A Short Course on Structured Course Development, Learning Objects, and E-Learning Standards


From Gerry Paille and his team (a partnership of BC School District #60, Open School BC and the Open Learning Agency/BC Open Univeristy to develop a ‘CANCORE-compliant’ resource network that will house materials from some of their older resource collections) comes this useful 3 module course on “using a structured language such as Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) or eXtensible Markup Language (XML) as a basis for producing a learning design and describing course content, activities, and assignments.”

Gerry has also gone to the effort of packaging the course as an IMS 1.1.3 Content Package. Gerry notes on the project blog that the course has yet to receive a ‘technical review’ but is still quite worthwhile. One neat feature of how they implemented this is the ‘Module Resources’ links in each of the modules, which seem to be keyword searches to the backend CAREO database to provide related supplementary resources for each module. – SWL

A Short Course on Structured Course Development, Learning Objects, and E-Learning Standards

9 thoughts on “A Short Course on Structured Course Development, Learning Objects, and E-Learning Standards

  1. Alan Levine says:

    The content seems okay and summarizes nicely, though it tosses a lot of acronyms for an intro-level. Being way down south, I am not exactly sure if what I seeing is “CANCORE-compliant” (does that mean anything to an edn user, or is it back end stuff, or is it mean that it uses compliant systems such as CAREO).

    Frankly it comes across very dryly- text, clip art and links, and the pages inside the modules lack any navigation among the other sections. It becomes a sedries of read – click -back- read – click -back….

    My mian beef is the banal level of the activities (reading the learning object module)- mainly links to things to read (“record what you think are the three most important points”) or click and go (” Experiments with federated searches or searches across repositories are also occurring.”) — these are about the lower level of brain active tasks. Methinks an instructional designer is needed here or something is not yet down to write some meaningful activities with components of active learning, critical thinking, collaboration, etc.

    Regardless of my complaints, it is good to see mroe material coming out. But please, let’s try to makes tihngs interesting or relevant!


  2. Gerry Paille says:

    Great comments Alan – I totally agree about the activities and I did write them. The content and activities will be updated if BCOU decides to make this course into something they would support. As of now, there is no mechanism attached to this “course” to support any collaborative activities or to provide any support for learners.

    Navigation has intentially been left out. The objects are meant to stand alone and are there for others to add context, sequencing or…

    The content package was provided so that others, should they find value in any of the parts, could take and build on it. An LCMS would then provide the navigation that is so lacking in what you are currently seeing online.


  3. Gerry Paille says:

    OK, you convinced me. I have added in some primative frame based navigation. Others can still build their own nav by using the content package. In fact, if anyone would like to try importing the content package into some system as a proof of concept, I would like to hear about it.


  4. Enid McCauley says:


    Here at the BCOU we are working out the best ways to deliver credit for the courses in the Learning Lab part of the Resource Pool. Content in the Learning Lab is intentionally designed to be used for “just-in-time” learning or as components of larger non-credit learning paths (courses). When we proceed this next fiscal with the development of the credit component of the Learning Lab we will make extensive use of things like Gerry’s mini-course and, as you note, an instructional designer will be involved.
    Right now, the content is there to support self-directed learning activities of those educators who are interested in use of technology but without formal assessment.
    I hope this helps to clarify our intent.


  5. HI there,

    I am just catching up and noticed this. I imported your package into WebCT 4, LRN and Reload — all came in quite easily. The only thing I am noticing is that the two/three level hierarchy is not coming through in any of the packages.

    The fact that the subheadings are not read means that the files are out of sync in terms of ordering… The three top levels come in at the top of the sequence, and the rest of them come in as subsequences. — one could not navigate through easily without seeing the original.

    As well, the page titles are not being read correctly on the main module pages in WebCT — they are recognized by Reload and rendered as “Module 1 – ..”

    WebCT relies upon the “Title” tag for setting up the links in a content module, and the titles do not correspond with the linked heading in all cases. I checked — the document title tag that was probably autogenerated by the Adobe Go Live is not what one would expect it to be in the three module files.

    WebCT and Reload linked the “asides” into the sequence (the pop up behaviour still works, but WebCT considers this as part of the sequence).

    I might also consider naming the files in a proper sequence…


    Something that would readily come up inthe right order in a file manager.

    That’s my thoughts!



  6. Gerry Paille says:

    Thanks for your test and comments Michelle. I have done some tidying up of file names and titles and rebuilt the content package. I have replaced the old package with the updated version, so if you have time, I would like to know if this works out any better.


  7. It worked like an absolute charm and looks great!

    The hierarchy is recognized by WebCT…

    The only warning I received was that it did not recognize the character set (it brought it in as UTF8).

    Good job, Gerry!



  8. Gerry Paille says:

    I have recently created a Wiki related to this course. The purpose of the Wiki is to give anyone an opportunity to add to the existing topics, add more topics, add more resources, correct any technical or grammatical errors, and to provide more activities. The activities require a lot of work. As it stands now, they are lower level and are not very engaging (as pointed out by Alan above) as there was no opportunity to support learners in higher level activities. If we could add is some better and more engaging activities, then organizations could take them away and use them within their own learning environments.

    If you feel like contributing or checking out what might be happening, go the the Learning Object Short Course Wiki site. http://careo.prn.bc.ca/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?LoscWikiIntro


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