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Reusable Learning Objects. Robert Geofroy. Colloquia. A colloquium is an academic activity. Typically, a colloquium consists of a single lecture given by a member of the academic community about his or her work to colleagues who work in the same or an allied field.

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  • A colloquium is an academic activity. Typically, a colloquium consists of a single lecture given by a member of the academic community about his or her work to colleagues who work in the same or an allied field.
  • The audience is expected to ask questions and to evaluate the work presented.
  • Colloquia provide scholars with the opportunity to face and respond to criticism in the early stages of the development of new ideas.
some thoughts to ponder
Some thoughts to ponder…
  • What is your estimate for the design and development time for every hour of instructional time?
  • Common estimate range from 40 to 200 hours.
some thoughts to ponder1
Some thoughts to ponder…
  • Did you ever write a page or two of training material only to find that someone else had done so already in a different course?
  • It happens! And we have duplicated the effort for no real reason except that we did not know.
some thoughts to ponder2
Some thoughts to ponder…
  • We know that organisational training is an expensive endeavour with over $50 billion invested by business and industry annually.
  • How may we realise a return on investment?
  • By adopting what is commonly called the instructional design process.
some thoughts to ponder3
Some thoughts to ponder…
  • Can you visualise an open distributed learning environment where we make the most use of great minds across the planet?
some thoughts to ponder4
Some thoughts to ponder…
  • Have you ever thought that much of what is developed in professional training in large organisations is redundant?
  • We pay high salaries to consultants to do what has essentially been done already.
  • A Learning Object is a resource, usually digital and web-based, that can be used and re-used to support learning (IEEE).
  • Learning objects offer a new conceptualization of the learning process: rather than the traditional "several hour chunk", they provide smaller, self-contained, re-usable units of learning. They will typically have a number of different components, that range from descriptive data to information about rights and educational level. At their core, however, will be instructional content, and probably assessment tools. A key issue is the use of metadata.
  • Learning object design raises issues of portability, and of the object's relation to a broader learning management system.
what are learning objects
What are learning objects?
  • multimedia content,
  • instructional content,
  • learning objectives,
  • instructional software and software tools,
  • persons, organizations, or events referenced during technology supported learning.
reusable learning objects
Reusable Learning Objects
  • Offer a reduction in development time for professional training
  • Self-standing discrete piece of content that meets an instructional objective
  • Small reusable chunks of instructional media
  • They are like the Lego blocks that build larger units of learning material
learning objects
Learning Objects
  • Hodgins (2000) said that “learning objects are destined to forever change the shape and form of learning and in doing so usher in unprecedented efficiency to learning content design, development and delivery.”
  • Current concerns are that the developments in LOs have outpaced theoretical frameworks that could guide their design and use.
e learning
  • Many academic institutions have accepted the use of RLOs for course development
  • Technology now makes RLOs possible
  • DSpace maintains repositories of Learning Objects for many universities.
  • The now to train professionals, teachers and e-learning instructors to adopt an entirely new way of working
rlo examples
RLO Examples
  • Learning Square Root
  • Visual Mathematics Learning
  • How e-mail works
square root
Square Root

what are rlos
What are RLOs?
  • Small.
  • Self-contained
  • Re-usable Units of Learning

No matter how learning objects are defined, granulated, or stored, the end product must serve fundamental processes of learning.

  • Reusable Learning Objects (RLO) are digital self-contained and reusable entities that have become popular with the advent of on-line learning.
  • They can be used not only for on-line learning but also to make face-to-face sessions more lively and interesting.
  • RLOs must serve fundamental processes of learning. They must be tied to instructional objectives.
leveraging information and learning in the knowledge economy

Creating Learning Objects

Leveraging Information and Learning in the Knowledge Economy

creating rlos
Creating RLOs
  • Typically RLOs are developed based on the need for both further explanation and engagement in the use of a historically difficult concept, or because a concept is a foundational concept and central to the understanding of the course content and concepts.
  • Learning objects are authored in small pieces and assembled in a database and delivered to the learner in a variety of delivery media.
  • Learning Objects can provide students with additional opportunities and time to interact with these historically difficult or foundational core concepts.
some definitions
Some definitions
  • A Learning Object is a lesson…
  • A Course is a series of lessons
  • Courses are presented in a Learning Management System
    • Claroline (
    • Elluminate (
  • SCORM is an industry standard that allows Learning Objects to communicate regardless of what software is used.
learning object
Learning Object
  • Pencil and paper?
  • Paragraph of text
  • Training course
rlo strategy
RLO Strategy

We need to develop a strategy that maximises the reuse while maintaining instructional effectiveness.

  • Design
  • Implementation
  • Delivery Costs
  • Benefits
  • Pitfalls
learning management systems
Learning Management Systems
  • Angel
  • Claroline
  • Moodle
why create them
Why create them?
  • Modularity-increased versatility and functionality
  • Community Benefit-wider content availability through community support
  • Institutional benefits-combine efforts and share results
  • Share and re-use-more return for development investment
  • Reusability-Use your material in more contexts
industry standards
Industry Standards
  • Lessons usable
  • Lessons more portable
  • Lessons work withy more 3rd party Learning Management Systems
  • No lesson numbers
    • Operates without depending on a course list or any other lessons
  • Self-contained
    • LO contains everything it needs to run
    • Doesn’t rely on external websites, databases etc
characteristics of rlos
Characteristics of RLOs
  • Objective based-accomplish a single objective (content, media, interactivity)
  • Context free-can stand alone making it portable, reusable and relevant
  • Interactive-engaging learners
  • Self-descriptive – Search data (metadata) descriptive
  • Self-contained – each LO should be capable of standing alone
  • Single-sourced – .written so that multiple authors in multiple learning environments can use it.
  • Format-free-to be reused in multiple delivery media they should be created free of look-and-feel formatting
leveraging information and learning in the knowledge economy1

Using RLOs

Leveraging Information and Learning in the Knowledge Economy

rlo strategy1
RLO Strategy
  • Goals, size, willingness to change will determine your RLO strategy
  • Will training/teaching/assessment de developed on an RLO strategy?
  • What resistance would you face?
  • How would the RLOs be delivered?
  • The Content Packaging section specifies how content should be packaged and described. It is based primarily on XML.
  • The Run-Time section specifies how content should be launched and how it communicates with the LMS. It is based primarily on ECMAScript (JavaScript).
  • The Sequencing section specifies how the learner can navigate between parts of the course (SCOs). It is defined by a set of rules and attributes written in XML.
computer literacy
Computer Literacy
  • Objective: Introduce the Internet and role different systems play in the Internet.
  • RLO: Warriors of the Web
basic mathematics
Basic Mathematics
  • Objective: Adding and subtracting fractions
  • RLO: Learn Alberta
the american mosaic
The American Mosaic
  • Area under Normal Distribution
leveraging information and learning in the knowledge economy2

Using RLOs

Leveraging Information and Learning in the Knowledge Economy

course work plan
Course Work plan
  • It would help to start incorporating Learning Objects into current course work plans wherever possible.
  • I have done so in my Computer Literacy course as well as in a Basic Mathematics course.
  • We would do that based on our RLO Strategy
instructional concerns
Instructional Concerns
  • Little research on LO in performance based courses such as recitals, lab demonstrations, acting and so on.
  • No research whatsoever has been conducted on the role LO play in oral communication instruction.
promise of rlos
Promise of RLOs
  • The promise of RLOs is that they can be leveraged, linked or copied by multiple authors, placed in any number of training and performance programs, and then delivered in a range of delivery media.
  • This may rise issues of Intellectual Property Rights
  • Learn Alberta []
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Learning Objects1: Theory, Praxis, Issues and Trends Alex Koohand, Keith Harman
  • Barritt, C & Alderman, F Creating a Reusable Learning Objects Strategy
  • IEEE Learning Object Metadata