1 Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Instituto de Investigación en Informática LIDI (ARGENTINA)
2 Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Facultad de Informática (ARGENTINA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 4583-4592
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.2101
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Learning Objects (LOs) have been the subject of discussion in recent years. The proliferation of authoring tools for the creation of digital educational material and the availability of Web applications, such as repositories and virtual teaching and learning environments that allow sharing materials, have become essential elements in a favorable scenario for discussion around the subject of Learning Objects.

However, there is in the literature a lack of agreement in relation to the definition of what a LO is. It is possible, though, to reach consensus in relation to several features that should be present in a LO. Thus, there are several authors that state that a LO must be reusable, scalable, accessible and interoperable. However, a review of LO definitions done by one of the authors of this paper, revels that they do not always match those features, and as a result, LO reutilization is limited. On the other hand, the methodologies that are proposed for designing and producing LOs present several issues, such as: they guide the creation of materials with varying granularity levels (from very small to larger ones, such as an entire course); they present scarce definitions in relation to the metadata that should be loaded into the LO and LO packaging (usually instructional designed-oriented methodologies ); or they offer guidelines for the technological implementation of the LO, but not in relation to the instructional design for the LO to be reusable (technology-oriented methodologies).

In this paper, we present CROA, a methodology for creating Learning Objects, that is aimed at improving on all of the aspects mentioned above.

CROA proposes a guided process in stages for designing and creating LOs, based on trigger questions and a set of documents that allow the analysis and design of the LO being developed. It is based on a specific definition of LO, which helps the user to be aware of the concept of LO that will be used and the type of educational material that will be created.

It differs from other methodologies in its simplicity and because it is aimed at the creation of LO by educators (the participation of a materials production team is not required). However, the educator does need to have some basic knowledge in relation to the use of authoring tools for creating the LO. This does not prevent the methodology to be used by educational materials production teams.
CROA has an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses aspects linked to instructional design to technological issues, and it proposes LO coherence review points taking both dimensions into account. Metadata is also considered by the methodology through the recommendation of values for each of the LOM (Learning Object Metadata) attributes, but with specific guidelines proposed by CROA.

Finally, CROA proposes a level of granularity for the LO that facilitates its subsequent reutilization and their assembly with other Learning Objects, to build learning sequences.

In this paper, we present a detailed description of the CROA proposal and an analysis of weaknesses and strengths found in its implementation in various scenarios. By applying techniques such as participant observation and key informer feedback collection, its possibilities are reviewed and future lines of work are proposed.
Learning Objects, Methodology for Creating Learning Objects, Reutilization of Digital Educational Material.