Learning objects cover a single learning objective, while acting as autonomous units that can be leveraged across multiple courses.
What is a Learning Object?
A learning object is a collection of content, practice and assessment items designed to achieve a single learning objective. They should be considered by e-learning professionals as sharable “knowledge packages” that include any related learning materials to achieve a specific learning objective within an e-learning course.
Their greatest benefit is their reusability. Learning objects are designed to completely cover a single learning objective, while acting as autonomous learning units that can be leveraged across multiple courses, as long as the same learning objective must be met. Doing so makes it much easier for learning administrators to manage the volume of content they’re producing (and boost the efficiency of the process), creating content only once but sharing it across multiple channels to provide a significant benefit to development times and budget.
Learning administrators should consider them as packaged resources, uploading each one as a single file, and then aggregating all necessary information to cover a single learning objective. A Learning Object is a modular resource, usually digital and web-based, that can be used and re-used to support learning activities.
When developing your learning objects, you should consider the following questions:
- What problem am I trying to solve with this learning object?
- How will this learning object be used?
- What resources do I have available to develop those learning objects?
How Are Learning Objects Composed?
Learning Objects Title
The Learning Object title has to be meaningful, and able to catch the students’ attention.
Ex. Write a presentation letter with Microsoft Word.
The subtitle introduces the topic of the Learning Object by using various strategies: you can be ironic, engaging, or catch the attention with an exclamation or a question.
Ex. Write a presentation letter with Microsoft Word: How should I introduce myself? Training purpose
It’s important to communicate the training purpose of each lesson clearly. Each Learning Object has to be focused on a single, specific training purpose.
Learning Objects Index
The index provides more information related to the path your learners will follow to achieve a specific objective. It may also be useful to tell them how much time is required to complete each lesson.
Give students a way to understand the logical map of the entire learning process, including the connections between learning object content.
While managing the content of a learning object, you have to understand the “logic” used to transmit the message. This logic can be deductive or inductive.
What’s the difference?
- The deductive method: transmits strong and clear concepts. Usually includes also descriptive examples and practical cases.
- The inductive method starts from the description of different and specific situations.
Provide opportunities for self-evaluation
Give learners a way to verify the effectiveness of their learning. A self evaluation isn’t meant to provide a score or grade, but instead actionable feedback that can be used to improve a learner’s knowledge about specific concepts. This way, learners can learn from their mistakes (and identify how to avoid them in the future). It’s also ihe students are able to learn from their mistakes. It is also important share more information with the users, so they are able to find additional contents before repeating the lesson.
It’s important to define goals, questions typology – true/false, multiple choice, etc. – and how the score is assigned.
How to Use Learning Objects in Instructional Design For E-learning
Bigger Isn’t Better.
Be cognizant of the size of your learning objects, as their main objective is to be
reusable online. Making learning objects small is an ideal way to ensure they’re used over and over again across multiple e-learning courses. If they’re small and easy to digest, it makes it easier for your learners to assimilate the information within them and remain focused on the specific learning objective.
Context-Free or Context-Specific?
There’s two approaches to follow with learning objects. Making them context-free by isolating the information within a learning object to be presented from the context that needs to be applied (for reusability purposes). On the other hand, you can create multiple versions of the same learning object, making each one context-specific to the needs of the audience you’re addressing. Deciding on which approach you take will depend on the time and budget you have available.
Make Lower-level Learning Objects Prerequisites For Higher-level Ones
Learning objects of lower-level cognitive processes (remembering, understanding) should be set as prerequisite requirements for e-learning courses that encourage learners to proceed to learning objects that ignite advanced cognitive skills, such as applying, synthesizing, evaluating and creating. Doing so gives learners a way to continually practice acquired knowledge and ensures they master lower-level learning objectives before they more to advanced ones.
Organizing And Managing Learning Objects Within Docebo
Docebo has simplified the way learning administrators can organize and store learning objects with its Central Learning Object Repository (CLOR), simplifying the management of your training material and allowing you to:
- Manage learning objects in a centralized location
- Publish a single learning object into multiple courses
- Edit learning objects and automatically push the updated version to replace the older one within existing courses
- Use different versions of a learning object in different courses
Updating learning objects may be a daunting task, especially in scenarios in which your e-learning course is related to compliance. Before CLOR, administrators would have to update the learning objects, search for the instance(s) in which is was used and update it within the course (or courses) in which it lies. Mistakes are easy to make, especially when you have a lot of learning objects spread across hundreds of courses. CLOR provides you with a solution to this potential problem.
Learning objects, especially when you master the art of managing them and reusing them across multiple e-learning courses, are incredible resources that drive value to your learning strategy.