Learning Objects

Written by Alexis Alexander
September 15, 2017 • 1 minute read

Learning objects provide educators an opportunity to share, utilize, and customize course material within Canvas, USF's learning management system (LMS).

Canvas Commons is a learning object repository that enables educators to find, import, and share resources. Canvas users can share everything from entire modules of content to games, videos, and other media that can bring a fresh new angle to your curriculum. These learning objects can prove to be pivotal in crafting a learning experience that is modern, effective, and personal.

If you think of your curriculum as a smartphone, then learning objects are the apps. Learning objects are a new way of thinking about course content; instead of providing all of the material for an entire course or lecture, they provide materials for discrete lessons or sub-lessons within a large course. This allows for full creative liberty in customizing students' learning experiences. A learning object is:

  • Self-contained: Each learning object can be consumed independently.
  • Reusable: A single learning object can potentially be used in multiple contexts for multiple purposes, and most can be edited.
  • Aggregate: Learning objects can be grouped into collections, allowing for their inclusion within a traditional course structure (e.g., a series of videos).
  • Tagged with metadata: Every learning object has descriptive information allowing it to be easily found by a search – facilitating the object being used by others.

Canvas Commons is a database of learning objects, allowing instructors to find and tailor content to their curriculum's specific needs.

Visit Canvas Support to download an overview of Canvas Commons.

In the Commons, there are specific search features for each category of items you can use in an online Canvas course. These objects range from modules to isolated material, such as surveys and animations. Refer to the Resources section of this page for tutorials and guides on importing Learning Objects from Canvas Commons to your Canvas course.

Have you or someone you know successfully used learning objects in your course? We'd love to hear! Email instructionaldesign@usfca.edu to share your story.

Access Canvas at USF or learn more about the learning management system at the Canvas ITT resource page.

To learn how to use Canvas effectively in your course, contact Instructional Design to request a consultation.

Contact Instructional Technologies & Training to schedule a training session and access self-guided training materials.