Instructional designers' conceptualisations of learning objects


  • David E. Francis Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology
  • Elizabeth Murphy Memorial University of Newfoundland



The purpose of the study reported on in this paper was to gain insight into how instructional designers conceptualise learning objects (LOs) and their attributes. It aimed to identify the range and types of conceptualisations of LO attributes held by a group of designers. Data were collected during two phases of semi-structured phone interviews with 10 instructional designers working in Canadian colleges and universities. Open, axial and selective coding were used to analyse data. Designers identified the following attributes of LOs: digital, interactive, pedagogically purposeful, pedagogically worthwhile, pedagogically assessable, usable, reusable, peer reviewable and granular. Designers conceptualised LOs and their attributes with more of a focus on pedagogical best practices rather than a focus on technical definitions of LOs.


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Author Biographies

David E. Francis, Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology

Academic Director, Virtual Campus
Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST)

Elizabeth Murphy, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education
Memorial University




How to Cite

Francis, D. E., & Murphy, E. (2008). Instructional designers’ conceptualisations of learning objects. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 24(5).

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