Reusable Learning Objects For Personalized Learning Implications for design and development

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Reusable Learning Objects For Personalized Learning Implications for design and development. Ellen D. Wagner, Ph.D. ICDE - 2 April 2001 Dusseldorf, Germany. Topics addressed in this presentation:. A discussion of Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Reusable Learning Objects For Personalized Learning

    Implications for design and developmentEllen D. Wagner, Ph.D.ICDE - 2 April 2001Dusseldorf, Germany

  • Topics addressed in this presentation: A discussion of Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs)

    Using pattern templates (metafiles) for assembling RLO-based learning resources Tips for structuring/developing RLOs

  • Origins of RLOs Grounded in the object-oriented paradigm from computer science (Dahl & Nygaard, 1966).

    Also related to instructional theories associated with breaking down content to constituent parts, then reassembling content to meet learning goals (e.g. David Merrill, Charles Reigeluth, others).

  • Definitions, Descriptions, MetaphorsWayne Hodgins (1994): Learning Architecture, APIs Learning Objects. (See

    Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE, 2000): any entity, digital or non-digital which can be used, re-used or referenced during technology supported learning (see

    Wiley (2000): Any digital resource that can be reused to support learning (see

  • More Descriptions and MetaphorsNetg (a commercial WBT vendor): learning objects include a learning objective, a unit of instruction that teaches the objective, a unit of assessment that measures the objective.

    Asymetrics describes learning objects as pre-scripted elements that simplify programming.

    Educational Objects Economy (a National ScienceFoundation funded project) equates learning objects with Java applets.

  • Even More Descriptions and MetaphorsCisco Systems: A RLO consists of 7 plus or minus 2 reusable information objects, or RIOs(see

    Building block metaphors: (e.g. Lego blocks)

    Content objects, knowledge objects, content chunks are all terms used to describe learning objects.

    and on and and on.

  • Reusable Learning ObjectsThe smallest element of stand-alone information (including but not limited to online instruction or a performance support tool) required for an individual to achieve an enabling performance objective or outcome. Stored and accessed using meta-data attributes/tags.Are made meaningful using metafiles that contextualize meaning and facilitate content object assembly. (Wagner, 2000)

  • Pattern TemplatesMetafiles that contextualize performance standards, job description, a competency modelAccess WaysTechniques to define individualized learning requirements(e.g. Assessments, Topic/Subject Indexes, Performance Triage, User ResponsesReusable Learning ObjectsContent ObjectsAssessment ObjectsMethods Objects

  • Why RLOs?knowledge management, Internet connectivity, database management Knowledge commerce: The commoditization of online content production and distribution. The economics of personal attention

  • The Economics of Personal AttentionOrganizational size and complexity have accelerated the need to consciously manage knowledge assets across time and space.

    Relatively little has been done to increase an individuals personal capacity to absorb information and create new knowledge.

    The central challenge is to better manage the flow of information through and around the bottlenecks of personal attention and learning capacity.

  • Heuristics for Attention ManagementKnow what you dont need to know(Sieloff, 1999)Employ precise distribution systems provides knowledge/content objects and context(s) for interpretationJust in time, just enough delivery of knowledge resources on terms defined by the user.Use of trusted intermediaries to assign meaning, create associations, filter for importance.

  • Ideal Attributes of RLO ContentModular, free-standing, transportable among applications and environments.


    Able to satisfy a single learning objective.

    Accessible to broad audiences (so it can be adapted beyond the original target audience).

    (Longmire, 2000)

  • More of Longmires AttributesCoherent and unitary within a predetermined schema such that a limited number of metatags can capture the main idea or essence of the content

    Not embedded within a look so it can be repurposed in different visual designs without losing essential value or meaning of test, data, images

  • Creating an RLO SpecificationDesigners/developers need to balance two perspectives:

    Conceptualizing content as a part of a larger whole (such as a course, or a curriculum), and

    As stand-alone information at the desired level of granularity.

  • RLO Specifications:Must articulate development concerns, and define functional requirements, such as the desired deployment platform, network requirements, document templates and style sheets, mark-up definitions, Editorial standards, modularity requirements, level of desired content granularity.

    All such variables must be determined in advance so thatpeople dont waste time developing content that cant bereused.

  • Examples of specifications:Consistent use of language and terminology within a given topic area

    Presentation of information in easy to access, easy to understand formats (e.g. tables and graphs vs lots of text, Applets that illustrate text-based information.)

    (Consistent) presentation of information for screen-based display and distribution.

  • Specifications, continuedNon-sequentiality of information across objectsUniformity of editorial tone across objectsUse of keywords in searchable elementsUse of language and content appropriate for a broad audience

  • Thanks for your attention.