Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs)

Approaches to re-use of learning content vary between granular management of components such as individual images and pieces of text, through to the other end of the spectrum where large swathes of instructional content are managed in one. This latter type of reuse is typically reserved for large authoring and development tools which for some companies or organizations is either too expensive or too complicated for them to employ. In addition to this, these Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS) and Authoring tools are specifically designed for eLearning development and not so much for Instructor Led training development and delivery.

 

Why use a LCMS like Constructor for managing content?

There are many corporate, government, military and other training establishments who produce and manage instructor led training and use these applications for compiling their training content. In general the courses being developed are large bulky files and do not provide the option to reuse some of the material placed within the course-ware. There are also some training or instructional teams of lesser wealth and expertise who are restricted to producing their Instructor Led or even Rapid eLearning (PowerPoint embedded Flash conversion tools like Adobe Presenter or Articulate) using PowerPoint or PowerPoint with Word for their course-ware. By using the Constructor as your course builder and publishing tool you have the ability to use an exceptionally good style guide and a set of rules for producing this material so that developers, instructional designers and trainers can produce very good quality course material, quickly and effortlessly.

 

Front Matter Material Design and Style

If you are using just PowerPoint with a Corporate compliant style and design approach, then not only can the slide decks be professionally produced, but so can the notes view for student handouts be formatted and presented professionally. Further more by applying good graphics and layout on the front matter material (FMM) or reusable content object (RCO) PowerPoint notes view, the title slides or pages can be totally transformed to appear as if they were being produced in Word or some other word-processing application.

The Course Constructor is designed for supporting this type of training development and publishing environment. Before departing on a path of reuse using PowerPoint and/or Word for your training material, you should prepare and organize your training development and delivery team in advance. The organization should use an established, structured Learning Object Repository system where all reusable learning objects (RLOs) and RCOs can be kept and managed efficiently.

 

Recommended RLO/RCO Repository Organization (some ideas)

If your organization is only using PowerPoint (This is recommended because you only have one file source to manage), then disregard the reference to Word in the diagram example below. As stated earlier the FMM files are RCOs and dictate what the concatenated RLO’s will look like when they are finally copied into a course or module container and published. So in effect, FMM are like a master file template. The repository for holding these type of files should be similar to this example here:

fmm repos

Ideally, the repository should be located on either a database server, or a Central Document Management System (CDMS). The naming conventions should be simple to understand and easy to deduce from their brevity. Above, is an example of product based repositories which are all maintained within a central folder/system. We see the course, section and module FMM files along with the summary files which are normally used with basic course, for example “course_fmm+rlo+rlo+rlo+sum” and module construction “mod_fmm+rlo+rlo+rlo+sum”. Another folder could contain the PowerPoint® template (.potx) files for creating RLOs.

 

RLO Repository Hierarchy

Ideally, the RLO repository, like the RCO repository should be located on either a database server, or a Central Document Management System (CDMS). The naming conventions should be simple to understand and easy to deduce from their brevity. Below, is an example of product based repositories which are all maintained within a central folder/system. In the example you notice that the sub-repositories could be created for specific products, technologies and generic file retention.

 

rlo-repos

 

 

RLO Creation

RLOs are PowerPoint and/or Word files and can be from any source and be any style, because when they are published using the Constructor they adapt the master style design of the FMM file. There is no need for headers and footers, but if there are already residue headers and footers in the notes or footers on the slide view, these get replaced on publish by the headers and footers dictated by the FMM. The RLO is placed in its respective repository and then the author or developer of the course or any other user of the catalog would retrieve it for later use in adding it to a course or use in other courses as required. Please see the video at the bottom of this page for an idea on the basic concepts of reuse and the creation of RLOs using PowerPoint.

Reuse – A simple example and some ideas on creating RLOs:

 

 

1 thought on “Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs)

  • Make sure if you’re using DropBox for your rlo/sco content repository that you disable “sych” files before you begin publishing. Otherwise the saving process of DropBox may interrupt the publish process

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