Putting Educational Innovations into Practice.

Cathy Swift, Invited Webinar Speaker for the LA Faculty Development Lab.
Hi. My Name is Moustapha, Mous for friends. WELCOME to the LOUISIANA VOICES Group.

This group is created to promote (1) a discussion around Open Education Resources (OER) and the MERLOT Collection of OER, and (2) the creation of a social network around OER and its integration in higher education in Louisiana. This online discussion aims to engage Webinar participants in meaningful pre/post activities and discussions. Please react to the Discussions Questions proposed below by Dr. cathy Swift, our Webinar presenter and myself.

Please join the conversations.


About Cathy Swift:

Dr. Cathy O, Swift is the Director of Academic Partner Services at MERLOT. She received a B.S. in Marketing at Penn State, MBA at Indiana University, and Ph.D. at University of North Texas. She has published over 30 journal articles and numerous proceedings. Until four years ago, she was a Professor of Marketing at Georgia Southern University and received the Outstanding Georgia WebMBA Faculty Award, College of Business Administration Award for Sustained Excellence, College of Business Administration Professor of the Year Award, University Award for Teaching Excellence, and COBA Award for Teaching Excellence. She has worked part time on MERLOT since 1999 as Editor of the Business discipline as well as Manager of the Editorial Boards. She started working full time on the MERLOT project in June 2006. Her research interests are in the areas of online teaching, teaching pedagogy and international business.

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Hi Kim, I am certain that you will enjoy joining the MERLOT Community and taking advantage of the many opportunities. I will be available off-forum to disting ways in which MERLOT can be integrated in your teaching.
Hi, Kim:

Welcome. We have a lot of materials in Nursing, found under Health Sciences:; In fact there are 260 of them, plus, many other sites within Health Sciences that you could use.

Jeanne Sewell is the Editor of Health Sciences and is always looking for people who want to peer review in that area. Just let me know.
Discussion Question 1:
Each year, Peer Reviewers can receive an award as Volunteer of the Year. Here, they share some of their ideas of what peer reviewing means to them.
Please watch this short video clip (about 3 mins):

Then answer the question: What do you think you would like about peer reviewing teaching materials?
I feel that I would enjoy being a peer reviewer because it would give me an opportunity to learn about something I am interested in, it would give me ideas for my own practice, and most importantly, I could help collaborate with a peer somewhere out there in the world and offer my perspective. I love to give props to people who work hard and come up with creative and awesome learning situations. I have just hyperscanned the pharmacology lesson post by cathy and am just floored. It is the answer to my prayers and will save me hundreds of hours in planning my online nurse refresher course. A huge thank you. By engaging in the peer review process yields learning and support between faculty who would have never met otherwise. This is so incredibly powerful. It reminds me of the Quality Matters Peer Review Course that I just about active learning!
Thank you for the insightful remarks. I am certain that you will enjoy the MERLOT Community and take advantages of the many opportunities it affords. We can talk off-forum if you need help. I will also be interested in knowing more about your integration efforts.
I'm glad to hear we could help you, Kim. It's amazing to find so many creative materials. You know that there are some really talented people out there who put these materials together. I don't have the time, knowledge, or ability to do this, so I'm always happy to come to MERLOT and find materials already there. We also provide rewards to our Authors every year in order to recognize them. You might enjoy browsing the Classics Award Winners found here:
Discussion Question 2:

MERLOT is unique in that many teaching materials are peer reviewed by content experts. Please use the Browse function to get a "hit list" of materials in your discipline. As discussed today, "the cream rises to the top," so the highest rated materials appear first on your hit list.

Select one of the materials in your discipline and read the Peer Review (just click on the Peer Review link). After reading the Peer Review, answer the following questions:

1. Is this material something you would use in your class? Why or why not?

2. How beneficial was the Peer Review to your decision? Why or why not?

3. Please comment on MERLOT Peer Reviews in general.

4. Did you think about making a Member Comment?
I went to the following learning material: this led me to the following links:
link to the math homepage
link to dept of nursing education san Antonio click on left link to pharmacology math math link to use
Pharmacology Math by Linda Puryear

1. Is this material something you would use in your class? Why or why not?
Yes. I teach critical care nursing and a summer nurse refresher course. This is very helpful as my critical care students must pass the initial math exam prior to going to clinical and they have three chances to make a 90. If they fail all three attempts at the math test, they are removed from the program. Of course my nurse refreshers have been out of the workforce for a long period of time and their math is rusty.

2. How beneficial was the Peer Review to your decision? Why or why not?
The five stars allowed me to go where others have been and this saved me so much time of recreating the wheel and finding a good resource.

3. Please comment on MERLOT Peer Reviews in general.
It helped me quickly determine if this learning material was what I wanted. I read the pediatric comments and was concerned that maybe this was not my best choice. But I continued reading and found the comment on critical care calculations…which is what I teach. BINGO!!!! I was also sold on the peers writing that it was interactive.

4. Did you think about making a Member Comment?
I did and I did. I saved it to my personal collection!
Thanks. Kim
Excellent Kim!! I believe that the Pedagogy Portal ( discussed during our Webinar would be a good place to start while trying to integrate these materials in your teaching. You will find best practices and research instruments to help you assess/evaluate your instruction.
I'm happy that you had such a good experience with the materials, Kim. The Peer Review and Comments can help out a lot and also save you time, as we saw in the demonstration. The comments you made could also help someone else.
My name is Ousseynou I am a trainer at teacher college in Dakar Senegal West Africa. I am interested in e-learning and the use of ICT. I am planning to start a program using moodle for my trainees. I missed the presentation,unfortunately! Is there a place where I can access it? Please give us next time the right conversion in GMT! Cheers
Hi Ousseynou. The archive of the presentation is available here as archive. Thank you Cathy Swift.

You can search the MERLOT Repository using the keyword "Moodle". You will find very interesting resources for teachers and educators. Also, I have just finished a Moodle training with faculties at Southern University (, maybe we can talk during my December trip to Dakar. We can continue the discussion offline.



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