Aiming for the stars: challenges in managing the development of shareable online learning objects

Catherine Clark, Carmel O'Sullivan, Carol Newton-Smith

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera


Increasing numbers of students, student preferences for “anywhere, anytime” learning, and more demand for information literacy sessions requires libraries to explore new ways to effectively sustain information literacy programmes. This paper explores some of the challenges that were highlighted during the creation and distribution of shareable online learning objects for students at the University of Western Australia. The learning objects were designed for a range of students and courses.

The results of user surveys and reviews informed content areas of online learning objects. An environmental scan and literature review were carried out to determine design criteria, suitable software for learning object creation, optimum size of learning objects (based on pedagogical evidence). In order to make these decisions it was also necessary to carry out an organisational audit which considered areas such as technical expertise, subject expertise, local requirements on accessibility, integration with local systems and strategic directions.

A number of issues were identified throughout the process e.g. gaps in the skill base of librarians and how the transfer of knowledge can be done if work is outsourced. Design criteria for shareable learning objects were developed based on findings of the needs analysis, environmental scan, literature review and organisational audit.

Aiming for best practice in managing learning objects presents library managers with a number of complex challenges such as the balance between pedagogy and technology. Decisions need to be made with a long term broad view and a deep understanding of the organisational culture and priorities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
EventInformation Online 2009, ALIA 14th Exhibition and Conference - Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 20 Jan 200922 Jan 2009


ConferenceInformation Online 2009, ALIA 14th Exhibition and Conference


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