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ACRL DLS Chair: Kristin Miller Woodward
Vice-Chair: Natalie Haber
Secretary: Andrea Hebert
Archivist: Mike Courtney
Webmasters: Tim Ream and Katie Stewart (dlswebcontact@gmail.com)

Top 5 Articles About Creating Learning Objects

By Kim Wobick and Carrie Girton

With the start of a new school year, many of us are or will soon be creating and updating learning objects for our students. Whether you’re working on tutorials, infographics, or modules, these articles have great tips to get you started and help you create captivating and helpful learning objects.

To read more articles about learning objects, take a look at the citation list the Research and Publications committee has compiled.

To view the entire bibliography we have compiled, visit the DLS Zotero library.
Please note: this list contains items that have been published since the last DLS Bibliography. Our post from May 10, 2017 provides more detail and explanation of the new format.

Ferrance, C., & West, P. J. (2017). Standardizing and managing online tutorials for improved learning. In ACRL 2017 Proceedings (pp. 656–661). Baltimore, MD: ACRL. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/conferences/confsandpreconfs/2017/StandardizingandManagingOnlineTutorials.pdf

This paper outlines the challenges faced by the George Mason University libraries to assess and organize the varied collection of library-created tutorials that had been produced over time, with the goal of unifying the look and feel of the tutorials as well as making them easier to locate by all users. This project was assisted by the creation of an Instructional Design Librarian position, as well as the Learning Technologies Lab, which provides the software and hardware needed to create tutorials in one central place.

A working group was formed to formally evaluate existing tutorials, organize the storage of these objects, and design a template that would be utilized for all future products. Tutorial content is also mapped to both the ACRL information literacy framework as well as the Mason instructional learning outcomes, assisting in forward planning for tutorial creation. It took three years for the goal of a unified bank of tutorials to be achieved, working through challenges such as web site redesign, negotiations for server space and equipment, and bureaucracy. The end result produced a bank of 120 uniformly branded tutorials which were more easily accessed by users.

Takeaways:

  • Partnerships within both the library and the institution are important. Having buy-in and assistance from librarians, faculty, as well as the IT department is critical to achieving project goals.
  • Maintenance of storage and backup processes and spaces ensure that tutorials don’t get lost in the shuffle and are easily retrieved by creators for editing and revision when needed.
  • As with any major project, the ability to be flexible and patient with every aspect of the work is critical.

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