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A learning object is "a collection of content items, practice items, and assessment items that are combined based on a single learning objective". The term is credited to Wayne Hogins when he created a working group in 1994 bearing the name though the concept was first described by Gerard in 1967. Learning objects go by many names, including content objects, chunks, educational objects, information objects, intelligent objects, knowledge bits, knowledge objects, learning components, media objects, reusable curriculum components, nuggets, reusable information objects, reusable learning objects, testable reusable units of cognition, training components, and units of learning. Learning objects offer a new conceptualization of the learning process: rather than the traditional "several hour chunk", they provide smaller, self-contained, re-usable units of learning. They will typically have a number of different components, which range from descriptive data to information about rights and educational level. At their core, however, will be instructional content, practice, and assessment. A key issue is the use of metadata. Learning object design raises issues of portability, and of the object's relation to a broader learning management system. (Excerpt from Wikipedia article: Learning Objects)
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