Costs and sustainability of learning object repositories

William Bramble, Mariya Pachman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Reusable learning objects (LOs) constitute a promising approach to the development of easily accessible, technologically sound, and curriculum aligned learning resources. Many research forums and scholarly articles have focused on the reusability of learning objects, metadata, and context issues, but few sources describe the economic challenges involved in implementing and sustaining an LO repository. What are the costs of establishing and maintaining a LO repository? Should funding for establishing and maintaining LO repositories come from institutional resources, consortium fees, grant money, LO sales, or other sources? To answer these questions we consider a variety of LO cost factors. We look at economic models used in distance education to see what they can tell us about LO economies. We discuss the relationship of funding approaches and operational scope (of a LO system) through considering a funding matrix that describes possible funding approaches. We discuss several emerging trends that may contribute to the future of learning resources from an economic perspective. Lastly, we provide several practical recommendations for funding LO repositories. In conclusion, we highlight developmental factors for LO repositories as they relate to the scope of operation and funding methods.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of research on learning design and learning objects
Subtitle of host publicationissues, applications, and technologies
EditorsLori Lockyer, Sue Bennett, Shirley Agostinho, Barry Harper
Place of PublicationHershey, PA
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781599048628
ISBN (Print)9781599048611
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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