Judy Breck (of GoldenSwamp, a great blog) contacted me after Stephen Downes kindly (and graciously) mentioned the launch of Learnlets. In it, she related my concept of learnlets (small interactive applications that teach you anything you want to know; see the ‘about’ page) to learning objects. This prompted a bit of thinking which played out like this:
I like the notion of little interactive applications to learn, and it is related to learning objects. However, in the past I’ve pragmatically defined learning objects as the smallest thing you’d give one learner versus another. In a face-to-face tutorial, it might just be a chart or a quote, and I’d like to reserve the right to dream of an intelligent tutor that might do the same. So a learning objects doesn’t have to, as some would have it, provide a complete learning experience, but is an object that could be used as part of a learning experience. At which point my definition devolves to an information object…
So, perhaps, I might reserve the term learning object for something that’s a discrete part of the learning experience, say an introduction, or an example or a practice element, but I’m just not interested in whole courses as a learning object, not resuable/flexible enough.
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