This paper reports recent work in developing of structures and processes that support university teachers and instructional designers incorporating learning objects into higher education focused learning designs. The aim of the project is to develop a framework to guide the design and implementation of high quality learning experiences. This framework is premised on the proposition that learning objects are resources that can be incorporated within a learning design. The learning design serves as the pedagogical model that drives the development. The first phase of the project required an analysis of metadata schemas by which learning objects could be described, to facilitate discovery, retrieval and inclusion in a learning design. In particular, the pedagogical descriptors within the IEEE Learning Object Metadata (LOM) standard were examined to determine their suitability for use in this project. The findings indicated that enhancement of the educational descriptors was required. To address this, a learning object metadata application profile specific to Australian higher education has been developed. This paper describes the process by which the metadata application profile was developed within the context of the overall project.