Learning Objects

Producing a Learning Object is an effective way to design a self-contained component of learning. Learning Objects are typically web-based interactive ‘chunks’ of learning that express a definable concept or learning objective. They are suitable for reuse in different teaching or learning situations possibly with some modification.
This makes digital learning objects highly flexible and productive tools for online learning that can be shared and reused. These are often called Reusable Learning Objects (RLO) and where the creator makes them available for free use under licence, they can form part of Open Educational Resources (OER).
Learning objects may use several files and file types from text to images, videos and even tests so you can deliver one learning outcome to your students and test their understanding in one bundle of content.

How does it work?

You have probably already created learning objects without considering it, for example, the instructional screencasts of library resources can be considered learning objects.
The most effective learning objects have:
  1. A clear purpose or achievable learning objective.
  2. Concise instructions and relevant sources and materials.
  3. A defined sequence or path to follow to achieve the learning objective.
  4. A high level of interactivity or involvement to promote critical thinking and to engage the learner fully.


  1. Directly answer a key need or question related to a student’s assignment or learning outcomes.
  2. Make good use of external sources and resources, including multimedia.
  3. Are short in length and self-contained.

There is no single tool for creating learning objects but thinking about what you want to deliver as self-contained units of learning can help focus your choice of technologies.

You might like to try creating learning objects in the studentcentral Learning Modules tool, which allows staff to make a learning object using Blackboard’s content and interactive tools in studentcentral.