Harold calls for the death of learning objects

David Wiley said that learning objects are a bad idea. Albert Ip points out that standards in eLearning technology bring no visible benefit. Now, Harold Jarche adds his two cents to this “debate” (if “debate” there is):

In a recent project where I reviewed the business case for SCORM implementation, I found no evidence of a market for digital learning objects. There were several vendors offering SCORM conversion or SCORM implementation assistance, but no one was actually buying and selling objects. The bet seems to be that standards will create the market, as shipping containers enabled the free flow of goods over various forms of transportation. Here I disagree, because learning cannot be “containerised”.
In theory, reusable digital learning objects make sense, but in practice they don’t work. The problem is that learning objects cannot be separated from their context.

In the drive to make money in the learning business, too many people are trying to find a way to codify pieces of the messy, personal process known as learning. The learning content market is based on the premise that these pieces can be quantified and therefore owned by someone.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

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