Technological developments over the past decade have had a strong impact on education bringing significant opportunities for changing teaching models. This has led to an interest in the development of shareable, scalable and reusable learning objects. This paper builds on the ideas of Parrish (2004) and other recognised theorists in this area who suggest that the production of educational materials needs to promote adaptive learning strategies. We broaden Parrish’s work by testing some of his propositions for object oriented instructional design in the domain of information systems. The contribution of this paper is an extended set of principles for creating multimedia building blocks and aggregating them into learning objects as well as engaging students in the development process. The principles can be used for creating and reusing multimedia building blocks for teaching in many discipline areas. We illustrate the use of these principles by developing and testing a set of learning objects for learning programming. We find that the high cost of creating learning objects noted by Parrish can be ameliorated by using readily available software and Web 2.0 technologies. This approach supports academics developing learning objects without involving professional educational designers and without the added overhead of learning complex software packages.