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Learning object

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Learning Objects)

A learning object has been defined as the following:

  • "Any entity, digital or non-digital, that may be used for learning, education or training" [1]
  • "Any digital resource that can be reused to support learning" [2]
  • "Web-based interactive chunks of e-learning designed to explain a stand-alone learning objective" [3]

Learning object portability

Before any institution invests a great deal of time and energy into building high-quality e-learning content (which can cost over $10,000 per classroom hour)[citation needed], it needs to consider how this content can be easily loaded into a Learning Management System. If all of the properties of a course can be precisely defined in a common format, the content can be serialized into a standard format such as XML and loaded into other systems. When you consider that some e-learning courses need to include video, mathematical equations using MathML, chemistry equations using CML and other complex structures the issues become very complex, especially if the systems needs to understand and validate each structure and then place it correctly in a database.

Typical components of a learning object

The following is a list of some of the types of information that may be included in a learning object:

  • General Course Descriptive Data
    • Course identifiers
    • Language of content (English, Spanish)
    • Subject area (Maths, Reading, etc.)
    • Descriptive text
    • Descriptive keywords
  • Life Cycle
    • Version
    • Status
  • Instructional Content
    • Text
    • HTML web pages
    • Images
    • Sound
    • Video
  • Glossary of Terms
    • Terms
    • Definition
    • Acronyms
  • Quizzes and Assessments
    • Questions
    • Answers
  • Rights
    • Cost
    • Copyrights
    • Restrictions on Use
  • Relationships to Other Courses
    • Prerequisite courses
  • Educational Level
    • Grade Level
    • Age Range
    • Typical Learning Time
    • Difficulty

Learning object projects


[1] GEODE or "Global Education Online Depository and Exchange," is a repository of Global Studies learning objects maintained by the Institute of World Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The edited collection may be searched by country, region, file format, language, or keyword.


[2] MERLOT , short for the "Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching," is a free and open resource designed primarily for faculty and students of higher education. The Merlot online community includes links to online learning materials along with annotations such as peer reviews and assignments.

To learn more about the MERLOT project, visit For the latest news from MERLOT, visit Finally, to browse the subsets of the whole MERLOT collection that are focused on specific disciplines, visit

Canada Learning Object Project eduSource

[3] eduSource is a Canada-wide project to create the infrastructure for a network of interoperable learning object repositories. A repository differs from standard web materials by providing teachers, students and parents with information that is structured and organized to facilitate the finding and use of learning materials regardless of their source location. The eduSource project is based on national and international standards; it is bilingual (French/English) and it is accessible to all Canadians and internationally, including those with disabilities.

The eduSource suite of tools is available on the LICEF website at UQAM [4].


[5] "The Co-operative Learning Object Exchange (CLOE) is a collaborative project of eight Ontario universities to develop an innovative infrastructure for joint development of multimedia-rich learning resources." Source - CLOE Stories


[6] Individualized publication of dynamic content, which constists of reusable semantic content objects. They are able to represent knowledge in its full complexity, and they make knowledge available as filterable content for Websites, semantic Wiki, detailed-evaluated eLearning and individualized print media. (German Language Site)


[7] Burrokeet is an Open Source Software tool that assists in the creation of Learning Objects from existing content. It is able to take, as input, a wide range of document formats and export them as consistently styled content within Learning Objects. This frees the content developer to focus on the quality of their content without having to overly concern themselves with presentation. Similarly editors of Learning Objects need not concern themselves with ensuring authors use the same development tool, they are free to use whatever tool they are most familiar with. As a result Burrokeet enhances the reusability of content within Learning Objects.

This project has been idle at SourceForge since April 2005.


[8] The VET Learning Object Repository Network (VLORN) is a network of organisations in the Australian vocational education and training (VET) that contribute via agreed standards to enable the discovery and use of learning objects. VLORN was established in 2004 through Australian Flexible Learning Framework funding. See for more information on the Framework.


LON-CAPA is a distributed network with participants from currently over 40 colleges and universities, as well as 40 K-12 schools (mostly in the US), who share a common pool of approximately 250,000 reusable learning objects. [9] [10]


[11] The Tele-Teaching Anywhere Solution Kit archive(tele-TASK) is a free online archive that contains hundreds of multimedia recorded university lectures, presentations and conferences on different computer-science topics. The tele-TASK archive is maintained by the Hasso-Plattner-Institute (HPI) at the university of Potsdam, Germany. is a learning object repository that serves the Kindergarten to Grade 12 education community in the province of Alberta, Canada. The repository offers access to both licensed and unlicensed resources. Guest access to unlicensed resources is available.

The Le@rning Federation

The Le@rning Federation (TLF)is an Australian and New Zealand initiative funded by the Australian, state and territory and New Zealand governments. TLF produces learning objects for years K-10 that are free to all schools in Australia and New Zealand. TLF also manages the adoption, creation and implementation of technical standards, specifications and infrastructure. For more information please see

SLOOP Project

[12] SLOOP Project is co-funded by the European Community in the Leonardo da Vinci Programme. SLOOP is the acronym of Sharing Learning Objects in an Open Perspective. The SLOOP Project is producing a repository of free/open Learning Objects in several languages.

Learning object metadata and searching

One of the key issues in using learning objects is their identification by search engines. This is usually facilitated by assigning descriptive metadata to the learning object. Just as a book in a library has a record in the card catalog and is described by metadata that complies with a standard such as MARC, Dublin Core or the IEEE's Learning Object Metadata Standard (IEEE LOM), learning objects must also be tagged with metadata.


  1. ^ "Draft Standard for Learning Object Metadata", IEEE, URL last accessed on 2006-06-27.
  2. ^ "D. A. Wiley, ed., The Instructional Use of Learning Objects: Online Version",, URL last accessed on 2006-06-27.
  3. ^ "FAQs", CETL Reusable Learning Objects, URL last accessed on 2006-06-27.

See also

  • Learning object metadata

External links

  • Learning Objects
  • Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects
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