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A technique for handling information better during learning. It works on the principle of dividing all information or knowledge into series of 'objects'. An object has a name and a small description, and is related to a varying number of other objects. The object 'Momentum' could thus carry the description 'energy contained within an item causing it to move'. Objects related to 'Momentum' would include 'Energy', 'Impact', 'Speed' etc. A common practice, especially with new users of the technique, is to create learning cards containing this information, and this information only.

An object may refer to nearly anything, including but not limited to items, concepts, components, actions, states, etc.

The reasoning behind object-based learning is a view of the human brain. The brain is in this view thought to operate naturally with small bits of information, rather than long explanations. The brain is built to put simple environmental inputs together to create an output, and splitting knowledge or skills into these objects make it easier for the brain to work with them.

Key Objects

Once knowledge is seen as merely a web of inter-related objects, the notion of finding 'central' objects becomes interesting. These key objects are A) easy to describe and understand, even for people with no prior experience with the topic in question, and B) good starting points to use in learning other objects of the topic. Finding key objects thus allows new learners to rapidly understand important parts of the topic, and to quickly understand the roles of other objects.

Artificial Objects

In some cases, an object can be created to serve a teaching or learning purpose. This is especially true for key objects, which can be so important for a learners speed. A classic example is the 'key sentence', a sentence in a foreign language, which is constructed specifically to contain a handful of important grammar examples. By learning just this one sentence, a student of the language grows familiar with several aspects of that language's grammar.

Other fields of study may have other artificial objects, whether they be key objects or not. Creativity is often as important a tool in learning as analysis.

Black Box Objects

An extension of object-based learning, these objects can, in fact, be just about any other object. The idea is, that any object can be 'opened' to reveal inner workings, consisting of a whole new set of objects. The classical example is a computer, which can be considered a single object in many respects. However, while one can easily define a computer seen from its users angle (for example as 'a tool for storing and handling information'), 'opening' it (physically as well as philosophically) reveals a lot of new objects, like harddisks and CPUs, all inter-connected.

The application of black box objects tends to vary highly between topics and even individual teachers or students.

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