Designing and Implementing a Learning Object Repository: Issues of Complexity, Granularity, and User Sense-Making
Moen, William E.
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The Texas Center for Digital Knowledge at the University of North Texas is designing and implementing a DSpace/Manakin learning object repository (LOR) for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to store and provide access to redesigned undergraduate courses being created through the Board's Texas Course Redesign Project (TCRP). The content for the THECB LOR differs in significant ways from content stored in other well-known and evolving LORs, since the content is in the form of complete or partial courses. While this content can be represented as a single learning object (i.e., a complete course as one learning object), the THECB LOR is making the complete courses available as learning objects and it is providing access to components of the courses' content as discrete learning objects for reuse and repurposing. A number of challenges and issues have emerged in the design, development, and implementation the LOR, and this paper focuses on three key aspects and the solutions we are pursuing: 1) complexity of the course content and granularity; 2) submission of complex objects and metadata; and 3) user interface design to assist users in making sense of this repository and its contents.