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ERIC Number: EJ874007
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1552-3233
Places to Go: Connexions
Downes, Stephen
Innovate: Journal of Online Education, v1 n5 Jun-Jul 2005
When compared with, say, blogging, the deployment of learning objects has been slow indeed. While blog aggregation services are recording millions of blogs and hundreds of millions of blog posts, academic learning object repositories number their resources only in the thousands, and even major corporate repositories have only one or two million learning objects. A blog post is, of course, a much simpler entity to create than a learning object. But aside from this internal complexity, there is a remarkable similarity between the creation of blog posts and the creation of learning objects. Each is intended to be a minimal unit of content, a part of a larger whole, and to be shared and repurposed by aggregators, other writers, and eventually, readers or students. One reason for the dearth of learning object production may be the lack of an effective distribution system. Learning object metadata (LOM) is more difficult to use than the RSS metadata used by blog posts, and software programs that collect and read LOM are few and far between. But even the best distribution system cannot address the other major reason: There has never been a simple means of creating learning objects; there has never been a Blogger or a LiveJournal for the educational community. This month's place to go--Connexions--is an important step in that direction. Rice University's Connexions is a one-stop service that allows educators to create learning objects, instructors to assemble them into modules and courses, and readers to learn from the educational resources thus created. And because the site employs the Creative Commons license, materials created by authors may be freely shared by other authors and readers. In this article, the author takes the readers to a tour of the Connexions Web site. Connexions is an impressive project. It provides many of the features that could make the production and distribution of learning objects possible on a much larger scale than exists today.
Fischler School of Education and Human Services. Nova Southeastern University, 1750 NE 167th Street, North Miami Beach, FL 33162. Tel: 800-986-3223; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A