Re-use revisited

A couple of years ago I created some html/Javascript templates for our internal elearning, to be used where tutorial style was appropriate.  On principle, influenced by what I was reading at the time and the impending advent of the about-to-be-becoming LMS, we made them standalone, with no links to each other or their parent menu systems, in other words they were designed as reusable learning objects, which could be rebranded for other purposes by changing a style sheet and collecting them in a different menu page. A couple of years down the line and about 50 or more short tutorials later, one of our team has challenged this, his customer insisting on a hard link from one ‘object’ to the next ‘object’ in the sequence.  He asked me (in what I knew was a loaded question) ‘How many times have we ever reused any of these objects as they stand?’  ‘How many customers have accepted an earlier-produced tutorial to form part of their new learning package?’ The answers, as you can guess, were ‘none’ and ‘none’.  The most we’ve reused anything is where they’ve said ‘I’d like it a bit like that but with these changes …’. 

Is this a common experience for others?  Is reusable learning objects another fad of yesteryear or are some of you actually working that way?  Would you say we’d see no benefit at 50 objects but at 500 we will?  When someone tried to get a conversation about SCORM going with me recently, I admit my heart sank and when he started on reusable taggable learning objects I just thought ‘No, please, no!’

I’m on holiday now, I’ll look forward to the comments when I get back.

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