OER1047b Short Paper (part of Symposium OER1047)

Designing, sharing and re-using learning objects: thoughts from BRUM, ReJiG and ReLo at the University of Birmingham

Nancy Graham, University of Birmingham

Conference Themes: OER design, OER communities

Abstract: This talk will focus on aspects of designing, re-using and re-purposing learning objects, both to support information literacy training and more general study skills in an effort to open up educational resources for librarians. BRUM Project The Birmingham Re-Usable Materials (BRUM) Project ran from 2006-2007 and the aim was to create, and make freely available via the web and the Jorum learning object repository, a suite of bite-size learning objects for academics to use with their students to support the teaching of information skills. ReJiG project The Re-purposing from Jorum into GEL (ReJiG) project ran from 2008-2009 and its aim was to identify gaps in our study skills resources and then to find and re-purpose relevant learning material on Jorum to plug those gaps. Issues that came out of this project included discoverability and availability of material and ease of re-use/re-purpose. ReLO The Re-purposing Learning Objects (ReLO) initiative at Birmingham will continue the work from ReJiG and BRUM. ReLO will focus on the process of re-using and re-purposing information skills learning material. Librarians will re-purpose each others learning resources and by using a logbook track usage of updated versions and capture a richer layer of metadata on the quality and effectiveness of re-purposed material. The following project conclusions will then be discussed: Design and technology For maximum re-usability ensure that learning objects are as adaptable as possible. Make material granular and generic wherever possible. Also ensure that pedagogical considerations come before the desire to use new technology. Sharing Think about potential users when deciding where to host material and how to package and label it. Be as open as possible (using JorumOpen for example) and even consider setting up a community of practice to share material. Re-using/re-purposing Where possible attach greater meaning to learning objects by assigning a richer level of metadata (e.g. on associated learning outcomes). This will ensure potential users fully understand the context of learning objects and will enable them to match material to their own needs. The ability to track re-use of learning objects would help enable understanding of how others utilize material.

Keywords: RLOs, re-usable learning objects, information literacy, metadata, repositories