Friday, November 24, 2006

From RLO to GLO (and back again!)

Thank you to Heather McBryde-Wilding from the University of Northampton, who sent me some interesting information about a GLO in Ethical Decision Making they are involved in, through the UCEL (Universities’ Collaboration in eLearning)

GLOs (Generative Learning Objects) are “any learning object that can be customised, adapted, edited or recombined for specific teaching and learning purposes.” An underlying principle seems to be the separation of content and structure, so that materials can be more easily adapted. There is further detail, articles and examples at:

I hadn’t heard of GLOs until now, but I really like this idea and am sure we will hear a lot more about them in the future: one of our current issues is how re-usable are RLOs, and are people really re-using / re-purposing them? And why are so many people creating their own RLOs! The GLO use of templates and architecture provide a framework for RLO development and re-purposing and I’m sure we will hear a lot more about it in the future. Practically, however, we are still a long way off practitioners and academics using / understanding RLOs, and there remains a lot of discussion and advocacy work to be done.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Librarian’s Top 3 RLOs

Picture: University of Birmingham - Main Library, the hub of RLO creation and evaluation!

Following on from Nancy’s post about the excellent feedback we had from our librarian colleagues, we have now received further useful evaluations, which will inform the future development of the RLOs and their use at the University. I thought it would also be interesting to poll colleagues for their ‘top 3’ RLOs. Although based on a small sample (currently of 4), the current combined view is:

1) Digital Recording - Library Tour
2) Turning Point (personal response system) - Referencing
3) Podcast – elibrary

Overall there was a very wide range of interest in the different RLOs, and comments indicated that people imagined using them in very different ways.
What are your Top 3? (RLOs available from the BRUM RLOs for download link)
And how do you use them?

Project promotion and JORUM

We finally got around to sending out an email to the LIS-INFOLITERACY mailing list, calling out for news of any similar projects in the UK. It would be great to get some feedback on the RLOs from other librarians too.

We are now busy helping academics post the RLOs on their WebCT sections and encouraging students to fill in the diagnostic questionnaire. We will post updates as and when we get them.

On a related note, I attended a JORUM training session in Leicester a couple of weeks ago and it was really useful in highlighting how we could best organise and use any RLOs created at the University. Eventually we could have a system in which a co-ordinator gathers together all RLOs, quality checks them and contributes them to JORUM.

But I think the most interesting part would happen after someone else downloads, re-purposes and re-uses a learning object. To be able to track any changes that took place with an RLO that you created would be really useful to see how they evolve and at which point they are most useful etc. I spoke to the techy person from JORUM who thought this was a good idea, but said that any updated or edited RLOs wouldn't be able to go back into JORUM due to copyright restrictions. Maybe something for the future...