Tuesday, June 19, 2007

On the Relationship between microcontent and learning objects

This chapter describes the relationship between microcontents and learning objects.

Definition of microcontent:

“A [very] small unit of digital information that is self-contained, individually referable/addressable, allowing use/re-use in different loosely structured macro-contexts and macro-containers” (p. 297).

“a microcontent piece with educational purpose plus metadata describing the piece itself and it educational usages may be considered as a regular learning object. However, the microcontent vision entrails those descriptions should come from subjective personal views of the world., e.g., those views offered by blog authors” (p. 296).

I am not sure about most of the middle of this article as it seems to focus on the engineering side of the problem of building repositories.

The concluding paragraph is telling about what remains to be done:

“ On the conceptual side, the main open problem is how to embed micro-pedagogies or micro-didatics into usable ontologies, so that software tools can be developed to aid humans in the setting of microlearning contexts—but for this, studies of learning theories must come before actual ontology engineering” (p. 302).

This captures one of the biggest problems in the use of terms like learning objects and microlearning—it is not at all clear how the “learning” part gets folded into the definitions. At present we do not have a metadata formulation that captures of the “learning” or “educational” dimensions of these data.


Sanchez-Alonso, S., Sicilia, M., Barriocanal, E., & Armas, T. (2006). In T. Hug, M. Lindner, P.A. Bruck (Eds.), Micromedia and e-Learning 2.0: Gaining the big picture (pp. 295- 303). Innsbruck: Innsbruck University Press.

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