аЯрЁБс>ўџ 68ўџџџ5џџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџџьЅС7 јПлbjbjUU (7|7|лџџџџџџlRRRRRRRfHHHH Tfž 2t(œœœœœœœ       $а №РC RœœœœœC жRRœœX жжжœRœRœ жœ жІж| с RR œh pPЗH%UУfтHВљ  n 0ž  АША жffRRRRйLearning Objects 2003 Symposium: Lessons learned, questions asked 24 June Honolulu, Hawaii A report to the CETIS Educational Content SIG By Prof. Tom Boyle Director of the Learning Technology Research Institute, London Metropolitan University Symposium organizers: Erik Duval, Wayne Hodgins, Dan Rehak, Robby Robson. This symposium brought together a rich group of people. The group included world leaders in work on learning objects and standards, and leading figures from the constructivist e-learning tradition. The symposium consisted of three panel sessions interspersed with sessions consisting of short, five-minute, presentations and discussions of the papers accepted for the Symposium. Fifty-one papers had been submitted for the symposium of which nine were selected for presentation. The full agenda for the day can be found at:  HYPERLINK "http://www.cs.kuleuven.ac.be/~erikd/PRES/2003/LO2003/index.html" http://www.cs.kuleuven.ac.be/~erikd/PRES/2003/LO2003/index.html The symposium proceedings with an Introduction and the papers presented is available at  HYPERLINK "http://www.aace.org/conf/edmedia/LO2003Symposium.pdf" http://www.aace.org/conf/edmedia/LO2003Symposium.pdf This report will concentrate on trying to capture some of the main themes from the dynamic discussion that took place in the Symposium. Given that there was a rich and wide ranging discussion during the day the report has to be to some extent selective. Patricia McGee set the context for much of the day’s discussion when she stated in the opening panel session that “the standards have come before the thing itself has happened”. This set the tone for a very open and dynamic debate throughout the day. Several themes ran through the day's discussions. What exactly are learning objects? Why are they important? The relative importance of reusability versus intrinsic pedagogical usefulness. The relationship between content and pedagogical process. The clash between constructivist and instructional systems design views of education. What exactly are learning objects? In relation to the first question several conceptions were discussed. These explored different perspectives on learning objects rather than producing any consensus. Erik Duval argued that it is more important and productive to try to find a model for understanding learning objects rather than producing a definition. Wayne Hodgins echoed this position in the opening debate when he argued that what we need is a principled base model rather than a definition. The views expressed in the debate contribute to developing such a model, but this construction process is still at an early stage. The debate on whether learning objects are just content or whether they consist of 'content + pedagogical process' was particularly pertinent in contributing to clarifying what this mode might look like (see below) Why are they important? In the opening debate Wayne Hodgins asked the panelists what they thought was important about learning objects. Patricia McGee suggested that they are a way to frame content; Ron Oliver pointed to the issue of reusability: At a different level there was a divergence in the visions of how learning objects should operate as components in higher-order learning. Several speakers pointed to their role in building ITS systems that would eventually produce highly individualized learning. This vision of a highly intelligent teaching machine was challenged by Ron Oliver. He pointed to an alternative vision of using learning objects as components in user-centred constructivist learning. The role of learning objects was as resources that could be (re)used in developing these learning environments. This divergence in the perceived utility of learning objects: as components on computer-based teaching systems versus reusable elements in open constructive learning environments remained throughout the day. Are learning objects just content or are they pedagogical process + content? The key issue is whether it is necessary to build pedagogical process into the learning objects or whether this can/should be supplied by the context of use. This is a key issue in clarifying the concept of learning objects. Two broad positions emerged in the debate. The first position is that learning objects should be as small as possible. Small content objects with little or no intrinsic pedagogical process support the widest possible reuse. The alternative position was that without pedagogical process there is no learning. The argument is that this leads to ‘information’ objects not 'learning’ objects. David Wiley in the paper presented for the symposium argued for small content objects as they enabled maximum reusability. He argued cogently that there is a direct inverse relationship between size and reusability. The smaller the size the greater the reusability. Tom Boyle argued that the smallest and most reusable thing is the pixel. There is thus a need to balance the value provided by the object against its size. He argued for learning objects to be viewed as 'micro-contexts' for learning. This debate on the balance between reusability and pedagogical value was a key issue throughout the daylong debate. Interestingly, this debate cut across the division between instructivist and constructivist viewpoints. Thus Ron Oliver was happy for learning objects to be small, as the pedagogical process would be added in the 'constructivist' context of use. Barry Harper debated this position arguing that pedagogical value could be build into learning objects. Note: this opposition might be resolved by positing that learning objects type 1 (‘pedagogical’ objects) operates at a higher level than learning objects type 2 ('information' objects). They thus operate at different layers of reuse, and pedagogical objects could (re)use information objects. At the end of the day Erik Duval argued that it was now time to move from raising issues to addressing them. He asked: how might we develop a model that, among other things, could make sense of taxonomy of learning objects. The afternoon discussion had brought up the possibilities of 'content objects', 'discourse objects' and 'strategy objects' (where the skeletal learning strategy is given but not the specific content to instantiate it). These variants were explored but not fully fleshed out in the afternoon discussion. As a background theme there was a discussion of the possibilities of the more sophisticated software object model used to enrich the learning object model. The opinions varied sharply within the group on the usefulness of this model. From a personal point of view, I believe that the software engineering model of objects and reuse is much more sophisticated, and has a lot to offer in clarifying notions of encapsulation, and the idea of generative, as opposed to static, objects. The papers accepted for the symposium are due to be published in a special edition of the Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia later this year. 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