The King is *definately* naked!

Teemu Leinonen notes in his blog that Learning objects are rather naked kings. Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Learning objects have been grating on my nerves for quite some time now. I replied to him:

Amen! I heartily agree! I was at a seminar given by Cecile Crutzen whereby she explained why I feel so ill when I hear the term "learning object". (I was trained a software engineer and now develop e-learning materials, among other duties as a professor). The whole idea of the "learning" him or herself being an object that consumes "learning objects" to attain wisdom is seriously flawed for a number of reasons.

1) Learning is not about consuming knowledge nuggets. It is about discourse on and reflection about topics. Informal learning the new buzz word, anyway, may it completely override "LOB". Collaboration is king in learning, not a bunch of objects.

2) Learning materials have to be orchestrated or designed so that they are coherent, otherwise they make no sense. Not everyone uses the same notation and definitions, the same style of writing. So stringing objects together makes no sense.

3) The *subject*, the learner, has been compelety dropped from the discussion! This pseudo-objectivity (pun intended) means that we completely ignore the person who is to learn something, which should be the starting point of any instruction!

and on and on.

I have made it a point at every conference and presentation where someone rabbits on about learning objects and metadata to ask a pointed question: Do you have any data on the reuse factor of your learning objects. Not one single person, from the big-shots on down, has been able to answer anything but "no" to my question. Just recently I suffered an afternoon of a system presentation where you elaborately entered in metadata, but when you wanted to reuse something, you needed to have a good file name and a good file structure to find the stuff because the meta data was NOT searchable! In addition, the pictures KEPT their numbers, if they even bothered to have them ("Figure 2"), there was no way to renumber them.

Naked. And freezing.
Since his blog somehow does not post my wise words, I repeat them here. Any references to criticisms of learning objects are heartily welcomed.

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