible. The learning resource we practiced reviewing was of inspirational quality, and I really enjoyed exploring it.”   Kristen          

-Rick Lumadue, Texas A&M - Commerce

MERLOT and the Oklahoma Board of Regents

On September 19, 2013, Dr. Jim Bidlack, Co-Editor for the Biology Editorial Board, gave a talk to about 200 participants in the Oklahoma Course Equivalency Project and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. The presentation was entitled, "Affordable Learning Solutions and Real Demonstrations Using MERLOT Learning Objects."





MERLOT in Online Colleges

Check out this article in Online Colleges about how students can use Open Educational Resources with MERLOT.



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
      • General Education


New Partners in the MERLOT Community

MERLOT welcomes several new partners:

The Alamo Colleges

Project Director: Dr. Virginia Huntley,

Northern Kentucky University

Project Director: Dr. D. Kent Johnson,

University Maryland University College

Project Director: Dr. Sharon Biederman,




tech update

What's new in MERLOT?

If you haven't visited MERLOT ( lately, you are in for a pleasant surprise. MERLOT II debuted at the Educause conference in Anaheim, CA on October 15th.  Using MERLOT II, you can:

MERLOT II’s new unified search returns results from the repository for materials, members, learning exercises, comments, personal collections, and peer reviews – all on one page. Users can easily filter the findings to narrow their results. Be sure to check out MERLOT at

For a preview of what's new, click here to view our video on YouTube.
* requires free membership in MERLOT.


MERLOT and Social Media

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.



MERLOT has released a blog at Our blog was created to provide commentaries on contemporary issues written by MERLOT staff and invited contributors

Please have a look at our blog and follow what we have to say.   Feel free to add your comments and join the discussion about the topics you find there.  There will be new posts on a regular basis.  If you have any suggestions about topics you’d like us to address, please email




Upcoming Events

Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning

The 19th annual Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning will be held in Lake Buena Vista, Florida November 20-22, 2013. Further information for the conference may be found at:

Webinars at Alamo Colleges

Cathy Swift is doing free webinars on “How to Use MERLOT to find Resources to Use in Teaching” for the new MERLOT partner, Alamo Colleges. Virginia, the Project Manager suggested that we open them for others, too and we’ll be using Blackboard Collaborate.

The days and times are:

Wednesday, November 20 at 2 PM Central
Friday, December 13 at 10 AM Central

You can sign up for these at:


To become a Peer Reviewer for MERLOT, individuals must be an instructor in an institution of higher education and have:

  • Expertise in the scholarship of their field
  • Excellence in teaching
  • Experience in using technology in teaching and learning, and
  • Connections to professional organizations in their discipline.

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. In these webinars, participants will:

  • Develop an understanding of MERLOT
  • Learn how MERLOT evaluates Learning Materials
  • Conduct a group review
  • Complete an Individual Review
  • Learn how to use the Workspace tool, and
  • Introduce participants to the Editorial Board of their disciplines.

The webinars include people from a variety of disciplines and is archived so participants can review the material as needed. For information about GRAPE Camp, contact MERLOT. You can read a little more about GRAPE Camp by downloading our brochure.

Current scheduled GRAPE Camps are:

  • November - Tuesdays (12, 19, 26) at 5 PM Eastern/2 PM Pacific
  • December - Wednesdays (4, 11, 18) at 11 AM Eastern/ 8 AM Pacific

To register for any one of these sessions or to sign up for asynchronous sessions, please complete the short form questionnaire.

If these times don't work for you, you can also participate asynchronously by completing the questionnaire above and indicating that you want to do it asynchronously.  You can also participate in the discussions about GRAPE Camp in MERLOT Voices.

Survey Opportunity

Invitation to participate in a study on quality and pedagogical guidelines for OER use in higher education

JOLT Editorial Board member Professor Insung Jung of the International Christian University (ICU), Japan and her colleague, Professor Teruyoshi Sasaki (also of ICU) are conducting a study funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science aimed at developing guidelines for the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education. Professors Jung and Sasaki have created a set of OER quality guidelines based on the MERLOT peer review evaluation criteria, along with a set of pedagogical guidelines based on Merrill's First Principles of Instruction. They now seek your help in validating both sets of guidelines. To this end, you are invited to participate in a short survey (about 10 minutes to complete), accessible at the following URL:   The survey will be kept open until November 15, 2013. All university and college educators as well as scholars working in the field of OER are welcome to participate. The researchers will be happy to share results of the survey with participants upon request. Questions should be directed to Professor Jung at Thank you very much in advance for lending your time, experience and expertise to this important and exciting project, and for sharing this information with others who may be interested!



The Numbers

Who Uses MERLOT?

As of October 22, 2013, here is what is in the MERLOT collection:
Learning Materials – 42,422
Reviews Posted – 4,027
Materials with an Editor Review - 16,782
Member Comments – 11,467
Personal Collections – 22,962
Learning Exercises –1,450

How many people have visited so far this year? 595,418

How many new members since January 1, 2013? 7,428

How many searches were done using our web services in 2013?
- Basic Searches: 135788
- Advanced Searches 144772

How many page views have been viewed thus far in 2013? 3,448,527

The top 10 countries that have visited MERLOT to date in 2013:
1. United States
2. Philippines
3. Canada
4. United Kingdom
5. India
6. Chile
7. Australia
8. Israel
9. Mexico
10. Brazil



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