Friday, 4 August 2006

Learning Objects - not again!

Stephen Downes' OLDaily has two items on learning objects today. The first one is Demonstration of Learning Object Templates and the other is LOLA Exchange--Learning Objects and Learning Activities. To avoid disappointment, I usually do NOT read any posts on learning objects. Since these two were included in Stephen's OLDaily, I opened them up. Stephen, you disappointed me this time!

As Stephen pointed out, the links in "Demonstration of Learning Object Templates" are linked to pdf files! There is a good section on Collaborative learning:

(1) Solo activity where there are individual objects, individual scripts of processes, and little or no communication between subjects;

(2) Co-ordinated activity with individual objects, but shared scripts of working processes, and little or no communication between the subjects;

(3) Co-operative activity with one shared object and script of process and some communication;

(4) Collaborative activity with shared objects, various shared alternative scripts of processes and lots of communication;

(5) Co-constructive activity with shared objects, but also the scripts of processes are objects to work on with lots of communication. [my emphasis, the original emphasis removed.]

I've now learnt that we are now subjects and hence can be contrasted against objects. :-)

With this, I was hoping to see how the templates can help teachers to create activity other than the first type. Careful readers, if you will not be bored by the same thing, please point me to where templates covering (2) to (5) can be found.

As for the second link from Stephen, I saw in the title the mention about learning activity. That's something new. As I read the "about" section of the page, here is what I found:
LOLA serves multiple purposes. At its home at Wesleyan, it serves as a way for us to keep track of the Learning Objects that we are developing as part of our Learning Objects project. We will be able to use LOLA to present our Learning Objects rather than having to make a container for each object by hand. It will also allow us to discover materials developed by other faculty that we might otherwise not know about. Within the context of the group of schools participating in this project, it will make visible materials that we otherwise would not know are available at our institutions.

As importantly, it will allow us to discover opportunities for collaboration within the academic disciplines on our campuses that have begun to develop and use Learning Objects in our curriculum. LOLA is also the home to a collection of Information Literacy Learning Objects that we are developing as part of a collaborative Information Literacy Project that Wesleyan, Trinity, and Connecticut College are working on. To facilitate this aspect of the project, LOLA allows for the creation of customized metadata schemes that allow the basic metadata schema to be extended to meet local needs.

I can't even find the word "activity". Ah, LoLa is a good acronym!

Learning is about using the learning objects. Learning is the process! Learning is something that happens between our ears, inside us. Information, material, learning objects are just stimulus - which we hope can trigger some changes.

I pronounce the death of Learning Object today!

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