Wednesday, 17 May 2006

The Death of Learning Object

Since my post Content Packaging and Shipping Container, some bloggers have noticed the calls for the death of learning objects [Harold calls for the death of learning objects] and I became the first member of the choir.

The love affair and pursuant honeymoon between educators and Learning Objects appears to be pretty much over. It's becoming more obvious to me that we haven't found much real value in this concept during the past several years. [LOR & SCO Naysayers]

What a wonderful feeling!

If you have ever seen my online photo, you will notice that I am actually wearing a hard hat. I am a self proclaimed "eLearning Professional". I have published on Implementation Issues of SCORM, Learning Objects Metadata, Learning Objects and all the usual stuff on the subject.

I still believe in the value of re-usability (ie minimize duplicated, repetitive work), interoperability (so that I can copy and paste), adaptability (so that I can edit as much or as little as I like), discoverability (get rid of Google!) and accessibility (I am getting old and will definitely need accessibility soon).

What I like to say is that learning technology standards effort has focused at the wrong spot. Teachers do not need technologists to tell them how to do their job. Teachers do not need technologists to draw a square on the floor and be asked to stand inside the square. Teachers need tools, good tools so that they can use to craft their wares - whatever that may be.

Blog is godsend. That's why people are all jumping into this bandwagon.

Discussion board was a godsend. We can find lots of articles and best practices coming out from the use of discussion forum in online teaching. This is to the extend that online discussion almost is equal to online learning/teaching.

But there are still more work we can do.

Fablusi online role play simulation is the work I am currently working day in day out. I am eating, sleeping and breathing Fablusi at the moment.

However, I would also like to see tools such as WebQuest being promoted more and Quia too. Of course I am still very interested in my own version: virtual apparatus framework

This paper introduces a conceptual model of "virtual apparatus" for designing virtual experiments with the emphasis on minimising the technical burden on the teacher by using generic programmable objects. A virtual apparatus is a reusable software component which non-programmers can set-up and modify using a forms based interface. Some virtual apparatus behave like real world objects such as a beaker or pulley and provide a simple and intuitive interface for the teacher. Like its real world counterpart, a virtual apparatus can be used by a teacher and students in an experiment. Other virtual apparatus may be hidden, performing monitoring functions to provide feedback to the teacher as well as providing a mechanism for moving the simulation from novice to more advanced levels. For this concept to be viable over Internet, these apparatus must adhere to a strict set of open and common software specifications to ensure inter-operability between virtual apparatus from different sources and perform across different computing platforms. [From an outdated (1996) paper]

Teachers still need easy to use components to build interactive, interesting content pages! (Sorry, I mean teachers still need easy to use tools to enable students to build interactive and interesting reports.)

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