Designing Learning Objects

Stephen Downes, Aug 01, 2003
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Part of my ongoing series for the Australian Flexible Learning Community, this article looks at dsome of the issues facing designers of learning objects. The article is too short (I only have 1000 words) but as with some of my other work, I try to foster the idea that designing learning like a game is the only real way to address the issues raised by Friesen, Wiley, and for that matter, myself. "What makes an object - whether it be a digital image, some text, or even a butler - a learning object? That is like asking, what makes an object a part of a play? An object is part of a play if it is used in a play: there are no essential qualities otherwise. And similarly, an object is a learning object if it is used in learning. No other criteria apply. Anything – absolutely anything – can be used in learning. What makes it a learning object is that it has been used in learning, that there is some educational context in which the object was found to have pedagogical value."
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