Learning objects

A learning object can be defined as "any entity, digital or non-digital, that may be used for learning, education or training" [1].

A learning object is "any digital resource that can be reused to support learning" [2].

A learning object is "A digital self-contained and reusable entity, with a clear educational purpose, with at least three internal and editable components: content, learning activities and elements of context. The learning objects must have an external structure of information to facilitate their identification, storage and retrieval: the metadata."[3].

Learning objects have the following key characteristics: Learning objects are a new way of thinking about learning content. Traditionally, content comes in a several hour chunk. Learning objects are much smaller units of learning, typically ranging from 2 minutes to 15 minutes. Are self-contained – each learning object can be taken independently Are reusable – a single learning object may be used in multiple contexts for multiple purposes Can be aggregated – learning objects can be grouped into larger collections of content, including traditional course structures Are tagged with metadata – every learning object has descriptive information allowing it to be easily found by a search. [4]


  1. Learning Technology Standards Committee (2002), Draft Standard for Learning Object Metadata. IEEE Standard 1484.12.1, New York: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
  2. Wiley, David A. (2000), "Connecting Learning Objects to Instructional Design Theory: A Definition, A Metaphor, and A Taxonomy", in Wiley, David A. (DOC), The Instructional Use of Learning Objects: Online Version.
  3. Rehak, Daniel R.; Mason, Robin (2003), "Engaging with the Learning Object Economy", in Littlejohn, Allison, Reusing Online Resources: A Sustainable Approach to E-Learning, London: Kogan Page, pp. 22-30.
  4. Chiappe, Andres.; Segovia, Yasbley; Rincon, Yadira (2007), Educational Technology Research and Development, Boston: Springer, pp. 671-681, (http://andreschiappe.blogspot.com.au/2007/09/que-es-un-objeto-de-aprendizaje-what-is.html). (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)