metadata, learning objects, instructional design, collaborative filtering


Digital libraries populated with learning objects are becoming popular tools in the creation of instructional technologies. Many current efforts to create standard metadata structures that facilitate the discovery and instructional use of learning objects recommend a single, authoritative metadata record per version of the learning object. However, as we argue in this paper, a single metadata record -- particularly one with fields that emphasize knowledge management and technology, while evading instructional issues -- provides information insufficient to support instructional utilization decisions. To put learning objects to instructional use, users must examine the individual objects, forfeiting the supposed benefits of the metadata system. As a solution, we propose a system that includes multi-record, non-authoritative metadata focussed on the surrounding instructional context of learning objects.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Taylor & Francis


Recker, M. & Wiley, D. (21). A non-authoritative educational metadata ontology for filtering and recommending learning objects. Journal of Interactive Learning Environments: Special issue on metadata, 1-17.




David O. McKay School of Education


Instructional Psychology and Technology