Lots of interest in OLab3

At the Canadian Conference on Medical Education #ccme13 this weekend, there was lots of interest in what has been happening with OpenLabyrinth v3 over the past few months. Some nice new collaborative activities arose out of this as well.

Just before launch, one of our development teams at Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, added semantic indexing capacity to OLab3, which really opens up the discoverability of case material on an OLab3 VP server. Lazaros and his team have done some really nice work there – more on this shortly. This generated quite a bit of discussion in both technical and clinical author groups. Powerful stuff.

Also some useful discussions with groups who are looking at ways to connect OLab3 with other educational resources such as Moodle. At the moment, it looks like the IMS-LTI approach holds the most promise here. We will be working on a spec to insert the LTI Provider Layer within the OLab3 code base. For those who are less technically inclined, this basically means that we will be able to integrate OLab3 into other educational resources and systems in a much more seamless manner. Gone are the days when a virtual patient engine could be entirely standalone.

OLab3 featured in several workshops and presentations. The new Visual Editor interface was well received by both clinical and technical authors. Nice and easy to use – the concept mapping approach seems to be a nice intuitive approach and provides much more power and flexibility than a simple fill in the blanks linear model.

It is clear that most clinical authors need more in the way of examples and how-to cases in order to move them further towards creating decision branch points in their cases that are truly challenging and thoughtful – this is not a technical issue. It is a faculty development issue around basic teaching/learning principles. More examples coming soon.

So lots of development work to go and lots of ideas coming in. Let us know if there are particular aspects of OLab3 that you would like enhanced or strengthened.