What Are Learning Objects In E-learning?
The appearance of E-learning opened a wide range of opportunities for training for the employees and created a culture of continuous learning. In turn, E-learning consists of interactive learning objects that serve as building blocks for learning. So, what are digital learning objects, and how may they help and benefit one's business or organization in another way? You will find the answer here.
E-Learning Objects Definition
To begin our journey inside the world of E-learning, let's first define learning objects. So, A learning object (LO) is a modular digital resource used to arrange learning activities. Not the easiest-to-understand explanation, but it will improve once we touch on learning object examples. But let's take it slowly—step by step.
E-learning assumes a highly digitalized environment. Learning objects suitable for this learning can be text, video, audio, or other online materials. From this perspective, they are similar to knowledge packages that can be stored, transferred, modified, or deleted.
The most interesting aspect of e-learning components is that they can be reused. Every LO is usually dedicated to a certain learning objective. One can use these autonomous learning units, for example, with online franchise training, allowing employees to address the LO when it is comfortable and convenient for them.
The same LO can be used inside courses for novices—introducing them to a specific material or giving them to experienced workers to review their knowledge and skills. Such blocks of knowledge become a convenient way to upskill people, regardless of the industry. The utilization of learning objects in E-learning can reduce costs.
In some cases, learning objects may also contain built-in assessments. It can be tests, quizzes, or other means of knowledge control. Yet, this is not a rule, and including any assessment in e-learning, the object is not a rule. Flexibility and customization are one of the many benefits one encounters when designing learning objects. These knowledge units can be adapted to match various purposes and styles of learning.
Types Of Learning Objects
Learning objects come in various forms and types. Certain types one may even find in the definition of e-content. To comprehensively understand learning objects, let's look at their main types.
This object includes all means of distributing learning objects using visual materials. Unlike video materials, presentations often don't have audio with explanations. Often presentations are used by speakers, lecturers, and trainers to help them visualize the learning material and provide learners with a brief overview of it. One may encounter presentations made for individual study of the material. Both types of presentation aim not to overload the viewer with information to avoid boredom and confusion.
This type of object is specially designed to allow learners to practice. It can take various forms, including quizzes, questionnaires, crossword puzzles, and even gamification elements. For example, AcademyOcean uses a leaderboard system to help learners track their achievements inside their passing score and quizzes system. It has proven to be a reliable solution, increasing the engagement and result of learning.
These objects are specially designed to represent or simulate real objects. Simulations enormously vary from industry to industry, with no golden standards. They allow learners to explore the real thing or certain aspects of the functioning systems in control environments. It will prepare learners to meet the procedures, tools, and working environments.
- Conceptual models
This type represents units dedicated to helping learners with decision-making and training their cognitive skills. Also, conceptual models can serve as means of dealing with discipline-specific aspects. The models often represent policies and certain peculiarities active in SMBs and large companies.
- Information objects
These objects use modern digital means to provide learners with valuable materials. It takes a form of a table, matrix, mind maps, formulas, diagrams, illustrations, 3D models, and other objects, including video and audio materials). Information objects represent the bulk of learning to provide learners with the materials. Well-made information objects are engaging and may be interactive, allowing a quick and painless knowledge transfer.
- Contextual representation objects
These objects help learners to work in realistic scenarios, allowing them to get a hand on the real thing. For example, newbies may participate in research projects run by team lids or work with the materials to make final conclusions. It helps to grow and build a problem-solving approach without putting too much pressure on learners.
Learning Object As A E-Learning Component
The instructional use of learning objects has become widespread—SMBs, large companies, organizations, institutions, schools, and universities use them to enhance learning and get better results. Most software to create online coursessupports the comprehensive utilization of learning objects. Learning objects, while being e-learning components, also consist of several parts. So, let's look at learning objects and instructional design aspects to see their interconnections.
One may also encounter this part as "name." Usually, titles are made to attract learners' attention at first sight. Yet, it is essential to maintain a balance with titles—a too-catchy name, not supplemented by catchy and helpful information, won't add trust credits to the material.
We have already mentioned videos as examples of learning objects. The idea behind adding subtitles is simple—the easier it is to absorb the content, the more valuable the learning object will be. Subtitles will provide learners with additional information.
Letting learners know what to expect from particular learning objects is a must. Thus, you let them imagine their future achievements after taking the course and the ways they benefit from the learning object. It is also important to mention that a learner should work with a single learning object at a time. It adds additional importance to offering transparent and easy-to-understand descriptions. A well-written description should cover all learning activities and content. One may even add metadata to the object for future use.
This is the optional aspect. Some companies and organizations love to add these to control the learning object and deliver valuable information. You can add any quiz or questionnaire to it, and the severity of such an assessment also varies from industry to industry and company to company.
Examples of Learning Objects
So, as it goes from the learning object definition, they come in various formats, each serving specific purposes in the learning process. Below are some examples of common learning objects used in E-learning:
1. Engaging Videos
Videos are an effective way to create learning objects that present information in an engaging and visual format. They can include demonstrations, explanations, case studies, or interviews with subject matter experts. Videos help introduce new concepts or provide real-life examples to enhance understanding.
2. Online Presentations
Presentations are training objects that use visual materials to convey information effectively. They may include slides, images, and diagrams, providing learners a structured overview of the learning content. Online presentations are valuable tools for summarizing complex topics and aiding in content retention.
3. Dialogue Simulations
Dialogue simulations are interactive learning objects that simulate real-life conversations or scenarios. Learners engage in virtual discussions and make decisions, experiencing the consequences of their choices. These simulations are excellent for developing the ability to critically assess the situation, resolve problems and issues effectively, and enhance decision-making.
4. Interactive Events
Interactive events, such as gamified activities or scenarios, pour learners into interactive experiences. By allowing learners to make choices, study objects and face the consequences, these learning objects promote active learning and increase learner motivation.
5. Online Quizzes
Quizzes are assessment-focused learning objects that help evaluate learners' understanding: multiple-choice questions, course objects, fill-in-the-blanks, or factual/false statements. Examinations are valuable tools for reinforcing the process and finding areas requiring further review.
Incorporating a mix of these learning objects in E-learning courses and training materials can significantly enhance overall learning, making it more efficient, engaging, and effective. By embracing learning objects, businesses and organizations can create exciting and impactful learning programs that contribute to their success.
In a nutshell
Getting to grips with the learning objects is your first step to creating exciting and efficient learning courses and training materials. Effective and efficient learning and onboarding programs distinguish successful businesses from unsuccessful ones. Can a well-made learning program help your company compete without a good product or service? No. But it can be a significant factor that will make your company more competitive.
You develop a quality product or service and then work on an efficient learning course to deliver this product or service to the customers and continuously work on improving it. These days, SMBs, large companies, and organizations should take every opportunity to gain a competitive advantage. Learning objects in instructional design can be that exact thing, taking you to the next level.