Definitions, Examples of Digital Learning Objects, Media Objects

Learning Object

A learning object is instruction that may be used as a single topic or may be cross disciplinary.  It might be viewed singly, grouped, arranged, or chunked so that patterns are formed that present different perspectives.  The Learning Technologies Standards Committee call learning objects any entity, digital or non-digital, which can be used, re-used or referenced during technology supported-learning (LOM, 2000).  NETg, Inc. uses the term “NETg learning object” and applies a three part definition:   a learning objective, a unit of instruction that teaches the objective and a unit of assessment that measure the objective (L’Allier, 1998).

Learning Objects grouped to form objectives or courses
Learning Objects grouped to form objectives or courses

Digital Media Object

Digital Media Objects  (DMOs)are similar to digital learning objects.  The difference lies in the original definition of media and the fact that it is not confined to a learning usage.  When the media take on more effective, more explicit, or different or alternative meanings and usages or become augmented to something more than their original functionality, the media becomes a media object.  For years architects and artists have used perspective and animation to add a third dimension to the flat world of paper or screen. Digital media objects continue that use and add other effects.

DMOs can exist as video, graphics, photos, drawings, film and even as text.  For example the headings in this paper or the bullet point of a simple Power Point, have added effects of creating structure and awareness.  The words might be italicized with the specific purpose that a reader becomes aware of a need for attention or reflection or definition.  Adding or acquiring meaning through media objects can either clarify or mislead or do both.  Here the bulleted, italicized words become a media object that exemplifies the textual meaning and acquires the author’s intentional meaning.


  • Is something accepted without proof
  • Is often inaccurate

Color is another way to give additional meaning to text.  The right colors will convey the presenters correct meaning, but the wrong color could just confuse the meaning.   In the example, “hot” colors enhance the meaning.  The color, blue, however detracts.

Hot and Cold

Note:  Media objects that are used in text are not always viewable in the “printer friendly” or “accessible” versions.

Another way in which text can become a media object is when a word or words become designed concepts.  An example of a designed concept is the well-known FedEx arrow that embodies the special meaning of the company’s mission.  The embedded arrow transforms any instance of the word into a message that denotes moving forward.

Find the FedEx Arrow
Find the FedEx Arrow

Even the mere organization of text and media can add meaning.


1 thought on “Definitions, Examples of Digital Learning Objects, Media Objects”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.