Monthly Archives: September 2012

Funding for OLab3 development

Yes, this remains an open-source project. But a little money goes a long way!

We are pleased to say that we now have funding from a number of sources, which will help to push along the development of OpenLabyrinth version 3. 

We are very grateful to:
— Alberta Physician Learning Program
— UofC Distributed Learning & Rural Initiatives
— University of Alberta UME
— Norlien Foundation via AFMC

4th Generation Virtual Patients

Virtual Patients are not new. They have been around in some guise or other for over 30 years. 

Gradually, over time, they have evolved and morphed:

  • 1st generation – linear cases, usually in HEIDR format (Hist, Exam, Ix, Dx, Rx)
  • 2nd generation – branching cases with hyperlinks
  • 3rd generation – multimedia-rich, virtual worlds, pretty, expensive
  • 4th generation – modular, light, repurposable, semantically linked, learning analytics

We are currently rewriting OpenLabyrinth from the ground up. 

This will enable simple easy light cases but also provide access to very powerful features. Many of the limitations previously found in virtual patients will be resolved. 

But we also want to stay away from features that have been shown to be educationally distracting. Make an interface too cute and, while it may initially impress, it often just gets in the way of learner discovery. Virtual worlds, which initially looked promising, were mostly an example of this. 

Onwards and upwards, building on lessons learned. 

When we have good working foundation for OpenLabyrinth v3, we will publish it at

Watch this space!

OpenLabyrinth v3 development in progress

Great news. We have obtained funding from a number of sources and are currently engaged in a full rewrite of OpenLabyrinth.

Version 3 will be open-source, licenced under GNU, and will support a wider range of features than version 2. If you are interested, you can take a wee peek at an alpha version running at – as cases and features are added, you will be able to check them out there.

Contact us if you are interested in collaborating on this promising new development. At present, try the following: topps AT ucalgary DOT ca