Frequently Asked Questions
OLab4 is an education research platform that supports virtual scenarios and activity metrics. It is open-source and open-standards. Its predecessor was OpenLabyrinth but it has grown a bit since then.
Clarke and Mayer regard scenarios as being any group or cluster activities that have been assembled to address a learning goal.
This sometimes gets confusing. Some groups, such as WAVES, regards 'virtual patients' and 'virtual scenarios' as being the same thing: the term 'virtual scenario' simply demedicalizes the concept.
In OLab3, we used the term 'Scenarios' to refer to a set of maps, associated with a set of learners. They were kinda like a container for maps. In OLab4, we use the term 'scenarios' more generically to be more in line with the two definitions above. (The container for a set of maps in OLab4 is now called a Course.)
OLab4 is free. But not free as in beer. Closer to free as in Nelson Mandela. But mostly free as in puppy: it may not cost you anything to buy it or adopt it; but it does need some TLC and nourishment to keep it going. And you sometimes have to clean up a mess.
OLab4's code is open-source, on GitHub, and is licensed under a GNU-GPL v3 licence. This means that you cannot sell the code or use the code base to create an application that you can then sell for money. It must remain free.
While groups cannot sell OLab4 itself, the licence does not stop a group from selling content or services that have been created using OLab4. Some might create a question bank that they can sell; others might sell programming or learning design services to groups who need the deeper expertise.
Consult the help files at GitHub on how to install OLab4. You basically need a web-server somewhere. Your university might be able to help you set this up. Or you can install OLab4 in a Docker Container - this can be on your laptop if you want.
We strongly advise you to avoid Internet Explorer. All versions have incompatibilities with standard web protocols. MS Edge has few problems since they adopted the Chromium engine. Firefox causes least problems. Chrome runs fastest.
You can play cases on your mobile if you have a web connection. Cases usually do not need much bandwidth. But we do not recommend that you create maps on your mobile. It can be done but there are hassles.
We are all tired of surveys, and increasingly skeptical of the meaning of happiness ratings. We just published some notes on the paradata we have extracted from one of our servers:
See other FAQs in OLab3