Home » Distance Library Instruction Virtual Poster Session (2019) » Tracking and Maintaining Online Learning Objects


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Tracking and Maintaining Online Learning Objects

This poster is part of the Distance Library Instruction Virtual Poster Session hosted by the ACRL DLS Instruction Committee. We encourage you to ask questions and engage in discussion on this poster! Authors will respond to comments between April 1-5.


Erica Getts, Johns Hopkins University

Poster Description:

Have you ever found an outdated tip sheet, tutorial, or any other kind of learning object somewhere on your website or just want to make sure you never do? Then check out this poster on one library’s workflow for tracking and maintaining all of their online learning objects!


(Click screenshot to visit poster)

About the Presenter 

Erica Getts is a Distance Education Librarian serving a population of non-traditional students. In addition to providing reference and course development services, she helps maintain a self-paced, credit-bearing, online, information literacy course, and she is her team’s accessibility and copyright expert.


  1. The maintenance struggle is real.

    You mention encouraging instructors to link to your LOs instead of hosting them in their course shells. I see how this is much easier for maintenance—but what do you do for class-specific tutorials or activities? Do you host nothing in the online classes at all? Have you found that instructors are less or more willing to link out to a LO instead of having it hosted in their online course shell?

    Side note: what program did you use to create this poster? I love the simplicity of the design.

    • I don’t think that instructors are more or less willing to embed/link vs. hosting. I think it is more about what the instructional designer for the course would like to do, and in our case, they prefer to embed/link anyway. Actually, instructors are more concerned about hosting readings because they are concerned they might be pulled from the web or a database, but we have to explain the copyright/licensing issues involved with that.

      I used Articulate Storyline 3 to make this poster. It has a high learning curve, but allows you to do so much once you become more familiar with. I know it can do so much more than I am even using it for!

  2. If the LOs are linked rather than hosted, how are assessments of the LOs gathered?

    I second the question of your poster design! Please share the program 🙂

    • At this point, all assessments are being done outside of the learning object. Meaning, the student is tested via a quiz in the course on the content of the LO or they have to complete an assignment that they can only complete if they interacted with the LO.

      I used Articulate Storyline 3 https://articulate.com/p/storyline-3, which you can host in an LMS and have students graded/tracked if that is what works for your school.

  3. This is a great presentation/poster and I loved the design! I like tracking liaisons work as well as the Online Learning Librarian, but I have a hard time “making” library liaisons tell me about their work or tracking it in a form (we use LibInsight to track digital object creation). Do you fill this out yourself with them or how do you incentive the other librarians in your department to add to this spreadsheet?

    • Thanks!

      My team is pretty unique, which makes something like this a little easier to organize. We actually provide services to an all online college that is not JHU affiliated, so the handful of us that are librarians on this team are all Distance Education Librarians. Basically, we all have different areas of expertise, but we don’t have that liaison v. any other kind of librarian distinction. So, the short answer is: we all add to this when we do something. However, I understand that we are unique and what works for us may not work for everyone. I think an incentive can be that the liaison can get help updating their LO if they buy into this.

  4. As others have mentioned here, this is a fantastic poster and very inspiring. How many librarians contribute/maintain this spreadsheet? How did you all come to an agreement that this was the best method for keeping track? I appreciate the notes with your spreadsheet examples as well. Thank you!

    • Thank you!

      The number of librarians working on this spreadsheet has fluctuated between 5 and 7. The team decided to do this before I worked here, so I am not 100% sure how they landed on this idea, but I would guess ease of use and cost were big factors! We are also very collaborative, so this streamlines how we can help one another.

  5. Great poster, Erica! The secret is out and I hope it is shared again and again to help others to organize and maintain their workflow for learning objects!

  6. Hello Erica,

    This is a great way to share a way to keep track/inventory of how websites or Libguides have iterations and it helps for creating an example of what can change and how things are useful. This also shows that Excel is a more familiar program for people. For the organizer/librarian/educator, this is a good workflow process.


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