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MetadataTheory: Introduction to Learning Objects (1st of 10)

One presentation from the well-known "MetadataTheory" presentation set, focusing on learning objects.

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MetadataTheory: Introduction to Learning Objects (1st of 10)

  1. 1. Ground Floor Learning Objects Preliminary discussion 0
  2. 2. Structure • How it all started • Definition of a Learning Object (LO) • General Issues on Learning Objects • Rights • Learning Object Economy • Concluding Thoughts
  3. 3. Origins • The idea is not that new! – Gerard (1969) in a surprisingly visionary statement early in the history of computer-based instruction describes how “curricular units can be made smaller and combined, like standardized Meccano [mechanical building set] parts, into a great variety of particular programs custom-made for each learner”
  4. 4. Initial Goals for “instructional units” • Adaptivity: Objects must be adaptive to the individual, • Generativity: They must be able to be combined into bigger units with limited effort rather than be pre-composed, • Scalability: They must offer the potential of reaching “industrial” production levels without proportional increases in cost
  5. 5. Origins • The name comes from two arenas of professional practice: – “Object-oriented” programming, in which bits of code are bundled into reusable bundles that have a discrete functionality and simple properties
  6. 6. Origins – “Learning objectives,” which offer simple statements of desired learning and performance outcomes that consider behaviors to be demonstrated as a result of a learning intervention, the conditions under which the learning is to be demonstrated, and the degree of mastery that will be expected from that performance
  7. 7. Digital bits of learning! • Digital “bits” of learning content, packaged appropriately with bits of code to make them easy to find and interoperable in a variety of contexts as a way to address the need for rapid and flexible learning
  8. 8. What is a learning object?
  9. 9. Define: Learning Objects • any entity, digital or non-digital, which can be used, re-used or referenced during technology supported learning (LTSC) – Too broad for our purpose – Entity? What’s that? – Learning objects are defined in context
  10. 10. Non digital Used during technology supported learning Digital Used during technology supported learning
  11. 11. Define: Learning Objects • Learning objects are information resources or interactive software used in online learning (Nesbit) – Where is “learning” in information resources – What if the software is not interactive? Active Learning Passive Learning Online learning Offline learning
  12. 12. Define: Learning Objects • Learning object is an information object that always includes some kind of learning objectives, outcomes, assessments and other instructional components (Metros & Bennet) – Introducing the instructional aspect – What about re-using it? Part of my amazing lesson plan on ancient Greek pottery, written in ancient Babylonian! Want to use it? I have it also on file, which is a “.gthi” file type!
  13. 13. Define: Learning Objects • a learning object is any grouping of materials that is structured in a meaningful way and is tied to an educational objective (Johnson) “Materials” “Structured in a meaningful way” Educational objective: “Learn to count”
  14. 14. Define: Learning Objects • a digital file (image, movie, etc.) intended to be used for pedagogical purposes, which includes, either internally or via association, suggestions on the appropriate context within which to utilize the object (Sosteric & Hesermeier) – How we describe this context? – Is this metadata?
  15. 15. Define: Learning Objects • Independent chunks of educational content that provide an educational experience for some pedagogical purpose • These chunks are self contained, though they may contain references to other objects; and they may be combined or sequenced to form longer educational interactions • These chunks of educational content may be of any type – interactive, passive – and they may be of any format or media type • A learning object is not necessarily a digital object (Quinn)
  16. 16. Define: Learning Objects • any reusable digital resource that is encapsulated in a lesson or assemblage of lessons grouped in units, modules, courses, and even programmes. A lesson can be defined as a piece of instruction, normally including a learning purpose or purposes (McGreal)
  17. 17. Typologies of “objects” • Not everything is a learning object Anything Anything Digital Anything for Learning Specific Learning Environment Asset Content Object Educational Object Reusable Learning Object (RLO) Component Information Object Learning Object Unit of Learning Learning Resource Knowledge Object Unit of Study Media Object Raw Media Element Reusable Information Object ()
  18. 18. LO Matrix by McGreal
  19. 19. Basic characteristics • Small, self-contained modules of learning that tackle a single concept, information, procedure, or fact that can be delivered independently • It has “metadata” that allows it to be indexed and searched • It can be combined with other learning objects easily and effectively, e.g. to form a course • It can be transformed easily for delivery on different media, including traditional classrooms, computer based training, and forms of online or e-learning • It facilitates reuse and ease of change
  20. 20. Working Definition • Any self-contained resource that includes instructions for its pedagogical use, and is described with data that allow for its adoption in different contexts, its reuse and repurposing as well as its combination with other learning objects to support educational activities
  21. 21. Metadata Metadata Which one is a learning object?
  22. 22. Questions you were afraid to ask Answers you suspected to be true
  23. 23. Why use DLOs? • Flexibility. A well-designed learning object can offer access to knowledge through multiple modes of learning • Cost effectiveness. As non-consumable resources, learning objects can be used in a course from one semester to the next. Some can be repurposed for different courses or even different disciplines
  24. 24. Why use DLOs? • Customizability. Professors may select learning objects to suit their course material and particular instructional style. With a bit of online research, faculty can assemble an array of ready-made support materials to offer to their student
  25. 25. How to use DLOs? • Learning objects can be included as course materials • A single learning object can be selected to reinforce or provide practice for a topic – Sometimes several conceptually related learning objects are provided to explore a topic from different angles or in greater depth
  26. 26. How to use DLOs? • Students click the link to access the learning object – They work through the assignment using the learning object • Once students have started the learning object, the scenarios diverge, as each object is unique. – A written report or other record of the experience may be requested – Others include quizzes or other forms of assessment – Some are assigned simply for practice and no physical record is requested.
  27. 27. General Issues
  28. 28. “Baby bear” analogy • We must get the learning objects in just the right: – Size – Time – Way (learning style) – Context, relevance – Medium of delivery (paper, DVD, on-line, synchronous, on screen, etc.) – Location (desk, car, house, palm, field, etc.) Wayne Hodgins
  29. 29. Size: Granularity of Learning Objects • Mixing & Matching them to form bigger “chunks” of learning Taken from McGreal,2007
  30. 30. Must! • Each learning object should be based on one learning objective or clear learning goal • The content of one learning object should not refer to and use material in another learning object in such a way as to create necessary dependencies • The learning object has to be pedagogically rich
  31. 31. Time: I want my LOs, now! • Learning Objects have to be easily accessible through interoperable and open systems • “Librarians like to search, users like to find” and use right here and now!
  32. 32. Way: Learning Styles (1/2) • Reflective Observation: the learner reflects on what happened during a particular experience and how that experience relates to previous experiences. The learner observes before making any judgments and looks at different perspectives • Active Experimentation: the learner tests new insights, which results in concrete experience. This is learning by doing
  33. 33. Way: Learning Styles (2/2) • Abstract Conceptualization: the learner develops deeper understanding of what happened during the experience. The learner uses logic, concepts, and ideas • Concrete Experience: Learning starts with direct experience. Relevance and real situations are important here. Feeling, rather than thinking, is stressed
  34. 34. Learner Profiles (Kolb)
  35. 35. Learner Profiles • Assimilator: abstract conceptualization and reflective observation (Reflector/Theoretical): Persons in this category understand a wide range of information and put it into concise logical form. Enjoy ideas and theory as opposed to application. This learner asks “what?” • Diverger: concrete experience and reflective observation. (Processor/Reflector) : Very imaginative. Can view specific situation from multiple standpoints. Prefers to observe rather than experiment, as well as minimal structure. This learner asks “Why?”
  36. 36. Learner Profiles • Converger: abstract conceptualization/active experimentation (Doer/Theoretical): take ideas and transform them into concrete situations. Gravitates toward technical tasks and issues rather than social issues. Excel at problem solving and the application of ideas. This learner asks “how”? • Accommodator: active/concrete (Processor/Doer) Likes trial and error and hands on. This learner asks “what if?”
  37. 37. Context: The “magpie” effect • Don’t just collect millions of learning objects in Federations of Repositories • Support communities of interest around certain subjects by providing, alongside the content, mechanisms for adding comments on how best to use some content, for documenting one’s own project results, creating links to related content, and discussing new issues in certain subject areas (Geser et al) • Is it metadata???
  38. 38. Medium: Standards & Interoperability • Several agencies have been working on standards for Learning Objects’ interoperability, – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), – IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS), – Aviation Industry CBT Committee (AICC) – Defense Department’s Advanced Distributed Learning initiative (ADL)
  39. 39. Medium: Standards & Interoperability • The Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) draws from all these efforts, using IMS specifications for content packaging and metadata, launch communication APIs and the overall data model from the AICC, and the metadata dictionary from the IEEE
  40. 40. Mixing & Matching Learning Objects • Portability – Working across platforms • Accessibility – Located & delivered efficiently to the learner • Durability – Remaining usable as technology changes • Interoperability – Exchangeability between browsers and systems
  41. 41. Location: Portable • Learning objects have to be able to be delivered at any given location and any given device that a user might be holding • Home or office, desktop or smart phone, in populated or remote areas
  42. 42. What about Rights? • Learning Objects should, by nature, be reused, transmitted over the internet, combined, etc. • This brings up the issue of licensing them • What is permitted over the content itself? – Can I edit your lesson plan? – Can I share it with other colleagues after that?
  43. 43. Who has the Rights? • Rights of the learning objects in the lower level of aggregation – single, smallest learning object  Rights of its creator • Rights of LOs at higher levels of aggregation – combined, aggregated learning objects  Rights of the aggregator?
  44. 44. Learning Object Economy The $ factor!
  45. 45. Economy • Success stories of the use of LOs have fueled their commercialization – MERLOT, CLOE, EOE • Cisco, Microsoft, AT&T Business Learning Services, have used a reusable object approach to structure internal training and customer certification programs
  46. 46. Learning Object Markets (1/3) • Proprietary exchanges – Created for the exclusive use of an individual company or industry • Commercial exchanges – End users and aggregators purchase content under specific licenses that allow them to use the objects in clearly defined ways
  47. 47. Learning Object Markets (2/3) • Free exchanges – Come primarily from the academic world and have proven very hard to sustain without ongoing subsidies • Shared exchanges – Require their objects to meet certain criteria, such as interoperability or SCORM compliance, and builders of such exchanges often develop learning objects themselves or purchase them under contract to ensure their standards are met
  48. 48. Open Educational Resources • “World’s knowledge is a public good and that technology in general and the Worldwide Web in particular provide an extraordinary opportunity for everyone to share, use, and re-use knowledge” William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  49. 49. Learning Object Markets (3/3) • Peer-to-peer exchanges – Using networks such as Kazaa or other post- Napster variations, especially if learning objects begin to be seen as more valuable in their own right and commercial exchanges begin to take off
  50. 50. Actors • Drivers are seen as pressures spurring development of the learning-object economy • To the extent that Enablers were present, they can facilitate the development of learning objects and repositories • Depending on how Mediators are present, they could either hinder or facilitate the development of learning objects and repositories
  51. 51. Holistic Learning Object Approach Instructional Design of Modules Modular Learning Infrastructure Templates, Cookbooks, and Guides
  52. 52. Concluding Thoughts And a couple of interesting ideas
  53. 53. Learnativity • What do you call that which you and every other person are doing every day as you solve problems, work, plan, innovate, create, communicate, and learn?
  54. 54. Learnativity • However, when they happen all at once and all the time, fused together into one single state of just being, what do we call it? For the purpose of simplicity and consistency, let us call it learnativity
  55. 55. “Learning” is just the start • Learning: Learning is the means by which tacit knowledge is exchanged between individuals and between the learner and the learning resources. – It’s social and personal, it occurs in both formal and informal settings • Managing: Management of information, learning, and performance is the conversion of explicit knowledge into complex and valuable combinations of ideas, insights, and experiences so they can be shared with others
  56. 56. “Learning” is just the start • Capturing: Capturing knowledge means converting it from a tacit state into an explicit, comprehensible form so that others can understand it • Performing: Performing refers to the application of knowledge. Performing is the integration and application of knowledge in the activities, products, and services
  57. 57. Autism of Learning Objects • Profound and dangerous autism in the way we describe knowledge management & e-learning – At its root is an obsessive fascination with the idea of knowledge as content, as object, and as manipulable artifact. – It is accompanied by an almost psychotic blindness to the human experiences of knowing, learning, communicating, formulating, recognizing, adapting, miscommunicating, forgetting, noticing, ignoring, choosing, liking, disliking, remembering and misremembering. Patrick Lambe – “The autism of knowledge management
  58. 58. Working Definition • Any self-contained resource that includes instructions for its pedagogical use, and is described with data that allow for its adoption in different contexts, its reuse and repurposing as well as its combination with other learning objects to support educational activities
  59. 59. Learning Objects’ Ecosystem • We cannot look LOs in a vacuum! Many factors have to be taken under consideration – Educational theories that govern their creation – Criteria that assess their impact – Technologies that support them – Tools that allow their delivery
  60. 60. Learning Objects’ Ecosystem Federation Repositories Users Learning Objects Policies & Rights LO Experts
  61. 61. Next stop • We identified what is a digital learning object and its ecosystem • Through this first “discussion” the role of descriptive information in relation to LOs became evident • Next stop: Examine the “learning” behind learning objects
  62. 62. Ground Floor Learning Objects Next stop: 1st Floor – Learning Design 0