I Can’t (Blah blah blah blah) Read Long (Blah blah blah) Academic Papers

I admit it- the web has ruined my ability to read long papers. Okay, that is a cop out. But like conference presentations that are 90% background and bullets, in reading published papers, I get the twitch very quickly if I cannot find the concrete, the stuff I can see, touch, click, feel, experience.

Hence Feasibility of Course Development Based on Learning Objects: Research Analysis of Three Case Studies:

Learning objects offer potential for cost and time savings (Downes, 2000; Hodgins, 2003;Wiley, 2002c). However are these benefits being realized in current practices? This investigation examines the course development implications of a learning object approach to the design and production of online courses. This paper presents three case studies that seek to maximize the use of freely available and reusable learning objects in their course design. The three case studies originated in different university-level disciplines – Nursing, Business and English writing. Using the Internet, each group searched for and selected learning objects to integrate into a specific course. Throughout the course development process, the individuals documented and shared their experiences. They reflected on the availability, benefits and barriers encountered when working with publicly available learning objects. This paper discusses the feasibility, pedagogy, and cost-effectiveness of searching, retrieving and integrating online learning objects into a post-secondary distance education course.

I see it popping up a references in feeds from blogs I read, and nearly every time, the blogged entry has just a lifted quote (like I just did). How about scraping the surface?

The paper does come equipped with quite a thorough background and list of references on Learning Objects- ideal if you are intending to append to the long list.

I admit doing a quick skim and am not aiming to diss the research or the work covered in the article but in a Dummies Guide to Long Research Papers, this is what I gleaned:

* Three discipline groups looked for learning objects to redesign a course.
* They struggled with finding objects, being able to re-deploy them, but maintain “they are timely”
* Learning Objects are theoretically useful but still not easy to find and use.

Here is what is tragically missing from the paper, to me, immense holes large enough to drive a large mining truck through:

* What are some examples of the objects found -reviewed? Where did they find them (besides “Google”)?
* What were they doing with the objects? How where they re-used?
* Where is the content these groups spent 6 months developing?
* Is anyone surprised that not one object was mention as re-used (between groups or found elsewhere in another context?)

All I am asking for, authors, are some old fashioned hyperlinks. Share the love. If the reference papers can be linked, why not the meat of the research? Where is the beef? Where is the demo? Where are the objects?

Oh well, another reason I stay outside the PhD Club. Or as in other words, Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah! Blah blah blah blah…

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.