Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Do you use Learning Object Repositories?

The JISC CDLOR (Community Dimensions of Learning Object Repositories) has just produced an interesting report on if and how people involved in teaching and learning currently find, create, store and share their educational resources.

Findings suggest that there is significant sharing of work, but that this is predominantly within departments and via email and the majority of respondents re-purpose materials (rather than using them without modification). Issues include the searchability of repositories, the trustworthiness of resources, and the integration of repositories with institutional VLEs.

RLO evaluation

I've just read the evaluation of our RLOs by two of our librarian colleagues. They're really valuable and both come up with some excellent suggestions. I suppose it's a bit like having our very own editoral board looking at what we've created and quality assuring the content. Having an outsider look at your work and criticise it is really very useful.

It's brought up issues that we were already aware of, such as the technical aspects that we need to improve upon to make the RLOs more user friendly. What we'll need to do is put some time aside to make improvements to the RLOs and release new versions of them. These learning objects can't stand still, they must constantly evolve and be allowed to change as appropriate.

We've also decided that we need to make several versions of RLOs available at the same time. Our colleagues have had problems downloading the eLibrary podcasts and we're thinking about putting up three or four different software types to choose from.

Colleagues also made the point that these RLOs can be embedded not only in course material but also within appropriate library web pages so that our referencing RLOs are linked to from our referencing website and so on.

Another interesting point made by a colleague is that we should have a clearer framework for each RLO, focusing on who our intended users are and maybe even putting together learning outcomes for each learning object. I think this would make a crucial part of a workflow document each time an RLO is produced, especially if we then contribute it to JORUM.

More soon....