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Learning Objects

Page history last edited by Jayashree Balaji 13 years, 1 month ago



Learning Objects

At the end of  this unit lesson you will be able to


  • Understand what we mean by learning objects (LO). 
  • List the characteristics of learning objects.
  • Differentiate between types of learning objects.
  • Understand how you can easily create learning objects. 


What are Learning Objects (LO)?

 Learning objects refer to any packet of information that can be independently drawn into an assembly in order to create an instructional event.


  • LO can theoretically be media, message, strategy, or model objects or any combination of these interacting across several layers
  • Learning objects can include problem environments, interactive models, instructional problems or problem sets, coaching, feedback, instructional message elements, modular routines for representation of information, or logic modules related to instructional purposes (management, recording etc.)
  • They can be a single element that can be integrated at the time of instruction into products to supply some modular functionality in a cooperative way
  • They may also be simulations, communication tools, assessment activities and learning management tools
  • Lessons can be a combination of text, graphics, animation, audio, questions and exercises; articles, case studies, discussion boards, research projects or performance tests 


Take time to go through this presentation on LOs -- Learning Object Fundamentals.ppt 


What is an RLO.pdf



Types of Learning Objects

The following taxonomy differentiates between five learning object types. Examples of these five object types are given below, followed by the taxonomy, which explicates their differences and similarities.


  • Fundamental – Objects that cannot be broken down further; for example, an image file
  • Combined-closed – an LO combining two or more fundamental LO’s, where the fundamental LO’s cannot be reused individually; for example, a video with accompanying audio
  • Combined-open - an LO combining two or more fundamental LO’s, where the fundamental LO’s can be reused individually; such as dynamic generation of web pages with image, video and textual content each of which may also be accessed and used separately
  • Generative-presentation – a combination of objects with limited interactive features. For example, an LO with audio and visual features
  • Generative-instructional – a combination of objects that allows a high level of interactive experience



Wiley D.A. (2002). Connecting learning objects to instructional design theory:A definition, a metaphor, and a taxonomy. In The Instructional Use of Learning Objects, Wiley Ed. published by the Agency for Instructional Technology.


The book can be read online at http://www.reusability.org/read/


Creating Learning Objects 

 Take time to go through this power point presentation on RLO content generation tools --Content generation tools.ppt




1. Use the power point presentation indicated above to identify a software tool of your choice for this activity on LO creation. Complete the table below; which will help structure your LO. List one or more measurable learning objectives. Ideally, a single learning objective. Determine the activity that will satisfy your learning objective. Under assessment, provide a measure that can assess that the learning objective has been met. List out your keywords under metadata, you can also provide an idea of the type of content you plan to create/blend, file format(s).


Learning Objective  Learning Activity Assessment Metadata 



2. Use the software tool to create your Learning Object. Use the contents of the table to complete your LO.

3. Share your LO with workshop participants or colleagues and help them assess your LO type.



Comments (3)

Jayashree Balaji said

at 6:02 pm on Apr 30, 2011

From review rkshop discussions
--add in a concise paragraph to state that different views exist about usefulness of RLOs
--check the PDF -repetitions and errors

wayne mackintosh said

at 6:00 pm on Apr 7, 2011

Second slide show on content generation tools needs to correct factual errors. Eg Gimp is not freeware -- its open source software. List of file formats should include open file formats as well (i.e. not be restricted to proprietary formats)

I recommend scrapping all the stuff on SCORM -- its not needed for OER. HTML plus an <iframe> will provide all the interoperability an OER developer needs with far less pain and effort.


wayne mackintosh said

at 5:52 pm on Apr 7, 2011

I'm not a LO fan ;-) -- but see that this is a usable construct for newbies ;-)

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