Glossary: Learning Resource Types

Learning resource type definitions and example resources for higher education.

Resources intended to facilitate the exchange of information, views and interactions between members of a community.

Ask-an-expert resources are generally a type of forum where individuals can pose questions to experts in the field. Responses are generally shared as an archive for visitors.
Example resource: Ask-A-Geologist or Ask Dr Math.

This type is for resources highlighting programs, grants, awards and prizes for exceptional merit, research, performance, study, writing or other professional/educational endeavors. Student competitions fit within this resource type. This resource type is preferably used for calls for participation rather than cataloging winners of awards or recognition.
Example resource: AIAA Student Competitions or NCIIA - National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance

Blogs, or weblogs, are web pages updated regularly by short pieces from one person or a group. Blogs typically permit comments and therefore allow a small amount of discussion. Blogs are a one-to-many resource, where one person or group communicates with many readers. If the interactivity is such that there are many contributors and responders preferably use Discussion Forum/Mailing List/Newsletters. Blogs are distinct from newsletters and mailing lists in that posts are generally not emailed out to a group of readers but rather read with dedicated readers such as RSS.
Example resource: How to Change the World: A Practical blog for Impractical People or Pat Campbell's Blog at FairerScience - Gender Equity in Science and Math

Discussion Forum/Mailing List/Newsletter
This resource type combines three related types. Discussion forums refer to sites that allow synchronous or aysnchronous exchange of views. Often they are organized into threads or topics and allow both moderators and the public to contribute. Mailing lists typically require subscribing your email address to a community address allowing the owner of the list to mail its members and, typically, members to use the list to contact other members. Newsletters are for services that typically require subscribing with an email address to a regular mailing by a person or organization. Resources in this type are often archived on the web for reference and to attract future users. In general reserve this resource type for the home pages of the forums, lists, and newsletters. If you are cataloging an individual forum topic, mailing list post, or newsletter please use Reference - Article/Document'
Example resource: The Teachers' Lounge or Tomorrow's Professor Mailing List or Pre-Engineering Times Newsletter by Engineering Education Service Center

This category includes community websites that don't fit into any of the other categories. Often this type will include homepages of institutes, centers, committees and organisations. If these organisations have separate resources such as blogs, forums or newsletters these can be cataloged separately with their associated resource type.
Example resource: ACM's Committee on Women in Computing- Website or Advanced Technology Environmental Education Center (ATEEC).

Wikis are collaborative tools that allow members of a community, typically after creating an account, to edit webpages and create new webpages within a simple to use wiki editor. Wikis can be used for different reasons. Please reserve this resource type for resources that are primarily only wikis. If a wiki has a distinct learning objective, such as the CS160 wiki, which is a course, please catalog it under the relevant learning resource type.
Example resource: CFD wiki - The Free CFD reference or Wired How To Wiki

Reference material serving as an archive of authoritative information or additional information to supplement teaching and learning.

Use for: Papers, documents, news articles, or books (except textbooks) that are substantially text (including hypertext, and text-based communications), except where that text is a specific learning resource under another category, such as a listing (use: index), serves an evaluative purpose (use: assessment) or textbook (use: textbook). If the article is a research paper about engineering education please use the Educational Research Paper resource type
IEEE LOM title: Narrative text
Example resource: AAAS President John P. Holdren Urges Swift Action to Build a Sustainable Future or Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century.

Data Set
A website or document with data useful for educational purposes. This category could also be used for resources that provide tools for using scientific or engineering data for educational purposes.
Example resource: Mineral Spectroscopy Server or Ceramics Database.

Educational Research Paper
Research papers on engineering education.
Example resource: Designing Mobile Digital Library Services for Pre-engineering and Technology Literacy or Improving the retention rates of women in computing: An intervention program

A work or website containing useful facts or information (e.g. related research, technical manuals) that does not fit into the other reference categories. A student might consult this during independent research. An instructor might link resources in this catagory on their course website. It does not have a guided component. It may comprise hyperlinked pages, but a specific path through it is not designated.
Example resource: A History of Thermal Joining: Welding and Brazing or ABAG earthquake maps and information.

This category combines two types of resources:

Text Book
Use this category specifically for text books. As with all learning objects, this could be an online resource, a CD ROM or one that is only available in hardcopy form.
Example resource: Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms or Creating Breakthrough Products.

The image, likeness, or representation of something material or immaterial. Use for any learning resource that consists or contains visual representation(s) other than text, including photographs, maps, and visual hypermedia.
IEEE LOM title: Diagram, Figure, Graph
Example resource: Boeing Image Gallery or Chemist's Art Gallery.

Resources intended to facilitate teaching or enhance learning.

Assessment of student learning outcomes or educational program evaluation. Resources in this category include exams, questionnaires, quizzes, practicums, applied through oral or written questions or procedures that assess the knowledge or ability of pupils or of candidates for degrees. Includes materials that support teacher design or development of such materials (e.g., rubrics), materials that support existing assessments (e.g., answer keys), or materials that relate to the philosophy of assessment (e.g., articles about performance and authentic assessment). Also includes the assessment or evaluation of oneself, one's actions or attitudes by oneself, such as for a self-assessment. This category could also be used for program evaluation, such as ABET self-assessments.
IEEE LOM Title: Exam, Self-assessment
Example resource: Classroom Assessment Techniques from the Field-tested Learning Assessment Guide (FLAG) for STEM Instructors or ABET/ EAC Program Self-Study for Achitectural Engineering.

An in-depth example, real or generated, which can be used to illustrate concrete concepts about one or more topics. Typically used as a basis for discussion or as a student exercise. Examples include case studies, engineering applications of design in industry, ethics cases, or an example engineering project that highlights a role model.
Example resources: Mattel Color Spin: A Multimedia Case Study in Engineering Design or E-Commerce Business Ethics Case Studies

Defined as a sequence of instructional units, often a semester or quarter long, designed by a teacher (or a faculty or other group of teachers) to significantly advance student skills, knowledge, and habits of mind in a particular discipline and to help students meet specified requirements (as set forth in a curricula or district or state policy).
Example resource: Advanced Topics in New Media at the University of California at Berkeley or Civil and Environmental Engineering OpenCourseware at MIT.

Curricular Unit
Defined as a group of lessons, activities, and/or other teaching resources that provide a multi-class experience for students in a single topic. A curricular unit is typically longer than a single class period and shorter than a full class. A series of curricular units may make up a course.
Example resource: All Caught Up: Bycatching and Design or Core Needs and Modules in Biotransport

A curriculum is a sequence of courses that makes up a student's path through an educational program. A curriculum will typically be made up of a set of core courses together with a number of optional elective courses.
Example resource: Entrepreneurship Curriculum, Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, UC Berkeley or Undergraduate Civil Engineering Curriculum - Virginia Military Institute.

Resources used to demonstrate particular topics or principles. These resources include videos of experiments that can be used to help illustrate the topics during a lesson or for private study.
Example resource: Micromachines: Movie Gallery or Factory Tour - Wood Pellet Plant.

Educational Game
A game used to enhance the educational experience and intended to illustrate concepts through a non-threatening and enjoyable environment. Typically involves simulation and/or modeling within a scenario with certain goals.
Example resource: Parade of Trades: A Computer Game for Understanding Variability and Dependence or Plasma Pong.

Educator's Guide/Manual
Resources intended for the instructor, rather than the student. Includes guides to instructors for use of a lesson plan or use of software for educational purposes.
Example resource: Tips for Enhancing Online Discussion or Inclusion in Science Education for Students with Disabilities.

Laboratory/Experiment/Field Activity
A laboratory, field trip or hands-on classroom activity that students are asked to do, often as a part of a lesson plan or other larger unit of instruction, to help them develop particular skills, knowledge, or habits of mind. An experiment could be an exercise designed to discover something unknown, to test a hypothesis, or establish or illustrate some known truth. This category also includes field activities, such as informal science data collection.
IEEE LOM title: Experiment
Example resource: Satellite Tracker or A Mobile Butterfly-Watching Learning System for Supporting Independent Learning

A talk or lecture given before an audience upon a given subject, usually for the purpose of instruction. Includes, but is not limited to, lecture videos or PowerPoint slides.
IEEE LOM title: Lecture, Slide
Example resource: Educational Podcasting or Martin Luther King, Jr.: "I Have a Dream"

Lesson Plan
Instructions or guidance to aid an instructor for a sequence of activities to make up the structure of a lesson. May include content to be covered, slides and a list of materials that will be required. The term "lesson plan" is used primarily for K-12 education or outreach programs.
Example resource: TeacherTECH and GirlTECH Lesson Plans or Exploring Machine Motion Design.

Practice Problems/Exercises
Material that enables students to practice their knowledge on a topic on sample questions and sets of problems and exercises. Typically used after presentation of topics either during a lesson or as homework or assignments.
IEEE LOM title: Exercise, Problem statement
Example resource: Conjoint Interactive Exercises or Engineering Mechanics III - Problems and solutions for advanced dynamics.

Projects are for resources where students work in teams to explore real-world problems and create presentations (and sometimes physical products) to to share what they have learned. Resources in this category also include resources to support project-based learning.
Example resource: Integrated Teaching and Learning Program and Laboratory or Project-Based Learning from Edutopia.

The technique of imitating the behavior of some situation or process (whether economic, mechanical etc.) by means of a suitably analogous situation or apparatus. This category includes modeling software, downloadable java applets, animations, as well as interactive simulations.
IEEE LOM title: Simulation
Example resource: Air Density Difference or Circuit Construction Kit (Virtual Lab - DC Only).

Software Tool/Environment
Resources that perform useful technical work for students or educators in engineering education, or a software environment that facilitates instruction.
Example resource: Plane Stress Transform Calculator or Boothroyd Dewhurst's Design for Assembly Software or Building Energy Software Tools

A resource that provides guided, practical information about a specific subject.
Example resource: Project Links: mass transport, differential equations in biomedical and environmental engineering or Selecting a Sprinkler Irrigation System.