OLab is different from a wiki approach but also similar in some ways:
- We use linked pages and wikiref-style shortcodes to call and link various objects in the platform, just like a wiki.
- However, learners/readers are not automatically conferred with editing capabilities, which is different from a wiki.
- OLab structures provide a greater ability to constrain how the user navigates a given pathway. These pathways can be made wide open (wiki style), or linear, or with lots of complex branching paths in the decision tree.
- The Visual Editor in OLab is well received by our authors as a simple means of drawing out and designing their decision trees. Learning design is accelerated by the use of pre-defined templates which can be dropped into a map.
- Path navigation can also be controlled by the author, using conditional logic, counters/variables and rules. So exceptions can be programmed into the pathways. Depending on user choices and responses, you can jump them to a whole new area/page in the map.
- All actions in OLab are tracked: clicks, question responses, pathway choices, timestamps for everything, along with counters/scores (variables for tracking performance etc)
- This activity tracking is done internally into a MySQL database, but can also be sent as xAPI statements to a Learning Record Store.