Albert Ip on Learning Objects

Albert totally nails it in his post on the Learning Objects “debate”. Basically – get over it. Move along. Do (and use) whatever is appropriate to what you’re trying to do. One size does not fit all. Caveat emptor, etc…

I especially like his tips for subscribers to “information transfer” vs. “social constructivitistic” paradigms of learning objects (and, I would suggest, of learning in general).

But wait! There’s more! Albert offers a website/wiki on “virtual apparatus“, which appears to be a set of guidelines for creating content in a consistent manner (did I interpret that right?).

We’ve been talking about “learning objects” a lot around the software side of the Learning Commons over the last few weeks. We’ve been sort of stuck in discussion, tripping over the concept of “reusability” – there’s the technical reusability (interoperability, via things like IEEE LOM, SCORM etc…) – and then there’s pedagogical reusability (dealing with the content itself, and not the transport/interchange format used to squirt it over the ‘net).

In our discussions, we’re trying to plan out what we want to accomplish over the next year or so – what software needs to be built to achieve the goals we set (once we set the goals, of course). It’s been interesting, if frustrating, but I think we’re making progress as we start to realize we’re all talking about essentially the same thing – just coming at it from different angles (pedagogical vs. technical reusability).

So, there’s a pretty solid example that the definition of “learning objects” – and the implications that come with it – can be confusing or misleading even within a small team. No wonder there hasn’t been any real consensus in the education community as a whole…

2 thoughts on “Albert Ip on Learning Objects

  1. I have sat with a few enlightened minds and tried to get my proverbial arms around the idea of RLOs. Having worked in academia for close to ten years, I have met very few teachers/professors willing to use other people’s creations/artifacts. Here at my uni, we seem to operate under a “not invented here” motif, i.e., if it wasn’t created by me, I’m not going to use it in my class.
    That said, there are a number of terrific resources floating around (not to include textbooks) that I have encorporated into my lessons. But, I agree, to try to codify RLOs is not worth anybody’s time or effort.
    Now if blamb will stop relaxing and create some more movies for us….

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