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Wednesday, October 26 • 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Online learning enhancements at Athabasca University

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A demonstration of learning objects created at AU in 2011 using open coding for easy reuse and adaptation in other disciplines.


Athabasca University produced 25 multimedia learning objects for 17 high-enrolment online courses in 2010-2011. Since the pedagogical focus was on supporting student learning of particularly difficult concepts in such subjects as calculus, biology, music, human resources management, finance and accounting, the enhancements were designed to engage students in content through interactivity. The overall goal of the project was to develop open, reusable resources that could be released as OERs and that could be easily adapted to other courses, disciplines and contexts. Part of a larger project in open course development, the applications were designed to allow content to be replaced without reprogramming. We aim to build tools that will allow subject matter experts to create their own learning objects without deep technical expertise.

Teams of designers, programmers and professors built the learning resources using a collaborative and iterative development process. Special one-time funding supported the hiring of staff who were able to focus exclusively on these enhancements. Formative evaluations of the learning objects are underway, and demonstrations for faculty have created interest for adaptation of the original resources in other courses as well.

We will demonstrate a selection of the learning objects and illustrate the ease with which reuse can be arranged.

avatar for Dr. Cindy Ives

Dr. Cindy Ives

Professor, Athabasca University
Dr. Cindy Ives is now Professor in the graduate programs in Distance Education at Athabasca University, after a long career as an an instructor, educational developer, researcher, distance educator, course developer, academic administrator, including vice-president academic, and evaluation... Read More →

Wednesday October 26, 2011 1:45pm - 3:15pm MDT
White Pine, Painted Horse, Arrowhead

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