The Open University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 4525-4536
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
In recent projects to examine the possible adoption of various e-learning materials for use in courses on computing and mathematics it proved difficult to find an agreed basis for evaluation. Most practitioners assessed various packages in terms of their subject expertise rather than any pedagogical or technological considerations. In particular they were unable to relate new media, such as learning objects, web 2.0 technologies, virtual classrooms and virtual worlds to their own teaching experiences in any systematic way. This prompted a search for a model of e-learning on which to base such comparisons.

The aim was to develop a model that incorporates all three dimensions of teaching and learning, namely, subject content, pedagogy and technology. It should be usable by subject practitioners who may have little expertise in pedagogy and technology and it should be applicable to a range of teaching and learning formats, including online and the more traditional events.

On the grounds that e-learning materials, at least, are software products, and since all software applications, including e-learning packages, are simulations of real events, a software model was adopted. This is derived from the structure of a program object and builds on the concept of a reusable learning object. It is shown that this can be made more widely applicable if it is redefined as an interface object. This has two distinct layers. One of these combines the user interface technology with the pedagogy and the other associates the learning media technology with the content. The first is a Reusable Learning Interface and the latter is a context sensitive Content Object.

The applicability of the model to a range of e-learning materials is demonstrated and it is shown to provide a consistent basis for direct comparisons.
e-learning, learning objects, learning technology, pedagogy.