|Gerard L. Hanley, PhD||MERLOT|
|Dianne Kaseman, PhD||DFK Consulting|
|Lawrence S. Lessin, MD,MACP||Washington Cancer Institute|
|Ian Magrath, DSc||FRCP, FRCPath, INCTR|
|Madhavan V. Pillai, MD FACP||Kimmel Cancer Centre, Jefferson University, USA|
|Stephan Thieringer, PhD||Across World|
INCTR is a non-profit international organization which was founded in 1998 under Belgian law in order to assist in preventing and controlling cancer in low and middle-come countries, or in very poor populations in high income countries, through assistance with the development of infrastructure for cancer treatment and research. In order to achieve this goal, INCTR has established branches in a number of countries at all socioeconomic levels to strengthen its own ability to communicate and collaborate at an international level. The mission of the organization is to assist in controlling cancer in developing countries through the development of infrastructure for cancer treatment and research. A key to improving capacity is education, which, in addition to specific educational programs, is an integral element of long-term collaborative projects relating to prevention, early detection, treatment and palliation. The close integration of operational research with patient care results in immediate benefits to patients or individuals at high risk for developing cancer while at the same time providing opportunities for "hands-on" training of health professionals and developing a more complete understanding of existing health care services and access to specialized care in order to work more effectively with health care providers and policy makers in strengthening health service provision. This will require the improvement of communication and collaboration among hospitals such that efficient regional networks are created and the triage of patients made more efficient by enabling non-specialist health providers in district hospitals to reach specialists in tertiary centers for advice on studies that may be felt necessary prior to making a decision to refer the patient to a higher level center or alternatively, to arrange care for the patient at secondary or primary levels. In addition to establishing regional networks in regions within low and middle income countries, INCTR strives to improve international collaboration relating to training, education and research and assessment of the quality of research. In this respect, it works closely with a wide range of Foundations, organizations and academic departments of universities with overlapping aspirations, particularly in the context of "field" or "on-site" projects. It also collaborates with UN organizations, including WHO and IAEA (PACT) as well as cancer and educational organizations such as the International Union against Cancer and European School of Cancer. Because of its emphasis on communication and collaboration, INCTR recognizes the critical role for a range of e-learning tools and plans to constantly increase its use of web-based educational materials and the provision, electronically and in hard copy, of information relevant to cancer control. Finally, INCTR takes a major role in the provision of educational tools, including EORC, the creation of on-line manuals such as its Handbook on palliative care, and publishes, with Global Health Dynamics, an annual journal on cancer control that provides recent information on cancer and non-communicable diseases in developing countries to a broad range of individuals and institutions working in this area. Information is made available through the websites of OERC and other collaborators, particularly MERLOT, as well as through INCTR's own websites. INCTR is an NGO in official relations with the World Health Organization.
MERLOT 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, administrators, healthcare providers, librarians, content developers, and other educational professionals 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 40,000 web-based learning materials for a wide range of disciplines that are designed to be integrated into larger courses (www.merlot.org). 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 115,000 people from around the world who are registered users of and contributors to the MERLOT collection. 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.