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About Learning Objects

Wisc-Online is a digital library of Web-based learning resources called "learning objects."

The digital library of objects has been developed primarily by faculty from the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and produced by software and multimedia developers who create the learning objects for the online environment. At present, over 400 WTCS faculty members have authored learning objects.

"The Wisc-Online digital library contains over 2,500 learning objects that are freely accessible to teachers and students at no cost and with copyright clearance for use in any classroom or online application.

Learning objects are designed and developed by a team of instructional designers, editors, technicians, and student interns.

Learning Objects Defined

  • Learning objects are Web-based, self-contained, small chunks of learning.
  • Learning objects are small enough to be embedded in a learning activity, lesson, unit, or course.
  • Learning objects are flexible, portable, and adaptable, and can be used in multiple learning environments and across disciplines

A Learning Object Is:

  • The most basic building block of a lesson or activity
  • Searchable
  • Usable in any learning environment
  • Able to be grouped or to stand alone
  • Transportable from course to course and program to program

Types of Learning Objects Include:

  • Assessments
  • Animations
  • Simulations
  • Case Studies
  • Drill and Practice
  • Templates

Why Learning Objects

Learning increasingly takes place in diverse environments such as Web-based courses, video courses, traditional classrooms, Web sites, and resource repositories. Learning objects are adaptable and flexible in any place of learning.

Students have diverse backgrounds and knowledge. Learning objects can teach and remediate, and offer many different kinds of media to match the styles and paces of learners.

Learning objects add flexibility to the teaching and learning experience. Faculty use learning objects when teaching a basic concept, applying concepts in "real world" applications, checking and testing mastery, providing simulation, or giving remedial instruction.

Learning Object Development

Learning objects are developed by faculty, for faculty, with the assistance of the Wisc-Online development team.

  • A faculty content builder identifies a topic that is difficult for learners to understand or that presents challenges for instructional delivery.
  • The instructor creates a content outline and script.
  • The instructional designer adapts the content for multimedia and Web delivery.
  • The technical developer builds the object.
  • Reviewers and the editor evaluate the object.
  • The content builder reviews and approves the final learning object to be posted.