Características de los Objetos de aprendizaje. Granularidad

Some days ago we wrote about Learning Objects (LO) yand we told that soon we would talk about their characteristics. Well, here we are with the ones that are considered as more important.

According to Polsani (2003) they are: accessibility, reusability, and interoperability. Sicília Urbán (2003) added one more, durability.

But… What does that have to do with granularity? That this last characteristic is directly related to reusability, which is related, in turn, to the terms cost (inversion) and time.

Learning Objects –  Characteristics and granularity

    1. Accessibility.
      accesibilidad You can always find a resource and use it anywhere and anytime. Users can access to the convenient content at the right moment and the appropriate device. The elements that favor and guarantee accessibility are: having access to the devices, contents, platforms and services.
    2. Reusability.
      reusabilitat It’s the possibility to use a LO already created, either simply to re-use it, to modify it or to create a new one. When it’s possible to regroup and ungroup quickly and easily a learning object so that it can be used in different educational contexts, we can say that the object is highly reusable.
    3. Interoperability.
      interoperabilitat It’s the quality of LOs that allow us to interchange and mix content from multiple resources and still be able to use them directly in different systems. It represents the adaptability to different computers, systems, etc.
    4. Durability.
      durabilitat Lasting in time in a way in which consumers don’t get stuck in a technology or contents that are obsolete, pursuing not to have to invest significantly in design. Taking into consideration reusability and interoperability we will be, somehow, determining the durability of a LO.
    5. Granularity.
      granularitat It’s the shape, the extension of the contents bound together. It starts from being just a small unit (modular resource represented as a unit or element of content), until they get to be two, three, four or multiple units. The shorter its extension, the greater the flexibility and reusability of the LO.


From the moment in which a LO can be reused, it can be named “Reusable Learning Object” (RLO). It’s possible to reuse A LO/RLO of a high granularity easily, even though it will also depend on other characteristics that we haven’t explained in this post and which are also very important; namely: their quality, metadata, etc.

Therefore, when we design a LO we should take into account, at least, the characteristics we have explained so that we can create exactly what we want in an efficient way. Generally, it’s in our interest that the content is short, containing only what is essential, in a well-structured and tagged way. This means that it will be presented in a clear and concise way, always following some standards (of which we will talk in next publications).

Learning Objects
Now that we already have clear that granularity characterizes our LO in order to be more or less reusable, and at the same time more or less durable and interchangeable; remember also that a LO of a high granularity will be illimitably reusable. And reuse is synonym of saving time and pennies when it comes to design.

But… what happens when we have to look for and find the LO/RLO that best adapts to what we need? It’s not an easy task when we talk about investigating out there, at the infinite world that Internet is. Finding, analyzing and choosing can bring to us lots of headaches, steal time from us, and carry us to designing a LO from the very beginning without having a real need. Snackson simplifies this task substantially, because the LOs are tagged and classified according to diverse categories. This fact makes much easier the search and selection of the LO that we want to combine to create the different didactic sequences of a training activity.

So easy! And now… are you up to seek and create your own microlearning?

Post translated by Carolina Serna

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