Improve Learner Experience with Learning Objects

Top 5 Best Practices that Improve Learner Experience with Learning Objects

Posted in Blog on 22 October 2015

What is a learning object? It can be many things, including videos, instructional units, assessment items, and a collection of content items that are based on a single learning objective.

These reusable objects reconceptualize the learning process and chunk learning into smaller, self-contained, reusable units of learning.

Here are a couple of ideas and best practices to make use of these in your course:

Length of learning object can affect learner engagement. Try to keep your learning objects to no more than 6-8 minutes, if possible.

  1. If using video, be sure not to have a ‘talking head’ of yourself. Not that you aren’t engaging, but there are more interesting and effective ways to introduce content. An instructional designer is key here, as they can help to bring in graphical components and take conceptual content and make it more visual and understandable.
  2. Learning objects should only cover one objective, not multiple objectives, where possible. This will help keep the content to a manageable timeframe and will increase portability and reusability. If you are creating a learning object about estimating the measure of angles with and without tools in math, your learning object should only contain content related to that objective so you can use it across various courses where that objective may be covered, thus increasing the reusability of the learning object.
  3. Vary the use of content. Depending upon the learning objective, different formats may be more useful. A one-minute 3D animation with narration may be effective to demonstrate how ‘to do something’ or a performance outcome, rather than a six-minute text based learning object that lacks visual interest. Be sure you consider the Bloom’s level and learner outcomes.
  4. Learners can go back and re-watch the learning object to reinforce learning. Be sure you make it easy for them to locate specific content. Clearly summarize key points, use visuals, and make use of knowledge checks.

What do you think of these 5 best practices?  Do you have experience with any of them?  Would you add any others to this list?


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