A case study: developing learning objects with an explicit learning design
Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 8, (1), .
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Many ‘learning objects’ or digital resources intended for learning and teaching, impress immediately through their use of attractive high tech animations. Less evident is the underpinning pedagogic approach or learning design on which they are based. With an ever greater drive towards technologically enhanced learning (TEL) it is important that the development of an effective pedagogy for their use online is not left behind. An effective model for designing for learning can be found in Laurillard’s ‘Conversational Framework’ for teaching and learning in higher education (Laurillard, 2002) and this has informed the design of a resource set or ‘toolkit’ of learning objects in study skills and English language development for international students. The contents of the toolkit cover the range of academic skills needed for effective study in higher education especially those relating to academic writing. They have been selected from a larger bank of reusable learning objects, and in addition to an explicit pedagogic approach, they share a set of general design features. Their design facilitates their use by students as independent online learning resources, as well as in teaching contexts, both inside and outside the classroom. This approach to learning object design is also being used to develop discipline-specific learning objects for students in a range of subject areas and the learning design is being incorporated into a learning object authoring tool for teachers, which both supports pedagogically and allows teachers to produce learning objects without help from technologists. This case study will firstly review some approaches to learning object design before presenting the development of the toolkit and its learning objects. It will explain the pedagogic approach that has been taken, illustrating with examples from the toolkit. It will also present research findings about how the learning objects are received by students and teachers
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