Learning Object Repositories

by Mike Meyer, Director of William G. Jackson CTL

Many instructors at Michigan Tech are hard at work building videos, narrated PowerPoints, case studies, problem sets, worksheets and other course materials. Of course, there are hundreds of other institutions with hundreds of other instructors doing the same. The idea of a learning object repository (LOR) is to allow developers to share their creations for other instructor use and save development time. Virtually anyone can contribute learning objects to an LOR or (given permission) use another instructor’s materials.

There have been hundreds of LORs created by universities, private foundations and professional societies. Some require memberships, and some are completely open. As you can imagine, the biggest challenge lies in sorting and ranking contributed learning objects so the best ones can be quickly found in a search. Two organizations that have done this reasonably well with a large body of materials include Merlot and Hippocampus. Instructure (the creators of Canvas) are also planning their own LOR, called Canvas Commons, which will allow the sharing of materials specifically developed within Canvas (quizzes, assignments, etc.)

If you’d like to talk more about learning object repositories or share teaching resources you’ve found, email ctl@mtu.edu or stop by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning in the Van Pelt and Opie Library, room 219.


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