Using Learning Objects to Enhance Distance or Blended Learning

Document Type


Publication Date

October 2013


Digital Learning Objects, Information Literacy, Library Instruction, Embedded Librarians, Instructional Design


The USF Tampa Library has been creating learning objects to enhance instruction and reference since YouTube came into its own in 2006. Over that period of time, the need for more expertise in creating quality learning objects that can be embedded in course management systems or on the library web site created a shift in priorities and leadership. In 2012 the USF Library hired an Assistant Director for Instruction and a Blended Librarian to provide a new direction for the instruction program, one that would include more online learning components. Both of these experts have helped transform teaching and learning because the Assistant Director for Instruction provided leadership in coordinating efforts to improve instruction and to involve faculty in using online instructional resources while the Blended Librarian helped build digital learning objects that could be used for reference and instruction. Digital learning objects can be the building blocks for reaching students at a distance in online courses and with online reference services. Maryellen Allen, Assistant Director for Instruction and Susan Ariew, Education Librarian discuss characteristics of learning objects, classify types of instructional learning objects, illustrate examples of learning objects that can offer instruction to distance learners, and offer tips on how to get started creating and using learning objects.