Crowd accelerated innovation: The reincarnation of Reusable Learning Objects, Michael Allen.


With an intriguing title and an interested audience we learnt of a change of mind set from Michael Allen towards the concept of re-use of learning objects, as a way of both speeding up the development of e-learning and an answer Dr Kaku’s question how to reduce the cost of learning!

Allen’s proposition is to bring the power of the crowd to solve the problem, and the concepts of individual recognition and collective shared open desire to solve a problem are highlighted as required attributes when seeking to unlock the “wisdom of crowds”.

If correctly assembled, with the appropriate desire and the potential motivator of recognition to the contributors (the shining light) a crowd (in the Cloud) will by collective endeavour overcome the challenge put to it! This is what Allen has done and seeks to continue doing to create more and more RLOs.

A period of the presentation is given over to defining what is actually meant by a RLO. It is not an instructional unit, but a smaller digital, reusable independent piece of learning that can be relevant for different content, applicable to multiple contexts and useful in a variety of learning paradigms.

By using RLO’s in e-learning development the cost and time to develop should be significantly reduced. The trick will be the business model around this development and it is no surprise that Allen Interactions Zebrazapps is a long way toward enabling this approach, in providing an RLO store and the tools to build quality RLO’s quickly and cheaply. We cannot help being impressed by how well thought through this all is!