Learning Objects    

What Are Learning Objects?

  1. Three Prominent Characterizations
    1. "[A]ny entity, digital or non-digital, that may be used for learning, education or training"
      IEEE 1484.12.1-2002, 15 July 2002, Draft Standard for Learning Object Metadata, IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC)
    2. "any digital resource that can be reused to support learning"
      David A. Wiley, "Connecting Learning Objects to Instructional Design Theory"
      • "The main idea of 'learning objects' is to break educational content down into small chunks that can be reused in various learning environments, in the spirit of object-oriented programming"

    3. "modular digital resources, uniquely identified and metatagged, that can be used to support learning"
      National Learning Infrastructure Initiative
      • NLII now endorses Wiley definition

  2. One Slightly Lengthier Characterization
    1. Adapted from the Wisconsin Online Resource Center (WORC):
      • Learning objects are a new way of thinking about learning content. Traditionally, content comes in a several hour chunk. Learning objects are much smaller units of learning, typically ranging from 2 minutes to 15 minutes.
      • Are self-contained each learning object can be taken independently
      • Are reusable a single learning object may be used in multiple contexts for multiple purposes
      • Can be aggregated learning objects can be grouped into larger collections of content, including traditional course structures
      • Are tagged with metadata every learning object has descriptive information allowing it to be easily found by a search

  3. Other Characterizations:
    1. Nichani, Maish. "LCMS = LMS + CMS [RLOs] - How does this effect the learner? The instructional designer?" elearningpost.

    2. Shepherd, Clive. "Objects of Interest," TACTIX, December 2000. Published in IT Training, February 2001

    3. Wiley, D. A. (2000). "Connecting learning objects to instructional design theory: A definition, a metaphor, and a taxonomy," in D. A. Wiley, ed., The Instructional Use of Learning Objects: Online Version. Retrieved May 18, 2001, from the World Wide Web:

    4. Wiley, David. "The Post-LEGO Learning Object," November 5, 1999.