5th Dr. T.B. Rajashekar Memorial Lecture (2010) : “Why are our readers not using Learning Objects?”

Fifth Dr. TB Rajashekar Memorial lecture held on Friday 4th June 2010 at NCSI seminar hall, IISc, Bangalore. It was jointly organized by NCSI and NCSI-Net, IISc, Bangalore. There was very good and encouraging response from the LIS professional community for the lecture.

Title : “Why are our readers not using Learning Objects?”

Speaker : Prof. Srinivasa Ramani, International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore

Presided by : Dr. Venkadesan, Librarian, JRD Tata Memorial Library, IISc, Bangalore

The event was set in motion with Mr. Francis Jayakanth of NCSI welcoming the well-attended gathering. He gave a brief life sketch of late Dr. TBR emphasizing on TBR’s contributions and initiatives while he served at NCSI. Mr. Francis Jayakanth introduced presiding guest of the talk Dr. Venkadesan, Librarian, IISc, Bangalore. Dr. Venkadesan gave glimpse of Learning Objects in his perception and expressed his curiosity in the talk to follow. He introduced Prof. S. Ramani and requested him to deliver talk.

Dr. Ramani began the lecture by recollecting his interactions with late Dr. TB Rajashekar. According to the speaker, there must be an estimated $1 billion worth of learning materials on the Internet which can be used very effectively to enhance formal and informal learning. He demonstrated two such learning objects – a video on ‘CCR Continuous Chest Compression CPR’ and a virtual chemistry lab.

The concept of Learning Objects (LO) was inspired by Object Oriented Programming. Though there are many definitions of LO, it is widely accepted that a LO must be reusable by a Learning Management System (LMS). Websites like Merlot, Currike, Ariadne, NPTL etc. have large number of learning objects. However, in India there is very less use of Learning Objects in formal learning processes. This could be because LOs are not packaged for use with LMS and naive users are unaware or unable to locate them with simple search engines like google.

To address this we need to have Open Educational Resources expert in every organization who can create awareness about the resources, teach effective searching skills and create educational content from the organization. There could even be a LMS in every library.

There were a number of questions on Video technologies, websites and standards for LO. After very interesting talk Dr. Venkadesan, librarian JRD Tata Memorial Library concluded event with his presidential remarks. Mr. Shivaram BS proposed vote of thanks.