What I found interesting in the early chapters of Weller (2020) was the idea of Learning Objects (LO). This concept of modular components that can be mix and matched to develop courses efficiently is attractive especially in my experience with transfer credit evaluations. For example, we may assess a first-year statistics course to be equivalent across institutions A, B, and C. However, a similar introductory statistics course offered at institutions D and E are assessed to be not eligible for transfer credits. Many questions arise regarding the differences in learning outcomes, expectations, quality, and curriculum. If the fundamental concepts of statistics are the same globally, why are the courses not equivalent? Additionally, would the application of LO level the playing field in terms of the quality of education across institutions? After that, would the rankings and accreditation of schools be influenced more by the quality of educators compared to the quality of the content?
As Weller (2020) described, learning and educational content should be a flavourful interaction between educator and learners. The material should spark dialogue, discussion and reflection. I believe that gaining knowledge is more than just absorbing and knowing, but also the application and experience that comes with it. This leads directly to Weller’s notion that education is messy (2020). Each educator will bring unique flavour to the course such as personal experience, alternative ideas, and context. This adds value to a course which expands the learner experience beyond the initial purpose and design of the LO. It may also be meaningful to compare the learning experiences offered by educators who were trained to teach compared to lecturers who are experts in their field but have not been formally trained to teach.
Weller, M. (2020). 25 Years of Ed Tech. Athabasca University Press.