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Principles of Sustainable Learning Object Libraries

, , , , University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States

IJELLO Volume 1, Number 1, ISSN 1552-2237 Publisher: Informing Science Institute


As the effectiveness of learning objects in enhancing education becomes better understood, it will be critical to more fully develop the predictive characteristics of learning object usage by diverse instructors and their long-term sustainability in learning object repositories. Additionally, the ad- vancement of scholarship in these endeavors – a critical factor for faculty to consider – has frequently been overlooked. In this paper we explore these issues by examining the technical and human aspects of The Library of Crop Technology ( and other repository models. While studies have been conducted to research the impacts of animations on student learning, teacher perceptions of such learning objects have not been examined. An online survey instrument was created and sent to those who had downloaded animations from the Library of Crop Technology. Data collected indicated that educational, animated, learning objects are an effective and sustainable means of meeting a wide array of educator needs. This study identified a template of science content, organization, creation of interest in the topic, visual appeal, effectiveness for teaching a topic, and ease of use as being important to the overall teacher perception of the learning object’s quality. The very positive evaluation received from the users, coupled with their indication of returning to the site multiple times and recommending it to their colleagues, further suggests that the public repository is a model to continue pursuing. An important, but often overlooked, concept in the development of repositories is the dynamics of long term sustainability and scholarly contributions. A second study researched team development and institutional commitments which play a role in the long term stability of this learning object repository. A model integrating team development, institutional commitments, learning object development and scholarship recognition is proposed.


Namuth, D., Fritz, S., King, J. & Boren, A. (2005). Principles of Sustainable Learning Object Libraries. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 1(1), 181-196. Informing Science Institute. Retrieved August 16, 2022 from .



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