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Developing and reusing learning objects for Computer Science.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing and reusing learning objects for Computer Science."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing and reusing learning objects for Computer Science

2 Learning objects for programming Tom Boyle London Metropolitan University

3 Outline structure  Why learning objects for programming?  What are learning objects?  Structural design  Pedagogical design  Some illustrations

4 Why learning objects for programming?  Crisis in learning to program  Tackle this problem –at institutional level –contribute to solving national problem  Collaborative development and sharing of quality eLearning resources  To improve success rates in learning to program

5 Jenkins and Davy (2001) “ Anyone who has presented an introductory programming module will be all too familiar with students who appear to be totally unable to grasp the basic concepts”

6 Conceptions of learning objects Learning objects symposium, Hawaii June 2003 A learning object is -  "any entity … that may be used for learning, education or training"  basic chunk of content –optimised for recombination into higher order structures – where pedagogical process is added.  'Micro-context’ for learning –explicitly designed for flexible (re) combination into higher order pedagogical structures.

7 Criticisms of the ‘content chunks’ approach  Wiley (2003) –based on 1980s ideas about instructional design  Oriented to (military) training rather than education –didactic transmission of knowledge –‘info-capsules that transfer inert knowledge’  Clash with modern constructivist ideas –support learners’ construction of knowledge  Can learning objects embody rich pedadogy?

8 Learning objects as ‘micro-contexts’ for learning  Organised around one learning goal/objective  Design for reuse  Design for pedagogical effectiveness content interactivity/engagement rich constructivist ideas

9 Design the learning objects  Design for immediate pedagogical impact it should be effective with this group of students in this class deal with the acute problem  Design for strategic impact re-use critical mass solve the chronic problem

10 Two major dimensions  Pedagogical effectiveness –achieve a clear learning goal or objective  Structural design for reuse –cohesion –decoupling

11 Structural principles  Cohesion –each unit should do one thing and one thing only –one clear learning goal or objective –minimum pedagogically meaningful unit  Decoupling –the unit should have minimal bindings to other units –there should be no necessary navigational bindings to other units (embedded hyperlinks) –learning object content should not refer to the content in another source so as to cause necessary dependencies

12 Pedagogical challenges  Facilitating engagement  Facilitating students in dealing with –abstraction –complexity  Empowering students as learners  Integration of learning objects in the course

13 The learning objects 54 learning objects created –114 multimedia animations and interactive simulations

14 Engage students with familiar, every day examples

15 Active student learning

16 Interact with samples of code

17 Visualise abstract concepts

18 Graphic examples

19 Scaffold student learning

20 Delivery is through a WebCT learning environ- ment

21 Challenges  Be creative: high quality design  Co-operative and collaborative development  Create critical mass and impact –standardize and share –repositories and more  Building communities of practice

22 Learning objects sample sites Demo site - select ‘Learning objects’ from ‘quick view’ panel on left of screen EASA RLOs: Codewitz – NLN learning materials – UCEL –

23 Useful references CETIS – Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards Boyle, T., (2003), Design principles for authoring dynamic, reusable learning objects. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 19(1), MERLOT:


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