Past Conferences:

2004 2003 2002 2001

General Session Speakers

Sir John Daniel, Keynote Speaker
We are pleased to announce that Sir John Daniel, a world-renowned authority in open and distance learning, will open the conference on Tuesday, July 26 with the keynote address. He is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Learning located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Prior to this position he was with UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) where he was Assistant Director-General for Education and headed the global Education for All program. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth for services to higher education in 1994, the honor recognized the leading role that he has played internationally, over three decades, in the development of distance learning in universities.

Dr. Gerard L. Hanley PhD is the Executive Director of MERLOT and Senior Director for Academic Technology Services for the California State University. At MERLOT, he directs the development, delivery, and sustainability of MERLOT’s organization and services to enhance teaching and learning with academic technologies. At the CSU, Gerry oversees the development and implementation of integrated electronic library resources and academic technology initiatives supporting CSU’s 23 campuses. He is also the Director of the Center for Usability in Design and Assessment (CUDA) at the California State University, Long Beach. Previously held positions in the CSU include Professor of Psychology, Director of Faculty Development and Director of Strategic Planning.

Dr. Larry Johnson is Chief Executive Officer of the New Media Consortium (NMC), an international consortium of colleges, universities, museums and technology companies dedicated to using new technologies to inspire, energize, stimulate, and support learning and creative expression. He is an acknowledged expert on the effective application of information technology in higher education, and has authored a number of books, monographs, and articles on that topic, as well as on the related areas of distance learning, strategic planning, and institutional effectiveness. Dr. Johnson will introduce Pachyderm 2.0, a project being done in partnership with the NMC, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.
Pre-Conference Workshops

Session Title: Guidelines for Authors of Learning Objects
Monday, July 25, 2005, 8:30 a.m. – noon

Learning objects. perhaps you've been using them in your courses, and now you want to create some. But where to start? What issues should you consider? What best practices should you be aware of? This workshop provides a gentle, but thorough, grounding in the how, what and why of learning objects. We will offer practical advice for designing for usability – and reusability; for keeping your learning objects learner-centered and learner-driven; for aligning with current metadata standards; and for making your objects accessible to everyone. We will share tips for "marketing" your finished work and point you to resources for follow-up information.

Workshop Leader: Rachel S. Smith

Rachel S. Smith is the Director of Development and Programs for the New Media Consortium (NMC). She works with member institutions on NMC projects and develops new opportunities for collaboration among members. Before joining NMC she worked at the California State University Center for Distributed Learning, where she was involved with the development of MERLOT, Biology Labs On-Line, and other projects. She is the author of the monograph, "Guidelines for Authors of Learning Objects," released June 2004 by NMC.

Session Title: More than a Taste of Merlot: Taking Full Advantage of Merlot Resources for Course Design
Monday, July 25, 2005, 8:30 a.m. – noon

Merlot is a rich source for finding peer-reviewed quality learning objects – but it is much more. This workshop will involve the participants in an in-depth understanding of how the Merlot resources can be fully leveraged both as a resource for course design and as a professional development activity. Participants will explore the Merlot collection, investigate the Merlot Discipline and Special Interest Communities, create a personal collection, post a review for a learning object, and actually add to the Merlot collection! Those not already members will be able to join Merlot during the workshop.

Workshop Leaders: John St.Clair and Vicki Young

John St.Clair is the Executive Director of Training and Technical Services for the Tennessee Board of Regents Online Degree Program ( The RODP coordinates certificate and degree programs offered by the technology centers, colleges, and universities of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR). Prior to joining TBR, Mr. St.Clair was an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Motlow State Community College where he taught courses in developmental mathematics, collegiate mathematics, and computer programming.

Vicki Young has been with Motlow State Community College in Lynchburg, Tennessee since 1982. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt and a Master of Science in Teaching from Middle Tennessee State University. Ms. Young has created an extensive collection of songs, which she uses as learning objects in her math classes.

Session Title: Designing for Student Engagement: Creating Learning Activities to Reuse Learning Objects
Monday, July 25, 2005, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The MERLOT repository houses many exciting learning objects in many disciplines. However, sometimes they do not exactly suit the context and needs of our classrooms. This workshop will engage participants in an effective strategy for designing effective online learning activities. The goal is to design activities that complement existing learning objects so that students are truly engaged with the content. This strategy can be used with existing MERLOT objects but can also be incorporated into learning object design.

Workshop Leader: Tracy Penny Light

Tracy Penny List is an Assistant Professor of History and the Acting Associate Director of the Teaching Resources and Continuing Education (TRACE) office at the University of Waterloo. Besides her teaching load, Tracy leads training programs on developing learning objects for faculty and staff. She is also a MERLOT Editor for the History Editorial Board and one of the founding editors of the MERLOT Journal for Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT).

Session Title: Evaluating the Usability of Online Materials for Student Success
Monday, July 25, 2005, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

To be successful, users must be the central consideration in the development and implementation of learning modules. Usability testing evaluates the effectiveness, ease of learning, ease of using, and preferences for using technologies from the user’s perspective. In this workshop, tools and techniques of usability testing will be introduced and reviewed. Through hands-on experiences, you will learn simple methods for identifying user difficulties with a variety of websites. This workshop is a must for faculty who want to develop their own learning objects, who use learning objects in their classrooms and teaching, or who want to develop peer reviewer skills.

Workshop Leader: Barbra Bied Sperling

Barbra Bied Sperling is a usability specialist with over 15 years of experience in evaluating software, web designs and documentation. Through her work for the Center for Usability in Design and Assessment (CUDA), she conducts user tests and evaluation for MERLOT and works with the MERLOT development team to test new design issues and conduct Quality Assurance testing. She also serves as the MERLOT Webmaster.

Program Schedule

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Sponsor Exhibits

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Poster Sessions

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Conference Sessions now available online