Toward Adaptive Online Learning

S.R. Quinton (Australia)


learning objects, systems theory, educational design


The concept of learning objects is a relatively recent development that may hold the key to understanding how learning content can be matched to individual learning styles. In essence, this new technology introduces a ‘building block’ approach to educational design where content is broken down into manageable, self contained ‘components’ that can be stored in networked repositories and manipulated using sophisticated database management systems. The key benefits of these new objects of learning include the removal of unnecessary duplication, the sharing of resources (objects) across units, courses and even institutions, and perhaps most interesting, the capacity to dynamically generate webpage content tailored to the specific learning needs of students. As we break down learning content into small reusable segments, we also risk unintended fragmentation of the anticipated logic. For many, the resultant effect of reducing content down to manageable objects may prove unacceptable if in the final analysis the quality and effectiveness of the expected pedagogical strategies and educational outcomes are diminished in some way. As will be proposed, there are a number of approaches and techniques that may assist to prevent the loss of contextual meaning in the design of object-based learning environments.

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