(This blog is from memory- a browser freeze up managed to eat a half composed immediate blog entry).

First half was on the connection of MERLOT and EDUCAUSE’s NLII (National Learning Infrastructure Initiative). NLII research fellows Colleen Carmean and Patricia McGee provided the overview of NLII as the arm of the EDUCAUSE organization that looks at issues of teaching and learning, and in particular one of its themes this year on…. Learning Objects.

Part of the “building community” is the Learning Object Virtual Community of Practice (LOVCOP, love the acronym), which to be honest from this writer’s opinion, has seen little activity of community and even less practice, and is only hampered by the cumbersome and community-stifling Worktools technology. At least the “virtual” part holds up.

But that is an aside.

LOVCOP has had some good teleconference sessions and is trying to collect institutional data on LOs via an online survey. There is also a Learning Object Working Group that is developing…. um… memory defeats this one. Oh yes, it is an “Ontology of Learning Objects” which will be what looks like an interactive mind map of the LO landscape (lots of circles and lines)

Much effort aimed on the October 10 Focus Session on Learning Objects at Ohio State which hopefully will produce some tangible materials on LOs. The presenters asked for input from a sparse audience on topics worth “focussing” on:

— IMS Learning Actions (sp? transactions?)
— Support models (example from Wissconin mentioned)
— Moving from collections of objects to “just what do we do with them?”
— Concrete examples- real objects used by real faculty and also re-used by other faculty.

Building Learning Communtiies through Learning Object Development
Denise Stockley, Queen’s University

Queens is one of the (18?) members of Ontario’s Cooperative Learning Object Exchange (CLOE). The local project CLOE@Queen’s aimed to build learning communities charged with creating Learning Objects (see overview of learning communities).

Teams are formed with Learning Technology (tech) plus their Instructional Design unit (pedagogy). The teams included reps form thes departments plus 3 undergraduate students. First projects were to develop web site and create application form for faculty to request projects (20 applicants first time).

The Learning Community was formed around this task, but a key component is a commitment to long term buy in. 4 objects we e produced in the first go around (2 more being done this summer) in academic areas of Science, Chemistry, Daoism, (and a few more I cannot remember).

sidebar The teamwork and process part is wonderful, but I would be concerned about this concentrated effort to produce 4 objects which may form at (who knows, we did not see them), a fraction of one percent of a curriculum.

Teams posted all project documentation online and all evaluated the program a success.

[note, much of my notes where lost on a computer freeze]

The post "MERLOT: Building Communities Through Collaboration" was originally cracked open and scrambled from a rotten egg at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2003/08/merlot-building/) on August 6, 2003.

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