Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Bernard J. Dodge, PhD; Douglas B. Fisher, PhD; Viviana Alexandrowicz, PhD


children & youth, digital libraries, digital media, education, instructional needs, instructional practices, K-12 teachers, learning objects, mixed methods study, Repertory Grid Technique


In recent years, learning objects have emerged as an instructional tool for teachers. Digital libraries and collections provide teachers with free or fee-base access to a variety of learning objects from photos and famous speeches to Flash animations and interactive Java Applets. Learning objects offer opportunities for students to interact with digital media in ways that can bring concepts and ideas to life. Students can visualize what changes in matter might look like and practice math skills like multiplying decimals. They can even receive instant feedback and interact with tutorials as many times as needed. The purpose of this mixed methods study is to examine how K-12 teachers determine the characteristics of learning objects that meet their instructional needs. Capturing snapshots of what characteristics of learning objects that successful K-12 teachers select may lead to a clearer picture that could advance the use of learning objects in the classroom. By incorporating learning objects into their instructional practices, teachers can enhance their instruction as well as demonstrate to media savvy students how to use readily available learning objects to express and communicate what they've learned. In order to identify the characteristics of learning objects that teachers deem useful, a small sample of K-12 teachers experienced in using learning objects were interviewed using the Repertory Grid Technique. This technique is used to elicit personal constructs. In this study, a representative group of learning objects were examined to elicit constructs or characteristics about learning objects with regard to instructional use. The resulting learning object characteristics were analyzed to determine if the characteristics deemed useful by teachers are aligned to the characteristics that learning object designers use.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access