Generative learning object

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“Learning Objects (LOs) are digital resources that can be used (and reused) to support the learning process. Generative Learning Objects (GLOs) are generic and reusable LOs from which the specific LO content can be generated on demand. (Damaševičius & Štuikys, 2008).”

“The first phase of learning objects, whilst engaging, interactive and educationally effective, is limited in some respects. The basic unit of reuse is the object as a whole and this leads to marked limitation in productivity. GLOs provide a more flexible format for developing learning objects which supports both increased productivity in initial development and flexible repurposing by local tutors. (Generative Learning Object Maker, retrieved 15:47, 21 November 2008 (UTC))”

“The traditional approach to reuse of learning objects has been to separate content from context in order to make the content reusable. However, it is not content but the quality of the learning design that is most important for effective learning. The generative learning object (GLO) approach thus inverts the traditional approach. It extracts successful pedagogical designs and makes these the basis for reuse. (User Guide for the GLO-Maker v1 Authoring tool, retrieved 15:47, 21 November 2008 (UTC))”


Example of a generative learning object: a Flash movie that shows the student a picture of a building. At the edges of the picture are a series of pictures of "experts" (archeologist, town planner, modern historian). The student clicks on each of the experts to watch a video which shows them explaining their views on the building (Learning outcome: students understand that how different people interpret objects and how their relationship to the object may differ hugely). This learning object could easily be re-purposed in many different disciplines. In trying to come up with designs for GLOs we were encouraged to:

  • find the pedagogical pattern that works
  • create the Generative Learning object
  • make it easily adaptable (e.g. by allowing the user to edit text fields).
(Generative Learning Objects in the Making: a hands-on workshop from RLO-CETL, retrieved 15:47, 21 November 2008 (UTC)).



  • Boyle, T. (2003). Design principles for authoring dynamic, reusable learning objects. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 19, 1, 46-58. HTML
  • Boyle, T., Leeder, D.C. & Chase, H. (2004). To boldly GLO - Towards the next generation of learning objects. Panel session at E-Learn, November 1-5, Washington DC, USA. Word
  • Morales, R., Leeder, D. & Boyle, T. (2005). A Case in the Design of Generative Learning Objects (GLOs): Applied Statistical Methods. In P. Kommers & G. Richards (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2005 (pp. 2091-2097). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Abstract/PDF
  • Damaševičius, Robertas and Vytautas Štuikys (2008). On the Technological Aspects of Generative Learning Object Development, Springer, ISBN 978-3-540-69923-1, DOI 10.1007/978-3-540-69924-8_31--------

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