Learning objects for web based and web enhanced instruction
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Learning Objects for Web-Based and Web-Enhanced Instruction. Mike Cipriani. First, Some Background…. What’s the difference between web-based and web-enhanced instruction?.

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Learning Objects for Web-Based and Web-Enhanced Instruction

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Learning Objects for Web-Based and Web-Enhanced Instruction

Mike Cipriani

First, Some Background…

What’s the difference between web-based and web-enhanced instruction?

Web-based instruction involves educational activities that take place exclusively via computerized course delivery, generally through the internet.

Web-enhanced instruction is when classroom activities use computers, again generally the internet, to augment the learning process.

Three Important Definitions related to Web-Based & Web-Enhanced Instruction

  • Information = material communicated through a flow of messages to a learner

  • Instruction = information that is deliberately sequenced to create a learning opportunity

  • Learning = the cognitive processing of information by the learner

Web sites use Information and Instruction to stimulate learning

Web sites deliver information, instruction and learning by using learning objects

What is a Learning Object?

The Learning Technology Standards Committee says:

"[A]ny entity, digital or non-digital, that may be used for learning, education or training”

For our purposes, this definition is too…


We need something more specific….

For This Context, What is a Learning Object?

We will use Wiley’s definition:

“Any digital resource that can be reused to support learning”

Key Words in Wiley’s Definition:

Digital = available in electronic form; readable and manipulable by computer.

Reused = use again after processing

Thus, we are narrowing our working definition of Learning Objects to those used in web-based & web-enhanced instruction.

Five Types of Learning Objects

  • Fundamental

  • Combined-Closed

  • Combined-Open

  • Generative-Presentation

  • Generative-Instructional


  • An individual digital resource, usually a visual aid that conveys information

  • Example: A diagram of the internal parts of a computer



  • A small number of digital resources combined with a single purpose and whose individual elements are not reusable from the object itself

  • Example: A video explaining how to install an IDE internal hard drive



  • A large number of digital resources combined for a purpose whose elements are reusable as separate learning objects

  • Example: An informational web page



  • A combination of learning objects in a specific structure that generates a presentation for instruction or reference

  • Example: A page of links to tutorials that together teach the Java programming language



  • A combination of learning objects in a specific structure that generates an abstract instructional strategy and means to assess it

  • Example: A tutorial with interactive practice and quizzes for learning HTML


References & Additional Info.

  • http://opencontent.org/wiki/index.php?title=Learning_Object_Metaphors

  • http://www.eurodl.org/materials/contrib/2005/Santally.htm

  • http://www.minddrops.com/Talks/innovations2002boston.htm

  • http://opencontent.org/docs/lo_do.pdf

  • http://www.reusability.org/read/#1

  • http://technologysource.org/article/preparing_teachers_to_use_learning_objects/

  • http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/CIE/AOP/LO_what.html

  • Grabowski, B. and Small, R. (1997). "Information, Instruction and Learning: A Hypermedia Perspective". Performance Improvement Quarterly, 10(1), pp.156-166

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