Learning Objects are essentially defined as any reusable piece of educational material. Generally, Learning Objects are fairly small in scope and size, and pertain to a specific concept. We wanted to bring Learning Objects to UCF in a way that was systematic, effective, and innovative while still maintaining usability. The project began with a peer reviewed journal article, Practical Guidelines for Learning Object Granularity from One Higher Education Setting, written by CDL employees associated with the Obojobo project.
Learning Objects in Obojobo
In our model, Learning Objects consist of the following elements:
- Learning Objective – Each Learning Object can address only one Learning Objective. This Learning Objective includes the following information:
- Task: What will the learner perform or complete?
- Conditions: Under what conditions should the learner complete the objective?
- Criteria: To what degree should the learner achieve this objective?
- Content – Content describes the material addressed within a Learning Object. Below are some of the considerations regarding Content:
- Content in a Learning Object should be clear and concise.
- Consider the inclusion of outlines with main or key concepts and principles; however, bulleted items, such as PowerPoint presentations, are not independently sufficient. Remember, students will be accessing these Learning Objects on their own; thus, you will not be able to expand on the bulleted items.
- Some of the most effective methods of organizing content are overviews, definitions of vocabulary, descriptions, demonstrations, diagrams, flowcharts, concept maps, and examples communicatuing contrast (i.e.good vs. bad).
- Content may be in the form of text, audio, video, interactive media or a combination of any of these.
- Organize your content in individual sections consisting of a maximum of 250 words per screen. This approach will increase the usability of the content from a learner’s perspective.
- When organizing your Content, establish a hierarchy of importance and maintain this approach throughout the design of the Learning Object.
- Be consistent in how the information is organized throughout the Learning Object.
- Content should include no more than five minutes of any one media type at a time.
- Text, video, audio, images or interactive media conveying the facts, concepts, processes, procedures and/or principles of the subject matter should be included.
- Although writing styles differ from person to person, a conversational tone is appropriate in the design of Learning Objects to maximize reader engagement.
- Practice – A Learning Object provides opportunities for learners to review facts, key concepts and principles through exercises, instructional games, simulations, problem solving and guided reflections. UCF provides both customized instructional widgets and applications that can be incorporated into the Practice section of Learning Objects. Alternatively, practice may be provided through quiz-type self-tests (i.e., multiple choice, true-or-false, etc.)
- Assessment – A Learning Object should assess whether the learner has achieved the stated Learning Objective. Learning Object authors have the choice of using traditional assessment methods such as quizzes (i.e., multiple choice, true-or-false, etc.) or non-traditional methods such as games and simulations.