25 Years of Edtech: In Search of Learning Objects

Martin Weller’s book 25 Years of Ed Tech is a great people’s history of educational technology, covering the major innovations over the last 25 years. He published it through the Athabasca University Press under a Creative Commons License. As a result it’s been adopted by the edtech community, who have produced an audiobook version, as well as a “between the chapters” discussion series. Chapter 7 is on Learning Objects, read by Brian Lamb....

December 25, 2020 · 1 min

Remembering CAREO

Today is a memorable day. It's the day that CAREO, the learning object repository we built at The University of Calgary, is being officially decommissioned. Unplugged, mothballed, and put into storage. It's been a wild rollercoaster ride for these 6 years, but that ship has sailed. Back in 2001, when CAREO was first created, there was a need for a concrete prototype of a repository. Other available software didn't quite do what we had in mind, and it was relatively easy to just go ahead and build some software to test out some ideas....

October 31, 2007 · 6 min

LOR Typology: CAREO errata

I just poked through Rory's A Typology of Learning Object Repositories article, starting with the tables, and found a few errors relating to his description of CAREO. Here are the corrections (I don't have Rory's email handy, and there aren't comments on the DSpace page for the article): CAREO supports hosting content as well as linking to other servers. That was one of the primary goals of the project - to allow people to easily post content without having to know FTP....

October 24, 2007 · 2 min

Learning Object Repositories 2.0

I (still) spend a fair amount of time thinking about the learning object repositories work that was done back at the turn of the century. A bunch of folks (myself included) took up the task of building software to let people easily publish, describe, share, find (and hopefully use) digital assets or learning objects (assets with a bunch of metadata tacked on the side). I think it's fair to say that the experiments failed pretty dramatically....

June 12, 2007 · 3 min

CAREO: Resurrection

One of the tasks that's been on my desk for awhile has been giving some love to CAREO. It sorta stopped working a few months ago, and nobody really cared enough for it to be a High Priority Urgent Fix. The hard drive started to corrupt, and services went from spotty to unavailable. And stayed that way. Actually, I think it's a pretty impressive statement about Institutional Repositories that something that was once trumpeted as The Next Big Thing can be out of action for 9 months without many people even noticing....

January 10, 2007 · 2 min

Web 2.0 vs Repositories

Thanks to Scott for linking to this in his del.icious.net linkstream. It's a nearly-year-old article about implementing a "learning object repository" using the Small Pieces philosophy. For me, the takeaway message was a reinforcement of something I've been seeing a lot of lately. My feeling is that the Capital R "Object" Repositories beloved of systems designers of the old fashioned IMS school are rapidly losing currency in higher education, but - bizarrely - gaining credibility among decision-makers in the schools sector....

September 19, 2006 · 2 min

Drupal as Learning Object Repository

I was forwarded an email last night by someone asking where they could download a copy of CAREO to use as a national learning object repository (in a nice, tropical country south of here). I've been thinking about it since I checked email early this morning. There is no need for CAREO (or its ilk) anymore. Other solutions have evolved and surpassed what we came up with as a prototype Learning Object Repository....

May 4, 2006 · 2 min

Learning Objects: RIP or 1.0?

David Wiley just wrote an excellent post about the "death" of learning objects. He's right on the mark, emphasizing the learning part of the buzzword, while us geeks who were attempting to implement some of the early LO-based software got so woefully distracted by the object and reuse angles. He's also much more articlate than I am, so give his article a read, then come back here. I'll wait. Go ahead....

January 9, 2006 · 4 min

(Finally) Removed Test Items from CAREO

I finally got around to removing some of the krufty old test records from CAREO. I did a few searches, and came up with a list of 76 records that shouldn't have been left in the "live" CAREO database - they got added during various stages of software building/testing, by various developers. Searches should turn up fewer "testing" results, and the "Newest Objects" isn't polluted by crap added by folks just kicking the tires....

July 12, 2004 · 1 min

Experimental Wiki Integration With CAREO

I've just added some potentially cool functionality to CAREO. Every object in the repository now has a link to its own Wiki page, where a freeform discussion or whatever can take place. I'm not sure if people would actually use it. I think it's different enough from a traditional threaded discussion to warrant inclusion of both solutions. In my head, I'm picturing the Wiki pages becoming more teaching-oriented than a threaded discussion could....

April 7, 2004 · 1 min