We are delighted to be involved with a collaboration of Chilean educators in creating virtual scenarios for a wide range of learners.
This collaboration is led by Dr Maria Felisa Palacios Mackay, the Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Education Innovation at Santo Tomas University, Concepcion. It includes a number of organizations involved in health professional and other professional education from this region of Chile.
There are several areas that will be developed in this collaborative project. Internationalization of the OLab interface, to accommodate other languages is a key element. OpenLabyrinth v3 has some internationalization support but this was never really fleshed out.
Both OLab3 and OLab4 can support content in a wide range of languages, including R–>L languages and 2-byte character sets. We also hope to explore other elements that make our platform more accessible to a wider range of learners.
Another key element that we plan to introduce through these collaborative projects is the concept of TTalk, our natural language hybrid approach, that supports real-time communications between learners and teachers. We have described TTalk previously but a new messaging infrastructure in OLab4 should make this much more scalable with increasing numbers of learners.
These improvements will make it easier for case authors to create scenarios that greatly enhance online education for many different professional disciplines in Chile and around the world. As with all our projects, we encourage case authors to make their materials available under simple Creative Commons licensing. We hope to publish the resulting cases and author guides in Open Educational Repositories (like Dataverse) so as to make these resources more discoverable.
With the ongoing pandemic, it will be important for educators to be able supplement their Zoom sessions with material that is more interactive. Everyone gets bored of passive learning and being lectured at. Our interactive scenarios have proven to be very effective in actively engaging learners and teachers in vigorous discussions.