Learning objects are digital resources, modular in nature, that are used to support learning. They vary in size, scope, and level of granularity ranging from a small chunk of instruction to a series of resources combined to provide a more complex learning experience. Learning objects are an emerging NLII key theme because their use has the potential to customize learning experiences and tailor the learning environment to the learner, save time and money through reusability, and make learning design and teaching practice more learner-centered.
This article presents a new definition and ontology of learning objects emerging from the work of the NLII's Learning Objects Working Group, and discusses the use of learning objects and the issues they present to Ohio State, University of Arizona, University of British Columbia, ranging from definitions to the challenges of technical interoperability, to learning objects' impact on the transformation of teaching and learning.
A summary of NLII resources and activities (past, present and planned) on Learning Objects is also provided.