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Solutions for Developing Instructional Software by Creating and Reusing Learning Objects
Eddy W. Boot and Jeroen J.G. Van Merriënboer

Two studies test the potential of template, automation, and intermediate product solutions to overcome problems that hamper the efficient development of instructional software by reuse of learning objects. In the first study, the templates and automation solutions were applied by developers (N = 8) who created and reused large as well as smaller multimedia learning objects—in a familiar and an unfamiliar domain. Developers judged both solutions positively, and rated working with didactical meaningful learning objects higher than working with multimedia objects. However, no differences between the familiar and unfamiliar domain were found and the developers made several remarks on the limitations of reuse. In the second study, the automation solution in combination with a set of (a) regular templates, (b) extended templates, and (c) intermediate products were applied by developers (N = 15) who created and reused learning objects. As expected, the automation solution in combination with the intermediate products yielded the highest quality learning objects, followed by the extended templates and, finally, the regular templates. The two studies show that there is no single solution for all problems of reuse: The problems will only be solved if a well-chosen combination of solutions is applied.

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