Re-Purposeable Learning Objects Based on Teaching and Learning Styles

Re-Purposeable Learning Objects Based on Teaching and Learning Styles

Sunand Bhattacharya (ITT Educational Services Inc., USA), Jeremy Dunning (Indiana University, USA), Abtar Kaur (Open University of Malaysia, Malaysia) and David Daniels (Pearson Learning Solutions, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-014-1.ch166
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Abstract

Web-based distance learning is hampered in many cases by a failure to deliver material in a manner consistent with the ways in which students learn and instructors teach best in traditional environments (Samoriski, 2002). Excellent teachers are successful because of the ways in which they mediate content and place the content within the context of the subject matter. It is not the specific content or images the successful teacher presents, but rather the manner in which they are presented and framed within the scope of the topic area. Excellent teachers teach by presenting the content and then providing the students with substantive opportunities to apply the content to real-world problems in an effort to promote critical thinking on the part of the student. This is a highly interactive process with much information being transmitted between the student and the instructor. The interchange between the instructor and the student helps the student build a knowledge base with the assistance of the instructor’s experience and expertise in the topic area. The exact nature of the interchange is not predetermined and depends to a great extent on the creativity and breadth of experience of the instructor. The successful instructor adjusts his or her interaction with the students to the learning styles best suited to them. How do we provide the learner with this important component of traditional classroom education in asynchronous distance education or technology-mediated traditional classes? Web-based instruction is rapidly becoming the preferred mode of distance education, and we must adapt our instructional interaction styles to this medium. Our students now expect more interactive and immersive materials in Web-based learning than that typically provided in the traditional classroom or correspondence distance education (Samoriski, 2002). The TALON learning object system is a series of repurposeable learning object templates based on styles of teaching and learning as described by Dunning et al. (2003). These flash-based templates allow instructors to design and execute interactive learning objects in approximately 10% of the time required to create them from first principles, because the use of them requires little or no alteration of existing source code or writing of additional code (Abtar, Dunning, Harvinder, & Halimatolhanin, 2004; Dunning et al., 2004). The fact that the learning objects are based on the successful learning styles experienced in the traditional classroom ensures that the student is both engaged and allowed to build a knowledge base about the content being covered.
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Introduction

Web-based distance learning is hampered in many cases by a failure to deliver material in a manner consistent with the ways in which students learn and instructors teach best in traditional environments (Samoriski, 2002). Excellent teachers are successful because of the ways in which they mediate content and place the content within the context of the subject matter. It is not the specific content or images the successful teacher presents, but rather the manner in which they are presented and framed within the scope of the topic area. Excellent teachers teach by presenting the content and then providing the students with substantive opportunities to apply the content to real-world problems in an effort to promote critical thinking on the part of the student. This is a highly interactive process with much information being transmitted between the student and the instructor. The interchange between the instructor and the student helps the student build a knowledge base with the assistance of the instructor’s experience and expertise in the topic area. The exact nature of the interchange is not predetermined and depends to a great extent on the creativity and breadth of experience of the instructor. The successful instructor adjusts his or her interaction with the students to the learning styles best suited to them. How do we provide the learner with this important component of traditional classroom education in asynchronous distance education or technology-mediated traditional classes? Web-based instruction is rapidly becoming the preferred mode of distance education, and we must adapt our instructional interaction styles to this medium. Our students now expect more interactive and immersive materials in Web-based learning than that typically provided in the traditional classroom or correspondence distance education (Samoriski, 2002).

The TALON learning object system is a series of repurposeable learning object templates based on styles of teaching and learning as described by Dunning et al. (2003). These flash-based templates allow instructors to design and execute interactive learning objects in approximately 10% of the time required to create them from first principles, because the use of them requires little or no alteration of existing source code or writing of additional code (Abtar, Dunning, Harvinder, & Halimatolhanin, 2004; Dunning et al., 2004). The fact that the learning objects are based on the successful learning styles experienced in the traditional classroom ensures that the student is both engaged and allowed to build a knowledge base about the content being covered. (Figure 1)

Figure 1.

The TALON learning object suite in design context

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Background

The overall online course design process can be classified broadly into four phases: analysis, development, delivery, and results. The development phase is collaborative in nature where the actual course gets designed and constructed; the delivery phase is where the instructor interacts with the students via the online course; and the third phase is where outcomes translate into learning competencies.

Retention and attrition issues in an online course are often attributed to the level of interest the course generates. The immersive nature of a course depends on its engaging features. Often, complex concepts or phenomena can be taught better through interactive models that encourage the student to explore and learn. Appropriate design of a distance education course delivered through suitable media and using befitting strategies enhances learning (Fennema, 2003). Designers of effective distance courses delivered through the Internet must consider the interactivity of the medium and employ it to enhance the instruction of the distance learner (Hirumi & Bemudez, 1996; Starr, 1997).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Control Measures: responses taken by e-marketplace firms to manage, reduce, mitigate and eliminate their risks.

Risks: Risks can be viewed as a hazard, weakness or uncertain outcome or an opportunity.

E-marketplace: An inter-organizational system through which multiple buyers and sellers interact to accomplish one or more of the following market-making activities.

Technological Risks: Risks derived from incompatible technologies that causes integration and operation issues.

Implementation Risks: Risks derived from poor business practices, such as lack of training, lack of uniform standards, quality, and procedures that causes dissatisfaction among trading partners.

Relational Risks: Risks derived from imbalance of power among trading partners who exercise opportunistic behaviors that in turn led to poor reputations and lack of business continuity.

Economic Risks: Risks derived from increased transaction costs that led to reduced financial returns.

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