Learning Objects (LOs) versus Open Educational Resources (OERs)

This resource explains the difference between learning objects and open educational resources.

Learning Objects are a type of Open Educational Resource (OER). They are more restrictive than OERs in that LOs are typically reused as is whereas OERs may be reused, re-purposed or modified.  Both have metadata associated with them such as the digital rights, usually with creative commons, and learning design (objective, or description of learning context).

With learning objects, you can:

  • reuse and
  • repurpose them.

With open educational resources, you are able to:

  • reuse,
  • redistribute,
  • revise, and
  • remix them.

Linney: A Learning Object Repository

The Linney wordmark

Linney is a learning object repository that aims to promote an atmosphere of sharing where learning objects can be searched, reused, repurposed and contributed.

CITL embarked on a learning object repository initiative in 2009 with the aim of assembling forty years of educational media into an accessible, searchable repository. The repository, Linney, is reminiscent of an out-building where objects for household work are kept, easily found and freely (re)used as purpose intended, or for a new purpose, by those in the community. This is the essence of Linney; it is an online repository used to house and facilitate the use of learning objects.

How was the name Linney chosen?
In the colourful history of Newfoundland and Labrador a linney, or lean-to, occupies our cultural landscape as a small shed or room attached to the back of a house and used for the storage and shelter of a range of useful items needed from day to day.

Memorial University hosts the provincial learning object repository, called Linney, which is a place for rich learning objects to be discovered and used to augment a world of projects and curriculum. It’s a place where we keep a wide range of value-added interpretation on the past through a variety of media to use as tools for better education. They are housed in much the same way as useful items are stored in a linney, where members of the household can search, reuse, repurpose, and even contribute learning objects.

The spelling of Linney is derived from the English dialect, which defines a linney as a shed attached to the back of a dwelling. It is, at once, an expression of Newfoundland and Labrador’s rich history and part of our heritage. From this past we look to the future as we harness the possibilities of our learning object repository.

Developed by Memorial University’s Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL), Linney began as a repository to house forty years of multimedia objects and assets created by CITL and to make them available to the wider teaching and learning community. Since then, Linney has evolved into a comprehensive repository that will be available to Newfoundland and Labrador’s K-20 public education system so that expertise and resources can be shared. Digital rights will be acknowledged through the use of Creative Commons in a self-serve model where users access, use and contribute learning objects to the repository.

What are the criteria for Linney contributions?

Contributions Criteria

  1. Includes learning design (learning objective, description of how it’s used in instructional event)
  2. Digital (or able to be digitized)
  3. Legible format (minimum quality)
  4. Meet file size maximum (consider file type and size)
  5. Willing to share with other communities, use creative commons
  6. Ownership clearly identified (able to provide permission to contribute)
  7. Interoperable (playable on multiple platforms and devices)

Other Repositories

  • OpenDOAR is a site that lists all open repositories around the world.
  • MERLOT II is repository of peer reviewed multimedia educational resources for learning and online teaching
  • Metropolitan Museum offers free access to over 400 000 high res images for scholarly use. As long as the image has OASC (Open Access for Scholarly Content) in the info it is free for non-commercial use.
  • Rijksmuseum offers free downloads for both commercial and non-commercial use.
Resource created by Vanessa M. & Jane C.