On the Concepts of Usability and Reusability of Learning Objects
“Reusable learning objects” oriented towards increasing their potential reusability are required to satisfy concerns about their granularity and their independence of concrete contexts of use. Such requirements also entail that the definition of learning object “usability,” and the techniques required to carry out their “usability evaluation” must be substantially different from those commonly used to characterize and evaluate the usability of conventional educational applications. In this article, a specific characterization of the concept of learning object usability is discussed, which places emphasis on “reusability,” the key property of learning objects residing in repositories. The concept of learning object reusability is described as the possibility and adequacy for the object to be usable in prospective educational settings, so that usability and reusability are considered two interrelated – and in many cases conflicting – properties of learning objects. Following the proposed characterization of two characteristics or properties of learning objects, a method to evaluate usability of specific learning objects will be presented.
Key Terms: Learning objects, reusability, usability evaluation, learning technology standards
Copyright (c) 2003 Miguel-Angel Sicilia, Elena Garcia
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