A Cry for Help!


I’m currently working on a literature review of “everything related to learning objects.” The normal sources (Eric, Education Fulltext, Digital Dissertations, etc.) have turned up around 250 articles, but these sources list nothing from many of you. The databases tend to be largely constrained – rather unfortunately – to peer-reviewed works. Having been through much of the material, I know that many of the things written by you on your blogs is of better quality! Problem is, I’m having a hard time finding all your stuff. Would you please take a minute to leave the top 3 – 5 things you’ve written about learning objects in a comment (with url)? This will help insure both that (1) your work makes it into the literature review, and (2) that the “grey literature” published online without formal peer review makes a good showing in the review.

BTW, I’m working on a very special way to share the raw materials of the literature with you all, and once your information comes in and I get it integrated, I’ll be turning on something rather cool. 🙂

17 thoughts on “A Cry for Help!”

  1. Hi David,

    I assume you are looking only writings and articles that are in English? This will naturally make your “literature review of everything related to learning objects” a rather bias. However can’t wait to see it – Thank you for doing this. I also respect the idea to include blog posts to the review!

    Here are the blog posts and some articles from our side that are more or less related to learning objects. The quality varies a lot – the best articles are published in other languages than English. The posts/articles are not in any specific order:

    Learning objects – Is the King naked?

    Subjects, objects and outcomes of (e-)learning activity system

    Urinal as a learning object

    (Learning) nodes are here – still and again

    Põldoja, H., Leinonen, T., Väljataga, T., Ellonen, A., Priha, M. (2006). Progressive Inquiry Learning Object Templates (PILOT). International Journal on E-Learning. 5 (1), 103-111. Chesapeake, VA: AACE. [Abstract online at: http://www.editlib.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Reader.ViewAbstract&paper_id=21756%5D

    Põldoja, H., Leinonen, T., Väljataga, T., Ellonen, A., Priha, M. (2005). Designing Learning Objects for Social Constructivist Learning. In: eLearning in Higher Education: Presentations from the EUDORA Intensive program ELHE during the summer school in Viljandi, Estonia 2004. Linz: Pädagogische Hochschule Linz, 196-213. [PDF online at: http://www.pa-linz.ac.at/international/Alert/TNTEE/TNTEE_publication/learn/online/Hans_Poldoja.pdf

  2. http://www.edtechpost.ca/mt/archive/cat_learning_objects.html is my overall category for LO/LOR issues. The ones which are my own ‘content’ that seem to have gotten some notice might be:

    – Why does ‘Freesound’ succeed when so many learning object repositories fail?: http://www.edtechpost.ca/mt/archive/000733.html

    – Executing Learning Objects, Resurrecting Sharing and Reuse: http://www.edtechpost.ca/mt/archive/000688.html (and the related http://careo.elearning.ubc.ca/wiki?ETUG_-_Merritt_-_LO_Reusability_and_Interoperability)

    – WCET/Edutools LOR Comparative Research Released: http://www.edtechpost.ca/mt/archive/000597.html

    – Finding Learning Objects – Walking the Talk: http://www.edtechpost.ca/mt/archive/000539.html

    – RSS Feeds from Repository Projects: http://www.edtechpost.ca/mt/archive/000515.html

    – ‘Institutional Digital Repositories’ and ‘Learning Object Repositories’ – What’s the Difference?: http://www.edtechpost.ca/mt/archive/000485.html

    This is also probably a pretty good use of Stephen’s Edu_RSS (e.g. http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/xml/topics.cgi?categories=Learning Objects) and ideally of Bloglines ‘Search my subscriptions’ feature (if it worked!!!) With technorati you can import your favourites through OPML and then search on these (cf. http://www.technorati.com/search/“learning objects”?faves=sleslie). I realize this is different than a personally vetted list like you will get through this blog post, but another way to go at it (which you probably already did).

    Anyways, good luck!

  3. Hi David

    An article a while back for teachers is available at:

    Also, we have a professional learning community that is set up to sup0port teachers in Education Queensland schools who are seeking to implement learning objects and other online curriculum content that is coming to us from The Le@rning Federation, and which we are delivering through our e-learning system, the Learning Place:


    I’d particularly direct you to the Resources section which includes info sheets and PowerPoints for use in curriculum, technical and PD contexts.

  4. Here is my contribution to articles on learning objects. Hopefully there are some new entries that you don’t have in your bibliography.

    Learning Object Literature

    A primer on how to design and author learning objects, authored by Rachel Smith, is found at:

    An audio discussion of learning objects with several of the leaders in this field is found at:

    The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee hosts a large Bibliography on learning objects at:

    As well, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee has a list of “learning object collections,� also known as LORs – learning object repositories:

    Norm Friesen has written a review of implementations of learning object repositories that use the Canadian standard, CANCORE. Read it at:

    For a highly critical view of learning objects, see Teemu Leinonen’s article, “Learning Objects: Is the King Naked?� Read it at:

    Scott Leslie’s reply to the above article is found on his blog, EdTechPost. Find it at:


    Barritt, C. and Alderman, F.L. (2004) Creating a Reusable Learning Objects Strategy: leveraging information and learning in a knowledge economy. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

    Bochicchio, M., Celentano, M. and Longo, A. (2004) SCX 2004: a SCORM 2004 – based tool for the real-time production of Learning Objects. Online Article.

    Christiansen, J. and Anderson, T. (2004) Feasibility of Course Development Based on Learning Objects: Research Analysis of Three Case Studies. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 1(3), March.

    Collis, B., & Strijker, A. (2003). Re-Usable Learning Objects in Context. International Journal on E-Learning, 2(4), 5-16. [Online]. Available:

    Conceição, S., Olgren, C. and Ploetz, P. (2006) Reusing Learning Objects in Three Settings:
    Implications for Online Instruction. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. 3(4), April, 2006.

    Downes, Stephen. (2000) The Need for and Nature of Learning Objects. From International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning Web site:

    Fiaidhi, J. and Mohammed, S. (2004) Design Issues Involved in Using Learning Objects for Teaching a Programming Language within a Collaborative eLearning Environment. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 1(3), March.

    Ip, Albert (2006) RIP-ping on Learning Objects. Random Walk in e-Learning, January 10, 2006.

    Krauss, Ferdinand (2004) The Reusability Myth of Learning Object Design. IDEAS: Instructional Design, Jan. 14, 2004.

    Leeder, D. and Morales, R. (2004) Universities’ Collaboration in eLearning (UCeL): Post-Fordism in action. Online article.

    Leeder, D., & Morales, R. (2004). Universities’ Collaboration in eLearning (UCeL): Post-Fordism in action. World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2004(1), 5353-5358.

    Longmire, Warren (2000) A Primer on Learning Objects. Learning Circuits, March. Web site:

    Mortimer, Lori (2002) (Learning) Objects of Desire: promise and practicality. Learning Circuits,
    April, 2002.

    McGreal, Rory (Ed.) (2004) Online Education Using Learning Objects. London: Falmer.

    McGreal, R., Anderson, T., Babin, G., Downes, S., Friesen, N., Harrigan, K., Hatala, M., MacLeod, D., Mattson, M., Paquette, G., Richards, G., Roberts, T., and Schafer, S. (2004) EduSource: Canada’s Learning Object Repository Network. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 1 (3), March.

    Murphy, Elizabeth (2004) Moving from Theory to Practice in the Design of Web-based Learning using a Learning Objects Approach. Journal of Instructional Science and Technology, Sept. 14, 2004.

    Norman, D’Arcy (2006) Learning Objects: RIP or 1.0? D’Arcy Norman Dot Net, Jan. 9, 2006.

    Santally, M., Govinda, M., and Senteni, A. (2004) Reusable Learning Objects Aggregation for e-Learning Courseware Development at the University of Mauritius. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 1(7), July.

    Shepherd, Clive. (2000) Objects of Interest. White paper for Fastrak Consulting Web site:

    Stacey, Paul (2003) Learning Object Repositories. T-Net, Online article. Jan 10, 2003.

    Wiley, David A. (Ed.). (2002) The Instructional Use of Learning Objects. Agency for Instructional Technology and the Association for Educational Communications. Online version of the book at:

  5. Hi David!
    You were my very primary source about LO world and now I’m very happy to contribute!

    I’m from Italy, so I have only a couple of papers in English:

    Anyhow, few posts on my blog (in Italian) are tagged “LO”: http://www.fininformatica.it/wp/?cat=6

    I have also a lot of material (including a book…) in Italian: in Italy we love reading ..and writing…in our mother language about LO too… 🙂
    but I guess you are not interested in these..

  6. David,

    The Learning Federation, an initiative of the Australian and New Zealand governments, produces significant quantities of learning objects for students in the beginning to grade 10 years of schooling. Full details of the content published to date can be viewed at http://www.thelearningfederation.edu.au. Several research reports relating to implementation of learning objects in ANZ schools are also available:

  7. Dear Mr Wiley and friends
    we (a collegue of mine and me) wrote an article for a National review edited by the national Ministry of Education, in course of publication, unfortunately in Italian only. The article is about the eventual pedagogical value of reusability of LO for students’ learning process and the importance of the context in which the LO is embedded. We would like to share our point of view, which is basically the result of a state of art – research.
    Would you like to send a detailed abstract of the article to you?

    In Indire website where you can find articles dealing with issues of learning objects (Standars, repository, Indire model etc.)
    (in Italian only 🙁

  8. I even vaporized “Learning Objects” as a category on my blog 😉

    Repository of (Learning Object) Dreams (Oct 2003)

    My Left Big Toe is a Learning Object (Jan 2004)

    Learning Object Reuse Acknowledgment (an idea, an acronym, and not much more) (Feb 2004)

    If All The Learning Objects Are Web Pages Who Needs a Repository? (Feb 2005)

    Other Presentations/Related Items

    Ocotillo Learning Objects Action Group (2004-2006)

    Learning Objects Dialogue Day with Brian Lamb: Learning objects, wikis, and other curious things (April 2005)

    Decentralization of Learning Resources: Syndicating Learning Objects Using RSS, Trackback, and Related Technologies (Oct 2004) EDUCAUSE preconference Workshop

    Mysteries Revealed! Inside the Maricopa Learning eXchange (Mar 2004) NMC Online Conference on Learning Objects

    Learning Objects: Believe It or Not! (NLII Learning Objects Focus Session) Oct 2003

    Connecting Learning Objects with RSS, Weblogs, and Trackback (NMC Online Conference) Oct 2003

    BlogDigger Collection of Syndicated Learning Objects

  9. There are several references to learning objects in British Standard BS 8426:2003 A code of practice for e-support in e-learning systems. This is unfortunately only available for payment unless you work in an organisation that has a subscription to British Standards, in which case you can get a soft copy for free.

    My guess is that BSI might enable you to review it, and I can ask for this if you want. Just let me know. (When David Jennings and I wrote the draft or the standard we made quite extensive use of work you’d done at that time on the subject of LOs.


  10. I guess that you know about the work we do in my group – you can find an always slightly out-of-date list of publications at http://ariadne.cs.kuleuven.ac.be/hmdb/jsp/Wiki?PublicationsPubs. My blog is currently at http://ariadne.cs.kuleuven.be/wordpress/eduval/.

    You might also be interested in the work that some of our friends are doing on bibsonomy: http://www.bibsonomy.org/tag/prolearn.

    I’m very interested in your results and how you will share them (as “something cool”) – my gut feeling is that we are not very well organized as a research community and I think that a social network kind of analysis would demonstrate that… If this is true, then the next question is what we can do about it 🙂 That is a question I am very much thinking about these days…

  11. Hi David,

    There are two areas of our work that relate to Learning Objects that may be of use:

    (1) COLIS (Collaborative Online Learning and Information Service) Project

    COLIS was an Australian Government (DEST) funded project to investigate a range of issues around integrating LMS, Library systems, Learning Object Repositories, Digital Rights and Portals. The project ran over two stages from 2001-2005, and involved a wider range of university and commercial partners.

    My early COLIS project work discussed Learning Objects, including a narrow LO definition, and comparisons of Learning Objects to Digital Assets and Learning Activities (including a “layered” view of LOs and related entitirs). For the original article, see http://www.melcoe.mq.edu.au/documents/ASCILITEDalziel.rev.doc

    Later, we published an edited book on the COLIS project – many of the chapters touch on Learning Object issues. For a PDF of the whole book, see http://www.colis.mq.edu.au/COLIS_CD/content_book/COLIS_V02_050830_CD.pdf

    The COLIS book came with a CD-ROM of everything to do with COLIS over the life of the project (presentations, reports, chapters, etc). You can find this at http://www.colis.mq.edu.au/COLIS_CD/index.html

    (2) Learning Design and LAMS (Learning Activity Management System)

    Partly as a result of the lessons learned from the COLIS Project, we began work on a Learning Design system called LAMS. The main focus of LAMS is sequences of collaborative learning activities, but these can also include content objects. Under your (Wiley’s) definition of a Learning Object, LAMS sequences are Learning Objects.

    The original article about LAMS is at http://www.lamsfoundation.org/CD/html/resources/whitepapers/ASCILITE2003 Dalzie Final.pdf

    A followup, more detailed article on LAMS is at http://www.lamsfoundation.org/CD/html/resources/whitepapers/Dalziel.LAMS.doc

    For a comprehensive list of resources (presentations, videos, case studies, etc) on LAMS, see http://www.lamsfoundation.org/CD/html/resources.html (for up to mid 2005), and then for more recent resources, see the Research and Development section of the LAMS Community – http://lamscommunity.org/dotlrn/clubs/educationalcommunity/lamsresearchdevelopment/forums/forum-view?forum_id=10480

    The LAMS Community is a global community website where LAMS users talk about their use of LAMS, and share LAMS sequences through an online repository. As at May 2006 (8 months after launch) it has about 1200 users sharing over 80 sequences.

    For further information about COLIS or LAMS, please email me at [email protected]

  12. Hi David
    I see your post only now. As my friend Antonio Fini has just written “in Italy we love reading ..and writing…in our mother language about LO too…”.
    But sometimes we use English.

    First of all I would like to notify you the SLOOP Project – http://www.sloopproject.eu – where sloop is for Sharing Learning Objects in an Open Perspective. (You can find a presentation on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SLOOP_Project). The idea is to share free/open LO.
    I’m the project coordinator.

    You can find the article “Developing on-line lessons” at the following address:
    (Bite Conference, Ipswich, UK; December 2003)

    Another of my articles in English is “The “open sourceâ€? perspective in planning eLearning materials” at the ICETA 2004 (Kosice, Slovacchia, 16-17 settembre 2004)3rd International Conference on Emerging Telecommunications Technologies and Applications
    Find it here:

    “SLOOP: a European Project focused on the realization of a shared repository of free Learning Objects”by Mara Masseroni and me
    has benn presented at the EXPO eLearning Ferrara (6-8 October 2005)
    Address: http://www.sloopproject.eu/file.php/1/SloopDownload/Articles/SLOOP_ExpoFerrara_EN.pdf

    I would like to notify you another article that has been written by people of the CNR-ITD of Palermo, a partner organisation in SLOOP, responsable of the developing of the freeLOms (free Learning Object management system): “A collaborative ‘open Learning Objects’ management system” by Manuel Gentile, Davide Taibi, Mario Allegra, Giovanni Fulantelli, presented at WSEAS – ENGINEERING EDUCATION 2006 (EE’06)
    Vouliagmeni Beach, Athens, Greece, July 11-13, 2006
    Special Session: Methods and Tools for Managing Learning Objects.
    You can find it at the address: http://www.sloopproject.eu/file.php/1/SloopDownload/Articles/Intervento_Gentile_in _Grecia.pdf

    Last but not least. We are producing now the booklet with the results of the project. It will be ready in September. Let me have your address and I’ll send you a copy.

    All the best


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