OER1014 Oral Presentation ppt

Demystifying Re-Usable Learning Objects

Beverly Leeds and Debbie Barnes, University of Central Lancashire

Conference Theme: Open Educational Content

Abstract: This paper outlines the work of three funded projects at a UK university that created re-usable learning objects (RLOs) and an open access repository to locate and download these open educational resources. The RLOs were created by the E-Evolve and REVOLVE projects funded by HEFCE and JISC and open access to the materials is being developed by the JISC funded EVOLUTION project, Based on research undertaken the projects have developed re-usable and accessible materials in the form of RLOs that are designed to be used in a variety of ways within a module or programme of study. The materials are available to review and download for use, re-use or repurposing from the EVOLUTION materials repository www.employability.org.uk. The materials are all SCORM 4 compliant and have been used in Blackboard, Moodle and WebCT. There is much debate surrounding the definition (see Churchill, 2007) and granularity (Rehak and Mason, 2003) of learning objects which can be a mystery to academic staff not familiar with the concept. The EVOLUTION OER materials have been designed in a format aimed at being familiar to academics in order to facilitate the re-use and re-purposing of these objects. As a result all the materials were developed by practicing academics without any specialist IT knowledge. The re-useable objects have been developed at two levels; learning activities and re-usable materials. The learning activities are packaged learning content as a series of tasks using resources and materials. Each activity follows a specific pedagogy and provides learning outcomes for the activity. The re-usable materials are unpackaged raw materials such as worksheets and mini-lectures to be used in different combinations. The paper progresses by outlining the model for developing learning objects and designing for re-usability that is accessible for non-technical academic staff. Some issues surrounding the project will then be addressed, the main one being the issue of sustainability of the materials. The paper will also address re-use in different contexts including different subject disciplines and non-UK institutions. It concludes by discussing the use of the model to develop materials in other contexts and outlines the plans to maintain EVOLUTION.

Keywords: OER, RLO, Re-Usability

Churchill, D. (2007). Towards a useful classification of learning objects. Education Tech Research Development, 55,479–497.
Rehak, D., & Mason, R. (2003). Keeping the learning in learning objects. In A. Littlejohn (Ed.), Reusing online resources: A sustainable approach to elearning. London: Kogan Page.