The Learning Object Economy: Implications For Developing Faculty Expertise

The COHERE Group

Abstract


The evolving use of learning technologies and systems, such as learning object systems, to support more social learning environments in which learners have more agency than ever before to construct their own learning experiences is an innovation that involves both faculty and learners in a process of difficult sociocultural change. Programs of faculty support that acknowledge that faculty’s learning needs extend beyond the development of technical skills to the development of new pedagogical skills are indicated.

This paper argues that the evolving concept of learning objects systems, and the "economy" that is emerging around the idea of sharable, reusable learning objects managed by repositories, presents new challenges and opportunities for our community. Faculty working with these systems may need to be supported through a personal process of reconceptualizing the nature of teaching and learning within these environments. This process of personal transformation has the potential for change in institutional policy and practice, the institutional cultural change of which Tony Bates (2000) and others speak (cf. Advisory Committee for Online Learning, 2000). The Collaboration for Online Higher Education Research (COHERE) is an alliance of eight research-intensive Canadian universities that is examining these challenges through a multi-pronged research program, one focus of which is supporting faculty as they research their own practice related to technology-enhanced teaching innovations. More specifically, this paper is itself a collaboration among the COHERE partners to share our collective belief about the potential for faculty and institutional transformation through participation in these "e-learning evolutions".

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21432/T2JK5Q

Copyright (c) 2002 The COHERE Group

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