Monthly Archives: February 2016

More languages in OpenLabyrinth cases

I was delighted today to come across some virtual patient cases on our demo OpenLabyrinth server, written in Slovak – a couple of nice cases created by Eva Kvaltinyova. The multinational, multilingual nature of OpenLabyrinth continues to be robust.

I previously created a multilingual case before at ‘Multilingual cases…‘ – but it was a bit tongue-in-cheek, if you’ll pardon the pun. However, it does show that OpenLabyrinth can support most languages on its pages.

Now, anybody interested in helping us with a multilingual interface. We did put the basics of internationalization into the core code, but have not had time to flesh this out. Any takers?

Finding OpenLabyrinth case materials

We have written before about how to find good OpenLabyrinth case materials. Indeed, some groups have created some pretty sophisticated methods to enable such discovery.

For example, see the ‘Semantic Indexing’ post, featuring the work of Aristotle University, Thessaloniki.

But how do most of us search for stuff? Google of course! One simple tip for finding relevant OpenLabyrinth cases is to simply include the word “openlabyrinth+” in your Google search e.g.

openlabyrinth+ chest pain

Adding the “+” sign emphasizes to Google that you really only want hits that include “openlabyrinth”. Because many OpenLabyrinth server admins have left their virtual patient servers open to the search robots, you will get lots of additional case examples that way. I had forgotten about this simple technique and spent a nerdy hour tonight just wandering around some of the stuff that Google dug up.

As well as finding URLs for dozens of active OpenLabyrinth servers around the world that I was not previously aware of, I also found this great YouTube video from Dr Robert Larson at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

He gives a lovely description of how they are using OpenLabyrinth as a teaching tool. We note that they are using quite an old version of OpenLabyrinth but it’s good to see what you can still do with it.

Physician Assisted Death

A year ago, the Supreme Court of Canada over-ruled a ban on assisted suicide or physician assisted death. They gave the federal government a year to create new legislation. So today would have been the deadline.

This opened up a huge debate but it has been good to see that generally, the debate has remained reasoned, on both sides, with many complex viewpoints brought to light.

On 21 Jan 2016, the federal and provincial governments were granted a four month extension to their deadline, to give them a bit more time to sort things out. (Note that recently, CBC mistakenly stated that the Feb 6th deadline was still in effect but this is not so.)

For local healthcare providers, we created a webinar and some challenging case discussions in OpenLabyrinth. This was presented as part of the CURIOS series of webinars. If anyone is interested in access to these cases to help facilitate discussion around these tricky issues, please contact us.

Turk Talk demo case improved

For those of you who have been following our Turk Talk developments in OpenLabyrinth, we have made a few improvements to our demonstrator case that shows you more about what Turk Talk is and how it works.

Check out this short YouTube video, embedded using our CURIOS video mashup tool, for a quick overview of what the teacher and the learners see when running a Turk Talk session.

You can explore our demo case a bit more at

OHMES symposium 17-18 Feb, 2016

We don’t normally put in a plug for every conference and symposium kicking around but this one is relevant for OpenLabyrinth in many ways.

The Office of Health & Medical Education Scholarship (OHMES) is holding its second annual symposium at The University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine, starting lunchtime on Feb 17th and finishing noon on Feb 18th.

Check out the conference program here.

OHMES members are very active just now in furthering the development of OpenLabyrinth as an educational research platform. See the recent announcement of the IPH Catalyst Grant, which was spearheaded by OHMES members. The symposium will also feature some OpenLabyrinth case material in its discussions.

CURIOS video mashup service launch

Finally, the CURIOS video mashup service is up and running! This service is featured in our highlights reel here:

We have previously given you a heads-up about this: and we have given some of our advanced authors early access. But now it is available to anyone with a login on our demo server.

CURIOS Video Mashup Tool instructions – more detailed notes and screenshots with step-by-step guide on how to use the tool.

Wow, there were a lot of delays in getting this service transferred over to one of our servers. Our developer team did a great job last year in making this tool available on schedule last year. But a series of weird glitches, including the delay in getting this WordPress site transferred from a third-party hosting agency to one of our own servers, has seriously impacted this, which was very frustrating for all of you.

If you are interested in trying things out and creating your own video mashups, you will need a login on our demo OpenLabyrinth server. Use this form if you don’t already have a login – remember to tell us why you want to create such mashups.