Learning ObjectsWe define learning objects as digital,re-usable pieces of content that can be usedto accomplish a learning objectivehttp://www.learning-objects.net/A Learning Object “Is defined as the smallest independentstructural experience that contains an objective, a learningactivity and an assessment.” (L’Allier 1997)http://www.grayharriman.com/learning_objects.htm
Learning Object Characteristics• Learning objects are a new way of thinking about learning content.Traditionally, content comes in a several hour chunk. Learning ob-jects are much smaller units of learning, typically ranging from 2minutes to 15 minutes.• Are self-contained each learning object can be taken independent-ly• Are reusable a single learning object may be used in multiple con-texts for multiple purposes• Can be aggregated learning objects can be grouped into larger col-lections of content, including traditional course structures• Are tagged with metadata every learning object has descriptiveinformation allowing it to be easily found by a searchAdapted from the Wisconsin Online Resource Center (WORC):
PROS vs CONSProduction CostsPro - By properly breaking content into learning objects, differentparts can be maintained and updated separately. If a suitable learningobject can be found, a new one does not need to be created. These arecosts savers.Con - Changing to a learning object approach from a “self-containedsystem” approach involves retooling and retraining costs
FlexibilityPro - As more and more standards-based learning objects becomeavailable, increased choice will translate into more flexibility for de-signers.Con - Using standards-based learning objects restricts the scope oflearner information that is accessible by content if total interoperabil-ity is maintained.*
PedagogyPro - Learning objects fit nicely into many ISD theories. Instructionaltemplates can be created with slots for specific types of learning ob-jects. Learning objects may encourage designers to operate in moredisciplined ways with a positive effect.Con - Restrictions on learner information available could restrict peda-gogical approaches. Approaches using lengthy discursive material maynot benefit from the use of learning objects.
End User CostPro - The learning object approach prevents consumers from beinglocked in to specific systems. As standards take hold, the market forcontent will take on more of the properties of a typical consumermarket with lower costs and increased choice.Con - The cost of converting existing content to a learning objectapproach may be significant.
Industry SupportPro - All leading system vendors and content producers are support-ing SCORM and other standards that are based on or that comple-ment a learning object approach.Con - Realistically, it is twelve to eighteen months between the timethe vendor community adopts an approach and the time productsthat implement the approach are available.http://www.eduworks.com/index.php/Publications/Learning-Object-Tutorial/Pros-and-Cons.html
HTML - The universal support for LOsAny type of learning resource that can be digitized, processedand displayed in a browser or LMSHTML supported Leaning Objects• Documents/Images• Podcasts• Audio/video clips• Simulations• Games• Learning modules• Assesments
Choke PointsChoke points are those concepts or procedures within a subject areathat are known to cause difficulties for learn-ers. These are frequently the primary objectivefor a learning object.http://lor.gvtc.org/
LO Development• Plan - Identify teams, processes, timetable• Distill - Organize learning objects around the learning objectives• Design - Deconstruct courses and design engaging learning objectsand assessment per objective• Market - Consistent reminders that learning objects are available andthat the benefits of using them to faculty