When digital learning objects (DLOs) were initially conceptualized, based on object-oriented programming, there were initial high hopes that people could build learning objects that were re-usable by others. DLOs have come a long way in the past few decades, and many are available for free on various repositories, referatories, digital libraries, and other sources. In a recent research project, the presenter explored what features of DLOs make them adoptable for online learning and created a ten-element model for DLO adoption. The reality is that adoption of DLOs is not cost-free and not effort-free. The ten elements include the following categories:
Instructor (Adopter) Control
Applicability to the Respective Learning Contexts (Local Conditions)
Local Costs to Deploy
Labeling and Documentation, Contributor and Informational Source Crediting
Global Transferability and Adoptability
She then analyzed her decades of work in instructional design in higher education (and private industry) to see what features were addressed in the respective funded DLOs. She found discrepancies between what makes DLOs adoptable and what is built and suggests some practical ways to close those gaps with techniques and technologies, in order to further support and propel the “digital learning object economy”.