» home » media releases

Media releaseDowload Release in PDF Format

Date: March 25, 2008

Unsolved Mysteries Website Is A 'Classic' Winner

The University of Victoria-based online project that invites students to ‘solve’ mysteries plucked from Canada’s rich history while developing their research skills has been declared a vintage resource. The Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History Project is the recipient of a 2008 MERLOT Classics award as an “exemplary” online learning resource. It’s the second time the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT), headquartered at California State University, has honoured the project.

The newly-expanded “mysteries” site (three new mysteries will be officially launched next week) earned the highest rating—five out of five stars—from the MERLOT history editorial board. All of the MERLOT materials are peer reviewed. The organization aims to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning by providing more and better online materials teachers to incorporate into their courses.

“Winning a MERLOT award for the second time is a testimony to the enduring and constantly improving quality of the project and the hard work of our cross-Canada team. It is like a Pulitzer Prize in this field,” says UVic historian John Lutz, co-director of the bilingual project. “Our site has proven how fascinating Canadian history can be. Our new sites will give would-be student sleuths and teachers even more material to work with.”

The final additions to the website will be launched in the coming weeks. “The Redpath Mansion Mystery,” about the mysterious shooting deaths of two members of one of Montreal’s turn-of-the-century Golden Mile families, will be launched at Montreal’s Redpath Museum on March 31. “Death on a Painted Lake: The Tom Thomson Tragedy,” about the drowning death of the famed artist, will be launched at Hart House in Toronto on April 2. “Death of a Diplomat: Herbert Norman and the Cold War,” about the puzzling suicide of a beleaguered Canadian diplomat, will be launched at the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa on April 4—the 51st anniversary of Norman’s death in Cairo.

“Unsolved Mysteries,” at canadianmysteries.ca, was made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy. The website also includes 30 shorter “Mysteryquest” websites aimed specifically at middle and high school students. The mysteries and the teaching support material originate from all regions of Canada and involve a span of nearly 1,000 years.

The 2008 MERLOT award will be presented at the organization’s international conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota in August.
Media contacts:
John Lutz (History) at (o) 250-721-7392 or (cell) 250-217-4207 or jlutz@uvic.ca (John Lutz will be in Ontario and Quebec for the website launch ceremonies March 30 to April 5.)
Patty Pitts (UVic Communications) at 250-721-7656 or ppitts@uvic.ca

Members of the media can access high-resolution images from the three new mystery sites at www.canadianmysteries.org/staff/mediainfo.html

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

(image: fern)