E-Learning Project Team wins MERLOT Award for accounting modules

The collaborative efforts of an accounting professor and an instructional design team at Penn State Berks resulted in the team being awarded the MERLOT Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resources ? MERLOT Classics 2014 in the Business discipline. The group designed and developed a collection of eLearning modules, which support Accounting courses at the campus. The team members include Dr. Lolita Paff, Associate Professor of Business and Economics; Amy Roche, Instructional Designer; and Mary Ann Mengel, Instructional Multimedia Designer.

MERLOT, the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching project, is a free and open peer-reviewed collection of online teaching and learning materials contributed and used by an international education community. The entire MERLOT collection includes over 40,000 materials in 19 different disciplines. Within each discipline, a MERLOT Editorial Board comprised of an international group of faculty peer reviewers selects one outstanding resource to receive the annual MERLOT Classics Award. The eLearning modules created by the Berks team were selected through this process to receive the award in the Business discipline.

The project began when Paff partnered with the team of the Berks Center for Learning & Teaching to create eLearning resources focused on concepts with which her students typically struggle. Paff applied for and was awarded a Teaching and Learning Innovation grant through the Center for Learning & Teaching, which enabled her to work with Roche and Mengel to create a series of online tutorials and interactive practice exercises, which reinforce accounting concepts related to adjusting entries for supplies and unearned revenues.

Paff, Mengel and Roche were invited to receive the award and present their project at the International Symposium on Emerging Technologies for Online Learning at Dallas, Texas in April. The conference is sponsored by the Sloan Consortium.

The winning Accounting modules can be viewed on the Penn State Berks Center for Learning and Teaching's website at www.bk.psu.edu/StudentServices/IT/accounting-learning-resources.htm.