Document Type





metadata structure, interoperability, ontology




Library and Information Science


The structural, functional, and production views on learning objects influence metadata structure and vocabulary. We drew on these views and conducted a literature review and in-depth analysis of 14 learning objects and over 500 components in these learning objects to model the knowledge framework for a learning object ontology. The learning object ontology reported in this paper consists of 8 top-level classes, 28 classes at the second level, and 34 at the third level. Except class Learning object, all other classes have the three properties of preferred term, related term, and synonym. To validate the ontology, we conducted a query log analysis that focused on discovering what terms users have used at both conceptual and word levels. The findings show that the main classes in the ontology are either conceptually or linguistically similar to the top terms in the query log data. We built an Exercise Editor as an informal experiment to test its ability to be adopted in authoring tools. The main contribution of this project is in the framework for the learning object domain and methodology used to develop and validate an ontology.

Additional Information

This is a preprint of an article accepted for publication in Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology copyright (C) [2006] (American Society for Information Science and Technology)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.