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Learning Objects: Resources For Distance Education Worldwide

  • Stephen Downes
Keywords: learning objects, XML, meta data, SCORM, Dublin Core, IMS


This article discusses the topic of learning objects in three parts. First, it identifies a need for learning objects and describes their essential components based on this need. Second, drawing on concepts from recent developments in computer science, it describes learning objects from a theoretical perspective. Finally, it describes learning objects in practice, first as they are created or generated by content authors, and second, as they are displayed or used by students and other client groups.

Author Biography

Stephen Downes
Stephen Downes is an information architect employed by the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is employed on a contract basis to design and build a major Internet resource called MuniMall, a one-stop site for all components of the municipal affairs sector and municipalities in Alberta. Prior to this, Downes was employed as a distance education and new instructional media design specialist with Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. He has also taught philosophy at a distance for Athabasca University. Downes holds a B.A. and an M.A., both in philosophy, from the University of Calgary.
How to Cite
Downes, S. (2001). Learning Objects: Resources For Distance Education Worldwide. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 2(1).
Research Articles