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Stathakarou N, Zary N, Kononowicz AA. (2014) Beyond xMOOCs in Healthcare Education: Study of the Feasibility in Integrating Virtual Patient Systems and MOOC platforms. PeerJ PrePrints2:e458v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.458v1
Background: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are an emerging method of online teaching. However in the field of healthcare education their technology is not adopted yet. Reaching beyond the xMOOC type of courses in order to foster interactivity in the healthcare education requires domain specific software. Virtual Patients (VPs) have been integrated in the past with Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) but extending MOOCs with VPs has not yet been discussed. Objective: To investigate the technical possibilities of integrating VPs with MOOCs for the purpose of discovering a pragmatic basis were the potential pedagogical benefits can be later studied. Methods: We selected OpenEdx and Open Labyrinth as examples of a MOOC platform and of a VP system.We conducted a literature reviewto identify technical requirements and e-learning standards apt for the integration. One fundamental requirement was prototyped and verified by use cases. Results: A Single–Sign on mechanism connecting Open Labyrinth with OpenEdx, employing the IMS LTI standard, has been successfully implemented and verified. Conclusion: We investigated the technical perspective of integrating VPs in MOOCs, aiming to set a base for future investigation on the topic. The results point out new opportunities arising from the infrastructure of MOOCs for integrating specialized software aiming to support the healthcare education.
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