Principled Construction and Reuse of Learning Designs

Principled Construction and Reuse of Learning Designs

Gilbert Paquette (Télé-université, Canada), Olga Mariño (Télé-université, Canada), Karin Lundgren-Cayrol (Télé-université, Canada) and Michel Léonard (Télé-université, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-861-1.ch043
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This chapter summarizes the work on instructional engineering and educational modeling accomplished since 1992 at the LICEF Research Center of Télé-université by the researchers of the CICE Research Chair. Recent results on learning design modeling and learning objects reusability processes are thoroughly presented using examples drawn from many projects conducted in the last 3 years. These are discussed to uncover the importance of a principled approach for the modeling of learning design and the of learning objects in technology enhanced learning environments. Finally, delivery and dissemination issues are discussed and a summary of on-going and future directions for research is presented.
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At the end of the 1990s, technology enhanced distance learning developments were driven by dreams of producing high quality, low cost, online courses for massive delivery, based on the available e-learning platforms. Most of those platforms offer three types of loosely connected services: communication services such as discussion forums, chats and e-mail; basic information delivery services to present course resources such as documents and syllabi; and management services to help professors keep track of students’ participation and products.

In the beginning of the 2000s, it was evident that low cost courses were more difficult to realize than expected unless they reproduced low quality classroom processes. There seemed to be a trade-off between quality and effort. Indeed, developing high quality distance learning courses or course modules remains a complex task. In the design, development, and delivery phases, a range of different actors and disciplines are involved, including instructional designers, media, ergonomic and graphical experts, experts in information and communication technologies, and cognitive scientists. Moreover building, maintaining, and supporting a rich, learner centered distance learning environment is a difficult and expensive task.

Does all this mean that it is impossible to produce high quality, economically viable e-learning? The good news is that advances in research are starting to be transferred into practice, implementing new ways to attain this dream. The key requirements for these advances can be grouped into four complementary dimensions: quality, viability, reusability and dissemination capability.

  • Regarding quality issues, we need to center the efforts on pedagogy, sound methodologies, innovative course design processes, instrumentation, and support, while offering powerful and user-friendly technological tools that support the design, development and delivery of rich and flexible e-learning situations.

    • This question is addressed in the first section, where the main pedagogical processes and principles are presented as well as our methodology for learning system engineering quality.

  • Regarding viability issues, we need to generalize norms and standards to allow interoperability of the various learning environment components such as the pedagogical method or learning design objects, the learning materials or content objects, and the tools or processing objects. Consolidating repositories of best practices, templates, and course components will allow for faster, and possibly better, course development by re-composition or specialization.

    • This question is developed in section 2, which is focused on educational modeling languages and the IMS-LD standard specification. The role of such standards to ensure the viability of delivery methods and tools will be presented.

  • Regarding reusability issues, we need to provide quality assurance strategies including both technical and pedagogical high quality criteria. These criteria can be implemented during conception and applied as evaluation instruments after reuse to establish a feedback loop that will assure quality.

    • In section 3, we will illustrate the concerns of reusability influencing both learning resources and learning scenarios (both are seen as types of learning objects), through the use of the MOT+LD graphic modeling software.

  • Regarding dissemination issues, we need to transfer to actual practice the approaches from the preceding dimensions to the different actors through various strategies, such as training and best practice examples, supporting the emergence of communities of research and practice and their networking, defining clear open intellectual rights management, sharing, and recognition rules.

    • Section 4 will address the dimensions of community building, repository integration and interoperability as well as dissemination strategies. The Implementation and Deployment of Learning Designs (IDLD) project that has led to a Canadian portal of learning designs (see, will be used as a case study for this section.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Knowledge Model: Set of knowledge of various types, facts, concepts, procedures, principles, skills, structured by the type of links representing the relationship among them.

Competency: Present or target capacity of a group or an individual to perform a cognitive, affective, social or psychomotor skill with regard to certain area of knowledge and in a specific context. The context consists in defining whether the skill can be attributed to the knowledge in a guided or autonomous way, in simple or complex, familiar or new situations, in a global or partial, persistent or sporadic manner.

Sustainability: Sustainability refers to the idea that the Learning Object should have long-term viability for all concerned and meet provider objectives for scale, quality, production cost, margins and return on investment (Walker, 2005; Walker, Ed. A Reality Check for Open Education. Utah: 2005 Open Education Conference. Retrieved August 27, 2007

Instructional Engineering: Instructional engineering is defined as a method for the analysis, design, development and delivery planning of computer-based learning systems, integrating concepts, processes and principles of instructional design, software engineering and cognitive modeling.

Reusability: Reusability refers to the degree of flexibility of a learning object or design in the following aspects: pedagogically, culturally, technically and ergonomically. It indicates how it can be adapted to fit different target audiences and learning situations.

Ontology: In the context of AI, we can describe the ontology of a program by defining a set of representational terms. In such an ontology, definitions associate the names of entities in the universe of discourse (e.g., classes, relations, functions, or other objects) with human-readable text describing what the names mean, and formal axioms that constrain the interpretation and well-formed use of these terms. In this text we use it to describe logical relationships in an instructional system.

IMS Learning Design: A learning design is a description of a method enabling learners to attain certain learning objectives by performing certain learning activities in a certain order in the context of a certain learning environment. A learning design is based on the pedagogical principles of the designer and on specific domain and contexts variables (e.g., designs for mathematics teaching can differ from designs for language teaching; designs for distance education can differ from designs which integrate face-to-face settings).

Plurimedia: A plurimedia material is a set of large grained digitized files delivered on different supports: print, CD-ROMs, DVDs, Web servers, and so forth. The emphasis on fine grained, closely structured multimedia, will decrease as designers prefer to interoperate existing videos, textbooks, courseware materials waiting to be digitized. Instructional engineering shifts the attention from multimedia micro-design to macro-design of learning scenarios integrating plurimedia materials reusing many available corporate documents and tools

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Tom Carey
Lori Lockyer, Sue Bennett, Shirley Agostinho, Barry Harper
Lori Lockyer, Sue Bennett, Shirley Agostinho, Barry Harper
Chapter 1
Shirley Agostinho
The term “learning design” is gaining momentum in the e-learning literature as a concept for supporting academics to model and share teaching... Sample PDF
Learning Design Representations to Document, Model, and Share Teaching Practice
Chapter 2
Isobel Falconer, Allison Littlejohn
Practice models are generic approaches to the structuring and orchestration of learning activities for pedagogic purposes, intended to promote... Sample PDF
Representing Models of Practice
Chapter 3
Rob Koper, Yongwu Miao
IMS learning design (IMSLD) is an open standard that can be used to specify a wide range of pedagogical strategies in computer-interpretable models.... Sample PDF
Using the IMS LD Standard to Describe Learning Designs
Chapter 4
David Griffiths, Oleg Liber
The IMS LD specification is internally complex and has been used in a number of different ways. As a result users who have a basic understanding of... Sample PDF
Opportunities, Achievements, and Prospects for Use of IMS LD
Chapter 5
Franca Garzotto, Symeon Retalis
“A design pattern describes a problem which occurs over and over again in our environment, and then describes the core of the solution to that... Sample PDF
A Critical Perspective on Design Patterns for E-Learning
Chapter 6
Sherri S. Frizell, Roland Hübscher
Design patterns have received considerable attention for their potential as a means of capturing and sharing design knowledge. This chapter provides... Sample PDF
Using Design Patterns to Support E-Learning Design
Chapter 7
Peter Goodyear, Dai Fei Yang
This chapter provides an overview of recent research and development (R&D) activity in the area of educational design patterns and pattern... Sample PDF
Patterns and Pattern Languages in Educational Design
Chapter 8
Gráinne Conole
The chapter provides a theoretical framework for understanding learning activities, centering on two key aspects: (1) the capture and representation... Sample PDF
The Role of Mediating Artefacts in Learning Design
Chapter 9
Elizabeth Masterman
This chapter uses activity theory to construct a framework for the design and deployment of pedagogic planning tools. It starts by noting the impact... Sample PDF
Activity Theory and the Design of Pedagogic Planning Tools
Chapter 10
Barry Harper, Ron Oliver
This chapter describes the development of a taxonomy of learning designs based on a survey of 52 innovative ICT-using projects that formed the basis... Sample PDF
Developing a Taxonomy for Learning Designs
Chapter 11
Carmel McNaught, Paul Lam, Kin-Fai Cheng
The chapter will describe an expert review process used at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The mechanism used involves a carefully developed... Sample PDF
Using Expert Reviews to Enhance Learning Designs
Chapter 12
Matthew Kearney, Anne Prescott, Kirsty Young
This chapter reports on findings from a recent project situated in the area of preservice teacher education. The project investigated prospective... Sample PDF
Investigating Prospective Teachers as Learning Design Authors
Chapter 13
Paul Hazlewood, Amanda Oddie, Mark Barrett-Baxendale
IMS Learning Design (IMS LD) is a specification for describing a range of pedagogic approaches. It allows the linking of pedagogical structure... Sample PDF
Using IMS Learning Design in Educational Situations
Chapter 14
Robert McLaughlan, Denise Kirkpatrick
Decision-making processes in relation to complex natural resources require recognition and accommodation of diverse and competing perspectives in a... Sample PDF
Online Role-Based Learning Designs for Teaching Complex Decision Making
Chapter 15
Garry Hoban
Digital animations are complex to create and are usually made by experts for novices to download from Web sites or copy from DVDs and CDs to use as... Sample PDF
Facilitating Learner-Generated Animations with Slowmation
Chapter 16
Yongwu Miao, Daniel Burgos, David Griffiths, Rob Koper
Group interaction has to be meticulously designed to foster effective and efficient collaborative learning. The IMS Learning Design specification... Sample PDF
Representation of Coordination Mechanisms in IMS LD
Chapter 17
Johannes Strobel, Gretchen Lowerison, Roger Côté, Philip C. Abrami, Edward C. Bethel
In this chapter, we describe the process of modeling different theory-, research-, and best-practicebased learning designs into IMS-LD, a... Sample PDF
Modeling Learning Units by Capturing Context with IMS LD
Chapter 18
Daniel Burgos, Hans G.K. Hummel, Colin Tattersall, Francis Brouns, Rob Koper
This chapter presents some design guidelines for collaboration and participation in blended learning networks. As an exemplary network, we describe... Sample PDF
Design Guidelines for Collaboration and Participation with Examples from the LN4LD (Learning Network for Learning Design)
Chapter 19
Tom Boyle
This chapter argues that good design has to be at the heart of developing effective learning objects. It briefly outlines the “knowledge... Sample PDF
The Design of Learning Objects for Pedagogical Impact
Chapter 20
Margaret Turner
This chapter introduces an approach to writing content for online learning over networked media. It argues that few resources currently utilise the... Sample PDF
Visual Meaning Management for Networked Learning
Chapter 21
Christina Gitsaki
Due to the increasingly diverse student population in multicultural nations such as Australia, the U.S., Canada, and the UK, educators are faced... Sample PDF
Modification of Learning Objects for NESB Students
Chapter 22
Daniel Churchill, John Gordon Hedberg
The main idea behind learning objects is that they are to exist as digital resources separated from the learning task in which they are used. This... Sample PDF
Learning Objects, Learning Tasks, and Handhelds
Chapter 23
Peter Freebody, Sandy Muspratt, David McRae
The question addressed in this chapter is: What is the evidence for the effects of online programs of learning objects on motivation and learning?... Sample PDF
Technology, Curriculum, and Pedagogy in the Evaluation of an Online Content Program in Australasia
Chapter 24
David Lake, Kate Lowe, Rob Phillips, Rick Cummings, Renato Schibeci
This chapter provides a model to analyse the effectiveness and efficiency of Learning Objects being used in primary and secondary schools by... Sample PDF
Effective Use of Learning Objects in Class Environments
Chapter 25
Robert McCormick, Tomi Jaakkola, Sami Nurmi
Most studies on reusable digital learning materials, Learning Objects (LOs), relate to their use in universities. Few empirical studies exist to... Sample PDF
A European Evaluation of the Promises of LOs
Chapter 26
Tomi Jaakkola, Sami Nurmi
There has been a clear lack of rigorous empirical evidence on the effectiveness of learning objects (LOs) in education. This chapter reports the... Sample PDF
Instructional Effectiveness of Learning Objects
Chapter 27
Robert McCormick
This chapter will examine the approach taken in the evaluation of a large-scale feasibility trial of the production, distribution, and use of... Sample PDF
Evaluating Large-Scale European LO Production, Distribution, and Use
Chapter 28
John C Nesbit, Tracey L. Leacock
The Learning Object Review Instrument (LORI) is an evaluation framework designed to support collaborative critique of multimedia learning resources.... Sample PDF
Collaborative Argumentation in Learning Resource Evaluation
Chapter 29
Philippe Martin, Michel Eboueya
This chapter first argues that current approaches for sharing and retrieving learning objects or any other kinds of information are not efficient or... Sample PDF
For the Ultimate Accessibility and Reusability
Chapter 30
Sue Bennett, Dominique Parrish, Geraldine Lefoe, Meg O’Reilly, Mike Keppell, Robyn Philip
As the notion of learning objects has grown in popularity, so too has interest in how they should be stored to promote access and reusability. A key... Sample PDF
A Needs Analysis Framework for the Design of Digital Repositories in Higher Education
Chapter 31
William Bramble, Mariya Pachman
Reusable learning objects (LOs) constitute a promising approach to the development of easily accessible, technologically sound, and curriculum... Sample PDF
Costs and Sustainability of Learning Object Repositories
Chapter 32
Kristine Elliott, Kevin Sweeney, Helen Irving
This chapter reports the authors’ experiences of developing a learning design to teach scientific inquiry, of integrating the learning design with... Sample PDF
A Learning Design to Teach Scientific Inquiry
Chapter 33
Lisa Lobry de Bruyn
This chapter explores through a case study approach of a tertiary-level unit on Land Assessment for Sustainable Use, the connections between three... Sample PDF
Adapting Problem-Based Learning to an Online Learning Environment
Chapter 34
Tan Wee Chuen, Baharuddin Aris, Mohd Salleh Abu
This chapter aims to guide the readers through the design and development of a prototype Web-based learning system based on the integration of... Sample PDF
Learning Objects and Generative Learning for Higher Order Thinking
Chapter 35
Sebastian Foti
The author describes the work of Dr. Mary Budd Rowe and the establishment of an early learning object databases. Extensive training with K-12... Sample PDF
Applying Learning Object Libraries in K-12 Settings
Chapter 36
L. K. Curda, Melissa A. Kelly
We present guidelines for designing and developing a repository for the storage and exchange of instructional resources, as well as considerations... Sample PDF
Guidelines for Developing Learning Object Repositories
Chapter 37
Sandra Wills, Anne McDougall
This study tracks the uptake of online role play in Australia from 1990 to 2006 and the affordances to its uptake. It examines reusability, as one... Sample PDF
Reusability of Online Role Play as Learning Objects or Learning Designs
Chapter 38
Lori Lockyer, Lisa Kosta, Sue Bennett
Health professional education is changing to meet the demands of a limited workforce and a focus on community-based clinical training. The change... Sample PDF
An Analysis of Learning Designs that Integrate Patient Cases in Health Professions Education
Chapter 39
Mohan Chinnappan
The shift in the way we visualise the nature of mathematics and mathematics learning has presented educational technologists with new challenges in... Sample PDF
Reconceptualisation of Learning Objects as Meta-Schemas
Chapter 40
Henk Huijser
This chapter provides an in depth discussion of the issues involved in integrating learning design and learning objects into generic Web sites. It... Sample PDF
Designing Learning Objects for Generic Web Sites
Chapter 41
Morag Munro, Claire Kenny
E-learning standards are a contentious topic amongst educators, designers, and researchers engaged in the development of learning objects and... Sample PDF
Standards for Learning Objects and Learning Designs
Chapter 42
Eddy Boot, Luca Botturi, Andrew S. Gibbons, Todd Stubbs
In developing modern instructional software, learning designs are used to formalize descriptions of roles, activities, constraints, and several... Sample PDF
Supporting Decision Making in Using Design Languages for Learning Designs and Learning Objects
Chapter 43
Gilbert Paquette, Olga Mariño, Karin Lundgren-Cayrol, Michel Léonard
This chapter summarizes the work on instructional engineering and educational modeling accomplished since 1992 at the LICEF Research Center of... Sample PDF
Principled Construction and Reuse of Learning Designs
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