Version 16 (modified by teemu, 13 years ago) (diff)


Demonstration of LO template prototypes

Teemu Leinonen, Hans Põldoja, Tarmo Toikkanen
Contact details
MediaLab, University of Art and Design, Helsinki
teemu.leinonen _at_
Keyword list



Templates for Online Learning Object Creation


Learning Objects. The concept of "learning objecs" is about a decade old. In 1994 Wyne Hodgins named the CedMA working group as "Learning Arhitectures, APIs and Learning Objects" (Polsani 2003). Holdings idea was to have interoperable pieces of information that could be combined like LEGO blogs (Jacobsen 2001). Since then there have been number of attemtts to standardize "learning objects". Im 2002 IEEE Learning Techonlogy Standards Committee agreed of the Learning Object Metadata (LOM) standard. Same time the defined the "learning object" as follows:

“Learning object is any entity, digital or non digital, that may be used for learning, education or teaching.”

The IEEE's definition has been criticized by number of authors (for instance: Wiley 2000; Polsani 2003; Leinonen 2005). The main concern has been that the definition is too broad. If everything is a "leaening object" nothing is a "learning object". Because of this, in the WP3, we have decided to use a slightly different definition. In the WP3 we define learning object as follows:

"“Learning object is any entity, digital or non digital, that is or is aimed to be used for learning, education or teaching.”'

This means that a person aiming to create a learning object is expected to hold some kind of vision how and in what context the object could be used in learning, education or teaching. The "learning objective likeness" of any object is defined only in the situation where it is finally used. If the creators intension of use of the object in learning, education or teaching is never realized the object will simply loose the "status" of being "learning object".

In the WP3 we also decided to make a clear separation between "pieces" and "materials". Pieces are not learning objects – not even learning assets. Piece can be a single image, short audio file, or short video clip. A piece is something that is probably not very useful as such in a learning situation but can be used as a part of larger material or “learning object”. For this reason pieces do not carry any education or learning specific metadata with them. Only materials – build out of pieces - are learning objects. As materials are learning objects, they also carry learning object metadata (LOM) with them.

Templates are patterns used to create documents. Some people are familiar with templates from word processing and presentation software. However it is not clear how much they are actually used. In the WP3 we use templates for creating learning materials. In the WP3 templates are patterns for creating learning materials (learning objects) from pieces. The pieces can be in the person’s own hard disk or can be found from online database. Into the template the person may add the media pieces – images, audios or videos – to the places predefined and write of copy paste the textual content to field dedicated for them.

Collaborative learning is an umbrella term for learning activities taking place in an interaction among a group of people. The density of collaboration can be defined – for instance - to five steps:

(1) Solo activity where there are individual objects, individual scripts of process, and little or no communication between subjects;

(2) Coordinated activity with individual objects, but shared scripts of working process, and little or no communication between the subjects;

(3) Cooperative activity with one shared object and script of process and some communication;

(4) Collaborative activity with shared objects, various shared alternative scripts of process and lots of communication;

(5) Co-constructive activity with shared object, but also the scripts of process are objects to work on with lots of communication.

In the WP3 we try to support all different kind of collaborative learning, from solo activity with little or no communication between the individual to co-constructive activity that is continuously developing its processes. In the WP3 we on the other hand try to enhance collaborative learning among the students taking advantage of the learning materials provided by the system, but also people – teachers and other content producers – to learn collaboratively when (co-) constructing the learning materials.

Online tools for learning can be roughly divided to tools for delivering (1) learning content and for (2) tools for communication. This separation – especially in a digital online world – is however rather artificial as learning content is always communicative. Also actions where primary function has been communication may become learning content. Online newsgroups, discussion forums and blogs are examples of tools that are often primary used for communication, but as all the communication is recorded and archived the material found from these tools can be used as learning materials, as well. In wikis and other shared online document systems the focus is to build a more static content. These systems also always have integrated tools for discourse that is used to come-up with a conclusion and consensus on the shared content. In the WP3 we are aiming to support production of shared learning material in a communicative process. The results of the process are expected to be used as a source material that will support students co-construction of their own material in a communicative process.

Multimedia Page

  • Example of a multimedia page that is easy to use it in whatever "environment", web page, email, etc. (permalink etc)
  • Example of collaborative learning usecase where multimedia page can be used
  • Link to wireframe prototype (form and view)


  • Example of collaborative learning usecase where presentation can be used
  • Link to wireframe prototype (form and view)

Progressive Inquiry Context Page (PILOT)

  • Example of collaborative learning usecase where PILOT can be used
  • Link to wireframe prototype (form and view)