MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University received the 2013 Innovative Use of MERLOT Award at a recent symposium on emerging technologies for online learning held in Las Vegas. Pictured is Matt Smock (right) of NMU instructional design and technology accepting the award on behalf of NMU and Gerry Hanley, executive director of MERLOT, an online community of faculty and institutions collaborating to increase the number of web-based, interactive teaching and learning materials.
NMU’s active learning catalysts project was honored for its creative application of MERLOT materials and services. The project is designed to increase the adoption of technology-enhanced active learning in classes taught by science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) faculty. The project, which is supported by a National Science Foundation grant, is centered on a cohort of six STEM focal point faculty (catalysts) who are immersing themselves in active learning pedagogy, redesigning their own courses and serving as models for their peers. Redesigned courses are offered in a student-centered technology-rich studio classroom in the Learning Resources Center.
While preparing to reapply for the grant, the project team consulted with MERLOT staff about disseminating project information and results. The key idea that emerged was to create a MERLOT “Teaching Commons” for the project in order to give the project a higher profile.