About the People

Beginning in June 2006 with the first India-California State University, Long Beach summit, members of the University of Lucknow and CSU, Long Beach have built a collaborative team to improve higher education. In November 2008, the Hewlett Foundation awarded funds to California State University Long Beach to support its pilot program for using OER to promote effective and cost efficient professional development of University of Lucknow faculty who shape the skills and knowledge of students who become teachers in India.

The collaborative project has been build around the "Design Team" who have worked closes to develop and deliver a professional development curriculum that is innovative and integrated into the culture, curriculum, and context of higher education in India.

Project Directors

Name Title
Nishi Pandey Director Academic Staff College and Department of English, University of Lucknow
Tim Keirn Departments of History and Liberal Studies, CSU Long Beach
Gerry Hanley Executive Director, MERLOT; Senior Director, Academic Technology Services, CSU Office of the Chancellor


University of Lucknow Design Team

Name Title
Subodh Kumar Department of Education
Anil Mishra Department of Chemistry
Geetanjali Mishra Department of Zoology
Nalini Pandey Department of Botany
Moraddhwaj Varma Department of Education
Suddarth Shukla Academic Staff College


California State University, Long Beach Design Team

Name Title
Dan O’Connor Chair, Department of Liberal Studies
Tim Keirn Departments of History and Liberal Studies
Susan Gomez Zwiep Department of Science Education
Jo Topps Department of Science Education and WestEd
Gerry Hanley Executive Director, MERLOT; Senior Director, Academic Technology Services, CSU Office of the Chancellor
Debbie Hildreth Pisarcik E-Learning Support, University College and Extension Services
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About Our Website

The purpose of this website is to create a "teaching commons," a collaborative space that facilitates and supports the use of innovative and high quality teacher education with opportunities to increase knowledge, productivity, and professional effectiveness through sharing of pedagogical best practices, reports on current campus progress, ongoing research and by building an online community.

The Innovative and Inquire-Based Teaching for Excellence Project exemplifies the The Carnegie Foundation's idea of a "teaching commons" in which a community of faculty that are committed to enhancing the scholarship of teaching and learning can exchange ideas, best practices, discuss policy changes, and promote pedagogical innovations for their students.

The idea of a teaching commons is not new to academia. Faculty engaged in scientific research and disciplinary scholarship have long enjoyed collegial interactions and gained professional recognition through their participation in conferences and symposia.

About Our Organizations

California State University, Long Beach is the largest university in the California State University (hereafter CSU) system. The CSU is a leader in high-quality, accessible, student-focused higher education. With 23 campuses, almost 450,000 students, and 46,000 faculty and staff, the CSU is the largest, the most diverse, and one of the most affordable university systems in the United States. The CSU certifies more teachers than any institution in the United States.

In 2006, the CSU certified 11,000 new elementary, secondary, and special education teachers. Within the CSU, California State University Long Beach (CSULB) is a leader and innovator in teacher education. Approximately ten percent of all teachers certified in the CSU were trained at CSULB. Indeed, CSULB has long been the top producer of elementary and secondary teachers in California. With funding from the Knight Foundation, in 1997 CSULB developed an Integrated Teacher Education Program (hereafter ITEP) that is nationally recognized for rejecting the traditional pre-service bifurcation of subject matter and pedagogy, and focuses upon grounding teacher preparation in the authentic critical-thinking skills and habits of mind associated with discreet disciplines.


The University of Lucknow is located in the capitol of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India, and is affiliated with 57 undergraduate and postgraduate colleges within the region. The Teacher Education Department at Lucknow has an established reputation and its curriculum is taught throughout the affiliated colleges. Lucknow University also has an Academic Staff College under the auspices of the Indian University Grants Commission. The mandate of the staff college is to engage in professional development with university faculty and as such provides important institutional context and leverage for bringing together disciplinary and teacher education faculty to develop the model in consultation with faculty from CSULB. The Academic Staff College at Lucknow is affiliated with an additional 1008 colleges and 363 universities from throughout the nation – this again provides important opportunities for scalability of the project.



www.merlot.org opens in a new window is an international cooperative for putting educational innovations into practice to improve learning and teaching in higher education. The cooperative connects higher education systems, consortia, individual institutions of higher education, professional organizations of academic disciplines, and individuals to form a community of people who strive to enrich the teaching and learning experience. MERLOT is a cooperatively developed, free, web-based resource where faculty and students can easily find digital learning materials with evaluations and guidance for their use. MERLOT enables faculty to effectively and easily choose and use the best online learning materials for their students’ that are compatible with their own teaching methods and the learning goals of their academic program. Faculty, students, staff, and administrators are invited to join this cooperative endeavor and shape the educational resources to serve their needs.

MERLOT’s premier service is a free and open online catalog of over 20,000 web-based learning materials for a wide range of disciplines that are designed to be integrated into larger courses (www.merlot.org opens in a new window). MERLOT does not store the actual learning materials on its servers but simply provides the links and descriptions of the materials. The learning materials are organized by subject for easy browsing of the collection. Searching is available over a variety of dimensions, such as the type of material it is (simulation, tutorial, reference, etc.). Most of the materials run inside a web browser. Each catalog record of learning material can also have links to sample student assignments for using the materials, peer reviews of the materials, and comments by members of the MERLOT community. These annotations provide users with the pedagogical context for choosing, evaluating, and integrating the online materials into teaching and learning. MERLOT also contains profiles of over 60,000 people from around the world who are registered users of and contributors to the MERLOT collection. In 2008, MERLOT had over 1,600,000 visits to the website from over 100 countries. The Member Directory contains contact information, academic areas of expertise, and an ePortfolio of contributions to MERLOT as well as members’ personal selections of MERLOT materials.

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