As part of the “What is a Learning Object anyway??” series (I’ve just decided we’re going to have a series!), I wanted to talk about the attributes of a learning object today. We started off considering the definition of learning objects because, as in any learning process, if we don’t understand the meaning of the words being use to describe a new concept, we won’t get very far in grasping the ideas. So, assuming that you understand the definition of an admittedly abstract term yet to be definitively defined by the industry (!), let’s move on to an RLOs (Reusable Learning Object’s) attributes.
In essence, any learning tool can be a learning object – depending on how micro or macro your perspective. There is, of course, the issue of granularity, in which the more focused the material or content of the learning object, and the more independent is it (can it be used at various levels of study or within different contexts), (and certainly considering its accessibility), then, the more easily it can be slotted into a sequence of other learning objects to create a broader learning experience. That’s where the reference to ‘reusable’ becomes relevant. For example, if I wanted to create a lesson about French irregular verb conjugation, I would want to break the concept down into digestible chunks (or modules, or blocks, or however you label ‘learning bits’). After all, if you’ve ever studied French as a foreign language, you’ll know that there seem to be more irregular verbs in the French language then regular ones! Besides the point though, I know…
So, the following is a learning object about the attributes of learning objects. In addition to including numerous references on the topic (for those interested in further reading), you are also provided with a list of examples of the various types of content that can make up a learning object. (If you have more examples, please share what’s worked for you!)
One could say that a blog also falls into the category of learning object although often spanning broader topic areas. I realize that we’re not broaching the concept of credibility of source, reliability of information, etc. with this example, but at this point, let’s just try to get our minds wrapped around the idea of what a learning object can be. With that, here’s the RLO I mention above:
And, as a lighter addition, I also wanted to provide another example of a learning object – this time, one that talks about podcasts and how they can be used as time savers:
Both of these learning bits were created using SproutBuilder – once again proving that you don’t have to be a Flash expert to create Flash content 🙂
(If any of you have created Sprouts for educational use and you’d like to share them, feel free to send me information about them so that I can publish them here too! It would also be great to hear your experiences of how well (or not) they worked in achieving your teaching goals.)
From: Virtually Scholastic