F. Alarcón, M.M.E. Alemany, A. Boza, L. Cuenca, M.L. Gordo, M. Fernández-Diego, L. Ruiz

Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
To acquire competences, certain learning outcomes are established, which must be met. The way to transmit knowledge to fulfill these learning outcomes is through learning objects (Cuenca et al, 2015).

The objective of this paper is to clarify the learning object definition and its classification.

Learning object definition:
According to Adams et al. 2010; Hodgins and Duval, 2002, Learning Objects (LO) are defined as any entity, digital or non-digital which can be used, re-used or referenced during technology supported learning. Various researchers have attempted to define an LO as an entity or particular type of artifact and have inevitably failed in the attempt to provide a definition that is both broad enough to include all that an LO might be and specific enough to reject what it is not (Parrish, 2004). In (Grace et al., 2008), LOs are defined as building blocks that can be combined in a virtually infinite number of ways to construct collections that may be referred to as lessons, modules, courses, or curricula. (Parrish, 2004) discusses the difficulty of defining the term LO and the limitations of metaphors used to describe the concept. He concludes that rather than attempting to define LOs as entities or particular artifacts, the following approaches may be more useful: viewing LOs as processes or strategies, such as object-oriented instructional design.

The online information revolution has spawned the LO, the cyber equivalent of earlier shareable resources for education and training. Lecture handouts, textbooks, test questions, and presentation slides can all be considered LO’s. The online versions of these, together with interactive assignments, cases, models, virtual laboratory experiments, simulations, and many other electronic resources for education and training further add to the pool of LO types Vargo et al. (2003). The diversity in types of LO’s is especially indicated by the three properties Vargo et al. (2003): aggregation level, interactive type, and resource type. In the work of García-Barriocanal (2007) can be consulted another adaptation of the LOM, where the aim of category Classification is to describe where the object is focused in a specific classification system. With regards to learning activities design, one the most detailed toolkit is the one described in Conole et al. (2004). The classification ranges of Conole et al. (2004) for learning activities design can be considered as as a type of Likert scale, qualifying scale of each component is a set of levels separated by a same distance. Chikh (2014) includes the definition of a new class of LO that combine two types of knowledge: (1) reusable knowledge, (theoretical and practical information) and (2) knowledge of reuse, (to describe the reusable knowledge using an extended LO metadata language). Griffiths (2007) propose a categorization of LO based on the purpose sub-element of classification, using values of idea, prerequisite, educational objective, educational level, and skill level values. Sampson and Fytros (2008) identified the IEEE LOM categories, to be related with competence properties of learning resources.

This research has been carried out under the project of innovation and educational improvement (PIME/2014/A21) 'OAICE: Learning Objects for the Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship Competence’ funded by the Universitat Politècnica de València and the School of Computer Science.