Applying object-oriented principles to the analysis and design of learning objects
PublisherAcademic Conferences Limited
SourceECEL 2007: 6th European Conference on e-Learning
6th European Conference on e-Learning, ECEL 2007
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This paper forms part of a broader work examining the application of Object Oriented (OO) principles to the design and development of e-Learning material and its use within Learning Content Management Systems (LCMS). The preceding qualitative research has demonstrated the benefits of creating an OO methodology for the analysis, design and development of Learning Objects (LOs). Such benefits mainly include the high reusability, adaptability, standardization and time and cost effectiveness of LO development and use. This paper focuses on defining a model for Object Oriented Learning Object (OOLO) analysis and design, as a first step towards a more extensive OO e-Learning methodology that will extend to OOLO implementation and use. The Unified Modeling Language (UML) notations are used to represent the relevant OO concepts, such as class structure, inheritance, aggregation, polymorphism, etc. The notations may be extended to reflect the specific needs of LOs. The main idea concentrates on developing a predefined hierarchy of OOLOs, which will be something similar to the Application Programming Interface (API) of OO languages such as Java. The existing OOLOs can be used as they are or they can be extended, through inheritance mechanisms, to create new ones. The OOLOs can then be combined using aggregation or other relationships to design, on the fly, larger learning units such as courses. Planned further work includes the definition of an appropriate language (probably a hybrid OO and markup language) for implementing the OOLOs and the relationships between them, as well as relevant tools to enable the design and development of e-Learning content incorporating the proposed methodology. This work is expected to enable e-Learning course developers and instructors to easily design and create standardized, highly reusable and adaptable e-Learning material, by extending and assembling existing LOs that encapsulate content, metadata, standards and operations, minimizing in this way the need to get involved with time-consuming and repetitive activities such as application of standards and metadata entry.
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