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The Design and Development of Second Generation Learning Objects

, Learning Technology Research Institute (LTRI), United Kingdom

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Orlando, FL USA ISBN 978-1-880094-60-0 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


The concept of learning objects has had considerable international impact. There is ambiguity in the use of the term, but in general it refers to small, reusable units of learning. The primary thrust in first-generation development has been development of standards for packaging and describing these learning objects. These standards and specifications are now quite well-established. IMS Content Packaging, IEEE LOM (Learning Object Metadata) and SCORM have all matured as international standards and specifications. These specifications, however, do not deal with how to develop learning objects in the first place. Our work in the LTRI at London Metropolitan University has paralleled this work by placing a pedagogical emphasis on the design and development of learning objects. The work culminated in the achievement of a European Academic Software Award (EASA) in 2004 for the learning objects we developed for programming. Then in April 2005 the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) in Reusable Learning Objects was launched with £3.3 million (over $5.5 million) in external funding. London Metropolitan University is the lead site with the University of Cambridge, and the University of Nottingham as partners [1]. This talk will briefly review the developments that led to the EASA and CETL awards. These were based on the concept of learning objects as micro-contexts for learning designed to embody rich pedagogy and structured for reuse. The primary aim of this talk is to elucidate how we can proceed from this base to develop a set of more powerful second generation learning objects. This discussion begins with a critique of the learning objects produced so far. This critique points to the need for learning objects which are more powerful, flexible and adaptable by local tutors. The concept of Generative Learning Objects (GLOs) is introduced. In the GLO approach the basic unit of reuse is the pedagogical pattern which underpins the concrete learning object. The talk will outline the conceptual structure of generative learning objects, and describe a tool developed to facilitate the development of such GLOs. The talk will culminate by placing this work in the wider context of work on reusable learning objects and reusable learning designs.

1 in Reusable Learning Objects Web site


Boyle, T. (2006). The Design and Development of Second Generation Learning Objects. In E. Pearson & P. Bohman (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2006--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 2-12). Orlando, FL USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved January 16, 2019 from .


View References & Citations Map

Cited By

  1. Learning Object Patterns for Programming

    Ray Jones & Tom Boyle, London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

    Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects Vol. 3, No. 1 (Jan 01, 2007) pp. 19–28

  2. Sharing Learning Designs that Work

    Leanne Cameron, Macquarie University, Australia; Chris Campbell, The University of Notre Dame Australia Sydney Campus, Australia

    EdMedia + Innovate Learning 2010 (Jun 29, 2010) pp. 1914–1919

  3. Why re-invent the wheel? Sharing teaching strategies that work

    Leanne Cameron, Macquarie University, Australia

    Global Learn 2010 (May 17, 2010) pp. 796–804

  4. The conceptual structure of generative learning objects (GLOs)

    Tom Boyle, Dejan Ljubojevic, Martin Agombar & Enzian Baur, London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

    EdMedia + Innovate Learning 2008 (Jun 30, 2008) pp. 4570–4579

  5. Active Online Language Learning: Shifting the Perspective on the Reusability Paradox

    Cecile Tschirhart & Elina Rigler, London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

    EdMedia + Innovate Learning 2007 (Jun 25, 2007) pp. 2665–2675

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