1 Reusable Learning Objects Reusable Learning Objects: Overview Reusable Learning Objects: Overview

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  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsReusable Learning Objects:Overview

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsWhat is SCORE?

    Sharable Content Object Repositories for Education (SCORE) is an initiative to help SREB states improve teaching and learning and achieve cost savings through the use of shared digital learning content and knowledge.

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsWhat do we know? online courses offered by 85% of US colleges in 200642 state departments of education courses in 2007institutions of higher education, states, school systems and teachers develop the same or similar contentmultiple institutions within a statethousands of institutions within the UStens of thousands of institutions worldwide

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsLearning object economics high-quality learning content is expensive development costs per course range$4,000 to > $100,000 > $1,000,000 for British Open University

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsThe economics are relentless.

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsWhat do we know? difficult to use whole courseseasier to share assets and smaller, common pieces of a course developed as reusable learning objects (RLOs) or sharable content objects (SCOs)

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsWhat do we know? searching for content is commonplacewell-indexed databases promote effective searchinglearning objects and SCOs can be stored in databases or repositories

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsLearning Object Repositories (LORs)

    provide easy access to a storehouse of digital resources

    promote sharing

  • *Reusable Learning Objects

    Categories of LORSstoring and linking optionsrange of contentopen or require membership

  • *Reusable Learning Objects

    TypeDescription1 stores content with limited linking2 stores no content, only links (metadata repository) 3 stores content and includes significant number of links

  • *Reusable Learning Objects

    TypeDescription4 generic learning object repositories5 targeted learning object repositories6 full course repositories7 repositories requiring membership8 open archives of information objects

  • SLIDE: *Reusable Learning Objects

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsSCORE is an initiative to help SREB states improve teaching and learning

    achieve cost savings through shared digital learning content shared knowledge and experience

  • *Reusable Learning Objects

  • *Reusable Learning Objects

  • *Reusable Learning Objects

  • *Reusable Learning Objects Learning Objects & Assets

  • *Reusable Learning Objects

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsSCORE learning objects include one or more educational objectives digital contentpractice activitiesassessment tools metadata

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsA SCORE asset can be used to build learning objectsclassified in a plan that allows information about the content to be stored and retrieved

  • *ReusableLearning Objects

  • ReusableLearning ObjectsSLIDE: **

  • *ReusableLearning ObjectsWisc-Online Approach Contact

    Lewis Dot Structures of Covalent Compounds

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsUniversity of Nebraska Who Wants to be a Genetic Engineer?

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsNational Repository of Online Courses (NROC) High School Assessment Biology Activity 5: Structure and MovementComponents of the Cytoskeleton

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsHealthy Meals

  • Reusable Learning ObjectsSLIDE: **

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsCharacteristics of learning objects & assets smallself-containedreusableable to be aggregatedtagged with metadata

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsSCORE definition of a learning object contains objectives, content, practice and assessment is instructionally meaningfulis standards-basedaccessibilitySCORMSREB Quality Standards

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsLearning objects . . .

    are only as useful as the instructional design and implementation


    can contribute to better learning

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsDiscussion:

    What do you think would be the biggest barriers to getting developers and instructors to adopt a policy of sharing and reuse?

    technologypresentationaudienceinstructional designrights and permissions

  • *Reusable Learning Objects Benefits & Considerations

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsOrganizational benefits of using SCOs development and deployment of learning content quickly and efficientlycontent sharing between multiple learning management systemsreduction in content development and delivery costs

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsDeveloper benefits of using SCOs objects built once and reused infinitelyreuse of objects that others have developeddeployment of the same objects across various hardware and software platforms just-in-time approach to customizationcost savings

  • *ReusableLearning ObjectsInstructor benefits of using SCOs speed and efficiency of instructional developmentexposure to new ideas and methods of presenting instructional contentcollaboration with other instructorsdifferentiated instruction

  • *ReusableLearning ObjectsStudent benefits of using SCOs reviewing and reinforcing understanding of learned conceptslearning something newengaging in just-in-time learning

  • *ReusableLearning ObjectsBenefits of using SCOs But the most important aspect of learning objects is that they take the control of e-learning activity out of the hands of the materials publishers and put it firmly back in the hands of learners and teachers.

  • *ReusableLearning ObjectsDiscussion:

    How would your institution and stakeholders benefit from using SCOs?

  • *ReusableLearning ObjectsReusable Learning Object Game

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsAdopting a Reusable Learning Object Strategy:

    Strategic Planning Overview

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsConsiderations in adopting an RLO strategy stakeholdersvalue-addsleaderscheerleaderspartnersmarketing

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsConsiderations in adopting an RLO strategy

    changes in institutional practices and policiesresource allocation needsimpact on business and development practices

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsConsiderations for implementing an RLO strategy

    stakeholder useexisting or future contentdecisions about content use and developmentinternal or external talent and resources for development

  • *ReusableLearning Objects Considerations for implementing an RLOstrategy

    creation and ownershipstatic or dynamic RLOsformattingquality assurance

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsConsiderations for implementing an RLOstrategy business rulesmetadataevaluationtechnology

  • *Reusable Learning ObjectsQuestions?


  • SLIDE: *This presentation was developed by Liz Glowa and Michael Anderson and was edited by William Hawk, June Weis, and Lisa Johnson. Development of this resource was funded by the members of the SREB Sharable Content Object Repositories for Education (SCORE) initiative.

    In this presentation, we will set the stage for understanding how deploying a Reusable Learning Object (RLO) strategy supports teaching and learning in ways that are beneficial to instructors, students, developers and organizations. We will talk about the economics and benefits of using an RLO strategy, define and look at examples of assets and learning objects, and review some of the major questions that need to be addressed in implementing a Reusable Learning Object strategy.


    In the SREB region, state organizations interested in sharable content objects, learning object repositories, and adopting a culture of reusing digital learning content have banded together with the support of SREB to form SCORE. Why? They are interested in improving teaching and learning, and in decreasing the costs of developing and using digital learning content.

    ** The notes for this slide will not print on one page.

    Before launching directly into a discussion of sharable content objects, lets look at the current landscape of teaching and learning. Then we will look at how the use of an RLO strategy can be beneficial. Eighty-five percent of colleges offered online courses in 2006, with nearly 3.5 million college students taking at least one online course during the Fall 2006 term. Forty-two state departments of education offered online courses in 2007. The content for these courses is developed by individual instructors and teaching teams at the school, institutional, state and collaborative levels. Many times, the same content . . . or very similar content . . . is developed over and over again. Stephen Downes, a senior researcher at the Canadian Institute for Information Technology's e-Learning Research Group, is a leading voice in the areas of learning objects and metadata. He has developed an illustration of this for an introductory trigonometry course. He assumed that thousands of colleges and universities taught the sine wave function as part of their introductory trigonometry course. The properties of sine wave functions are constant, so each institutions description of sine wave functions is likely to be more or less the same. Therefore, there are thousands of similar descriptions of sine wave functions. Since eighty-five percent of colleges offer online courses, it is probable that we have thousands of digital content descriptions of sine wave functions. Downes postulated that the world does not need thousands of similar digital content descriptions of sine wave functions. Rather, what is needed is one or maybe a dozen, at most high-quality descriptions of sine wave functions available online that can be accessed by each of the thousands of educational institutions teaching the same material.


    We know that high-quality educational content is expensive to produce. A plain Web page can cost hundreds of dollars. If you include graphics and animation, you can double the price. If you add interactive components, you could quadruple the price. It can cost anywhere from four thousand to more than a million dollars to develop an online course. The more interactive and multimedia intensive a course is, the greater the cost.

    Lets return to the illustration of the sine wave function. Stephen Downes says that a high-quality and fully interactive piece of learning material that teaches the sine wave function could be produced for, say, a thousand dollars. If a thousand institutions share this one item, the cost is a dollar per institution. But if each of a thousand institutions produces a similar item, then each institution must pay a thousand dollars, or the institutions, collectively, must pay a million dollars. For one lesson, in one course.


    It makes no financial sense to spend millions of dollars producing multiple versions of similar learning objects when one to ten versions of the same object could be shared at a much lower cost per institution. Institutions that collaborate in development by sharing digital content, development projects or even development costs will have more resources to spend to develop higher-quality content.

    Institutions that share will have access to more quality resources than those institutions that only use materials that they produce. An institution that produces and uses only its own materials will have difficulty competing with institutions that share learning materials.

    ** The notes for this slide will not print on one page.

    If it makes economic sense to reuse and share resources, why is this not done more often? It is a challenge to share at the whole course level, since it is difficult to reuse a whole course exactly as is. It is easier to use or re-purpose lessons, activities or assets from a course.

    Lets go back to the sine wave function example. It would be easier to insert an engaging, interactive learning object that teaches this concept into a sequence of instruction in trigonometry than to adopt a whole course in introductory trigonometry. This same sine wave function learning object could be used in an engineering course or in a high school Algebra II/trigonometry course. A student who needs to review the concept also could use the sine wave function learning object independently.

    When you are dealing with state standards for content areas at the K-12 level, it becomes even more difficult to share a whole course as is. When Maryland, Georgia and Louisiana agreed to share and redevelop a unit from an algebra course, the first step (after clearing the intellectual property hurdle) was to create a crosswalk of the three states standards to determine where there was convergence and where the states differed.

    The states decided to focus on the prerequisite skills needed to be successful in working with linear functions. This content was included in each states standards and was an area in which students need to be successful in order to progress in algebra. The next step was examining each states course content, development standards, and use of copyrighted materials. The development team was able to identify a number of reusable resources, but the team was not able to use any one states complete unit, or even a whole lesson. The team was able, however, to make use of the wealth of assets available. What would have helped the team was having a way to store, catalog and search for these assets in an online database that any member of the team could use through a Web interface.


    We know that people are accustomed to searching for content, especially in libraries and on the Web. Sometimes these searches are not as specific as the user would like them to be and yield results that only partially meet user needs. How the digital materials are cataloged is of primary importance in being able to find relevant content. The use of well-indexed databases promotes more effective searching. Since learning objects, sharable content objects (SCOs) and assets are digital, they can be stored in databases or repositories, tagged with metadata, and retrieved through searches.

    What the algebra development team needed was to have the lessons and assets from each of the three courses in a searchable repository, commonly called a learning object repository.


    A learning object repository (LOR) is a digital repository of learning objects with their associated metadata. An LOR provides teachers, curriculum developers and students with easy access to a storehouse of digital resources that can be used and shared within and across classrooms, schools and school systems, colleges and universities, and state agencies.

    *Today, there are thousands of LORs. Rory McGreal, of the University of Athabasca, researched types of LORs. He classified LORs into three primary categories: how a LOR stores or links to digital content the range of content, or whether the repositories are open or require membership.

    McGreals typology of LORs is included in the Basics section of the Learning Objects and Learning Objects Repository Workshop notebook.


    * The notes for this slide will not print on one page.

    The three types of LORs described here are examples of storing and linking repositories. (See the notebook copy of A Typology of Learning Object Repositories by Rory McGreal for more information.)

    In a Type 1 repository, the objects and content are found there. You do not have to visit or link off to another site. Examples of these repositories include Wis...


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