Learning Objects and Pedagogies

Learning Objects and Pedagogies
What are Learning Objects for?
Learning objects are designed to help teachers perform these functions:
 introduce new topics and skills
 provide reinforcement to existing skills
 extend learning by providing new means for presenting curricular material
 illustrate concepts that are less easily explained through traditional teaching
 support new types of learning opportunities not available in a classroom
 provide enrichment activities for gifted and highly motivated students.
Pros and Cons
Production By properly breaking content into
learning objects, different parts can
be maintained and updated
separately. If a suitable learning
object can be found, a new one
does not need to be created. These
are costs savers.
Changing to a learning object
approach from a "selfcontained system" approach
involves retooling and
retraining costs.
Flexibility As more and more standardsbased learning objects become
available, increased choice will
translate into more flexibility for
Using standards-based
learning objects restricts the
scope of learner information
that is accessible by content
if total interoperability is
Pedagogy Learning objects fit nicely into many
ISD (Instructional Systems
Development) theories.
Instructional templates can be
created with slots for specific types
of learning objects. Learning
objects may encourage designers
to operate in more disciplined ways
with a positive effect.
Restrictions on learner
information available could
restrict pedagogical
approaches. Approaches
using lengthy discursive
material may not benefit from
the use of learning objects.
End User The learning object approach
prevents consumers from being
locked in to specific systems. As
standards take hold, the market for
content will take on more of the
properties of a typical consumer
market with lower costs and
increased choice.
The cost of converting
existing content to a learning
object approach may be
Industry All leading system vendors and
Support content producers are supporting
SCORM and other standards that
are based on or that complement a
learning object approach.
Realistically, it is twelve to
eighteen months between the
time the vendor community
adopts an approach and the
time products that implement
the approach are available
How can I use them in my classroom?
Teachers and Students generally think Science is….
Facts about the natural world
Laws of the Universe
Hands on experimentation
Scientific Information
Students live in a technological world and therefore their learning skills are often
digitally focused.
Learning Objects can with a little pedagogical imagination be more than just task
dependent. Teachers can use them as stand alone learning units or integrate them into
their teaching.
Background Research http://www.thelearningfederation.edu.au/verve/_resources/tlf_report_final.pdf
The Teacher’s Role
The teacher’s role is critical in structuring tasks and interventions in ways
which prompt students using ICT to think about underlying concepts and
With simulated experiments and measuring tools, students need a rationale for
purposeful investigations, controlling variables, fair testing and so on.
Experiences of multimedia simulations etc need to be coupled with
discussion, analysis and reflection (time to think and communication ideas
Teaching Strategies:
Whole class discussion/demonstration
Embed Learning Objects in documents that provide links to further resources
and encourage communication and reflection
Provide concrete experiences to enable students to move between
representations and to discuss different representations
Differentiate instruction using Learning Objects by encouraging more able
students to identify:
– aspects of the situation not addressed by the Learning Object
– further ways of representing ideas not used by the Learning Object
– further questions that arise out of using the Learning Object and ways
of addressing these questions
Getting the students to collaborate before the task is underway is an effective strategy.
Using Collaborative Learning –
Using Socratic Dialogue
How to Do Socratic Dialogue
1. Stimulus
2. Debate / discussion – facilitated
3. De-briefing
4. Follow-up activity
Source: http://www.sfcp.org.uk/socratic_dialogue.htm
Using Group Work
Source: Outcomes of Cooperation - Johnson and Johnson 1994
Everyone must pull together
Positively support of each other
Individual effort to the whole + group effort
Interpersonal + group skills
Group processing and analysis of progress
Role Responsibilities:
• Manager
• Recorder
• Reporter
• Resources/materials manager
Source: Science By Doing Support Materials
Organisational Strategies:
Three-step interview
Placemat and Round Robin
PMI [Plus, Minus, Intriguing]
Three-minute interview
SWOT analysis
Numbered Heads
Team Pair Solo
Circle the Sage
Venn diagram
T Charts
Y Charts
Collaborative Learning Video - http://www.teachers.tv/video/2747
Using Problem Based Learning –
Using genetics to solve a mystery - http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/units/basics/mystery/
Using Web Quests
Cyclone Larry - http://zunal.com/webquest.php?user=11882
Using Graphic Organisers
Net Pedagogy Portal
Extra Reading:
Source: Melanie Isaacs
Student Learning Programs Division – Victorian Department of Education