According to Edutech's Wiki, a Learning Object Repository (LOR) is:
- A kind of digital library. It enables educators to share, manage and use educational resources. A more narrow definition would also require that repositories implement a metadata standard
- Stores content/assets/resources as well as their metadata record
In Edvance360, the LOR resides behind the tool called "Resources" and allows for the storage of all content objects and questions/question banks. These objects can be questions/question banks, PDFs, MP3s, MP4s, Word, PowerPoints, hyperlinks, and any other standard file format (and some not-so-standard ones). Note: SCORMS are uploaded in a separate area.
The beauty of an LOR is the STORAGE and TIME it saves course designers and faculty. Once the learning object (LO) is uploaded (either individually or as a part of a bulk upload) to the Resources Tool/LOR, it is available for use and reuse throughout the system, never having to be re-uploaded again, even if it has been used hundreds of times! The storage impact is minimal (which makes IT happy). That's the storage savings. The time savings comes into play when a course designer finds a question with a mis-spelling, answers to questions that are too confusing, or the file needs to be updated with new information/standards/etc. Instead of having to remember all the locations of that question, those answers, or that file, a course designer simply makes the changes to the question/answer/file within the LOR. It then replaces that question/answer/file wherever it resides. No links are broken. No stats reset. Time saved.
To build out a course with LOs, the course designer simply selects the object while within the Course Lessons or the entire folder in the Course Resources. They can also be uploaded as resources within a Community. As long as the LOs are tagged with descriptive tags, the LOs will be searchable from the Home Page Search.
Each step within a Lesson is usually made up of instructions for the learner and at least one learning object or pertinent course tool (e.g. discussion forums/posts, wiki entries, surveys, quizzes/test, etc.) - together referred to as Course Content. Learn more about Types of Course Content by reading our QuickStart Guide.
Each user is provided with their own Resource Repository to store their own LOs as well as potentially given access to a Department Resource Repository and/or Global Resource Repository to share information across the organization. Files can be shared from repository to repository and a Google Docs integration is available.
The Department Resource Repositories and Global Learning Object Repository (or Global Repository for short) are used by organizations to share and control access to content. Each user's access is determined by their role. Administrators have access to the Global Learning Object Repository to which they can upload resources to share with all other users as well as access to each user's LOR.
Using an LOR provides the following benefits:
- Upload files only once, use them in many courses
- Any changes made to an LO automatically changes it anywhere that LO is in use
- Any LOs added/deleted/modified in a folder are automatically reflected in anywhere that folder is shared
- Storage space is kept to a minimum by not having to upload large files to every course
- Course designers use the bulk upload to quickly upload all the files on their computer (backed up)
- When courses are cloned/copied, the content does not need to be uploaded again since it all points back to the original file in the repository
- Integrates with Google Docs
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