Creating an e-learning module from learning objects using a commentary or 'personal learning assistant'

R. M. Harden, I. H. Gessner, M. Gunn, S. B. Issenberg, S. D. Pringle, A. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The use of learning objects (LOs), small chunks of learning stored digitally and reused or referenced to support learning, was described as a promising approach to the creation of e-learning modules or programmes. In practice, however, the early enthusiasm has waned and the approach has not been widely adopted. It is argued that this was due, at least in part, to a neglect of the pedagogy and an emphasis on the technical aspects of interoperability and reusability. This article describes a practical approach to constructing a learning module using LOs where a commentary links LOs selected for inclusion in the programme. The commentary tells the story of the e-learning module and provides the learner with a context for an LO. It can be viewed as a 'personal learning assistant' that advises students about the management of their learning and relates the e-learning module to the overall learning outcomes for the curriculum. The commentary also allows the lecturer to comment on LOs selected for inclusion in the programme which otherwise might have to be adapted or excluded when the programme was constructed. The use of a commentary to link and introduce LOs has been successfully adopted in the development of e-learning programmes. Teachers are encouraged to consider the approach and to look again at the use of LOs to create e-learning resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-290
Number of pages5
JournalMedical teacher
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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