Open Source Education & Training Tools

There are now a tremendous number of 'Open' Education & Training resources and tools that the VA, DoD, and other healthcare ought to tap into and start using. These include open source software, open access materials (textbooks, journals, etc.), open data, open apps, open education & training communities, and much more. To get a quick overview of the many 'Open' Education & Training tools and resources available, take a few minutes to look at the COSI Open Education & Training web site at http://education.cositech.net

The VA employee education programs, health IT training programs, veterans/user training efforts and more could probably benefit by using some of the many 'Open' Education & Training tools available, such as -

The following are links to selected 'open source' Education & Training software products and tools:

  • Claroline - An open source eLearning and eWorking platform allowing teachers to build effective online courses and to manage collaborative learning activities on the web.
  • Chamilo - An open source Learning Management System (LMS).
  • Connexions  - Contains educational materials at all levels, organized in small modules that can be connected into larger courses.
  • Dokeos - An open source e-Learning software suite.
  • DoceboLMS - An open source Learning Management System (LMS).
  • eFront - An open source e-Learning software suite.
  • Evergreen - An open source Integrated Library System (ILS)) used by approximately 800 libraries.
  • EthosCE  - A full-featured, open-source learning management system with built-in content authoring and social media features for continuing education and training for organizations.
  • iThinkEd - Microsoft's free software tools for helping educators and researchers publish and share information.
  • Kaltura - An open source video application platform for education.
  • Koha - An open-source Integrated Library System in use today by hundreds of libraries worldwide.
  • Kuali - A suite of open source administrative software modules for use in higher education.
  • Moodle  - An open source Course Management or Learning Management System.  It is a web application that educators can also use to create effective online learning sites. 
  • MS Learning Content Development Systems (LCDS) - A free tool that enables the Microsoft Learning community to create high-quality, interactive, online courses
  • Online Learning And Training (OLAT) - An open source web-based Learning Management System.
  • OpenCourseWare - A collaborative, open source educational content solution.
  • OpenEducationDisc - A collection of open source software products for students for computers running MS Windows.
  • Open Learning Exchange ToolKit - A series of software tools that will help Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Centers quickly and inexpensively provide basic education services within their countries.
  • OpenSimulator - An open source multi-user 3D application server that can be used to create virtual reality environments, similar to Second Life Education institutions and learning environments.
  • Open Source Scripts for Education - This site provides access to a list of available open source education products.
  • Sakai  - An open source software for education, research and related scholarly activities.
  • SchoolForge - A web site offering a range of free and open source education software for teachers and students.
  • uPortal - An open source enterprise portal framework built by and for the higher education community. 
  • Zotero - A free open source tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

The following are links to selected 'open access' education & training web sites, resources, publications, and more:

  • Bentham Open Access - Over 230 peer-reviewed open access journals covering all major disciplines of science, technology, and more.
  • Community College 'Open' Textbooks - Peer reviewed free and open textbooks for use in community college courses.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) - A directory of a wide range of freely available, online Open Access Journals covering the arts and sciences.
  • Encyclopedia of Life - Providing free and 'open access' to knowledge about life on Earth.
  • Library of Congress - Recognized as the national library of the U.S. Its collections comprise the world's most comprehensive record of American history, human creativity, and knowledge.
  • OER Commons Textbooks - Information about open textbooks offered through Open Education Commons (OER).
  • Open Training Platform - UNESCO facilitates collaborative access to existing free and 'open'  training courses and materials via its Open Training Platform.
  • O'Reilly Open Books - Publishers of quite a few Open Books--books with various forms of "open" copyright--over the years.
  • Versita Open - One of the world’s leading Open Access platforms, hosting full texts of nearly 200 scholarly journals.
  • WikiMedia Commons - An online repository of freely licensed, sharable educational photos and images available on the internet.

A series of open source education & training projects aimed at VA employees and veterans could prove extremely beneficial. Imagine training users of VistA or My HealtheVet using open source 3D simulation tools, or developing and sharing open source training programs using an open source learning management system like Sakai or Moodle.  Is this the right group to take on such efforts, or should a new Education & Training working group be established to engage more participants from the field? 

In addition to the COSI Open Education & Training web site, take a look at the COSI Open Education & Training blogs at http://cosiopeneducation.blogspot.com

 

Comments

groenpj

Open Education & Training Interagency Repository

Imagine creating a shared 'open source' repository of healthcare education and training courses for doctors, nurses, clerks, technicians, managers, etc.  This could be done using one or more of the many open source education an training learning management systems now available. Using open standards, open formats, open sourseware, etc. each federal agency could create and place its courses into the shared Interagency repository. This could result in tremendous savings in course development, e.g. time, dollars, staffing. Many healthcare courses would easily apply to clinicians and users whether they are in VA, DoD, Indian Health, etc. Why keep reinventing the wheel, developing similar courses, awarding contracts to develop courses another agency may already have.  Let your imagination run wild on what could be done in Open Education & Training.

Gerry Higgins

RE: Open Education & Training Interagency Repository

Thank-you for the great links!
I have been using the incredibly good courses from Stanford, The University of Michigan, Princeton, Caltech and MIT to help in writing some papers and patents.
For example, I am taking "Algorithms: Design and Analysis, Part 1", which is a terrific ocourse... https://www.coursera.org/course/algo
They are free, really good, each has 200-300k students worldwide, and if you know coding, some of the instructors allow additional materials and examples to be added. Although these are not strictly "open-source" per se, it is like medical school / graduate school without the stress.

See also: mitx and http://www.udacity.com/

-Gerry

 

jnasuti

simulation software

I am currently working on a proposal to use simulation software to create a virtual environment in order to educate and train Veterans and VA staff.  Does anyone out there have experience in simulation software, such as Second Life or OpenSim?

luisibanez

Second Life and OpenSim

I used SecondLife and OpenSim for several months, experimenting with it as a tool for community engagement. I'll be happy to share some lessons learned if you are interested in hearing details about that experience.

groenpj

Simulation Technology & Medical Education - Background & Links

The following are some examples of notable organizations and software products associated with the use of simulation tools and techniques in medical education and training.  This is an excerpt from a short article previously published in Open Health News - see http://www.openhealthnews.com/blogs/groenpj/2010-11-26/simulation-technology-and-open-ehr-systems-medical-education-training

Organizations

The Medical Simulation Group - This multi-disciplinary research team was organized to investigate how technology can improve medical education and increase patient safety. Based in Boston at the Massachusetts General Hospital, their work focuses on cutting edge research that will transform medical training from the current apprentice model to realistic, real-time, authentic computer-based medical simulations. See http://www.medicalsim.org
 

The Center for Medical Education + Innovation (CME+I) at Riverside Methodist Hospital is a comprehensive medical training facility featuring innovative human patient simulation and education technologies, many of which have never been used outside the military. Their Cardiac and Endovascular Simulation Lab is called the SimSuite. Read http://www.hoise.com/vmw/05/articles/vmw/LV-VM-07-05-23.html
 
The Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA) within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has developed a new program for simulation in health care training called Simulation Learning Education and Research Network (SimLEARN). The program’s goals include the establishment of a national simulation center with the focus on improving employee training and outcomes of care for veterans. For more information about the SimLEARN center, visit http://www.simlearn.va.gov
 
At the University of Missouri's Clinical Simulation Center medical, nursing, pharmacy, respiratory therapy, health management, and informatics students participate in interdisciplinary simulations that mimic busy emergency rooms. A typical simulation can be quite hectic with crying babies and people shouting in pain and asking for help. See http://som.missouri.edu/SimCenter/
 
Other organizations of interest focused on medical simulation training include:

Commercial Software

Medical Education Technologies, Inc. (METI) is a company committed to developing learning tools that impact the education of future doctors, nurses, first responders and military medics - including a complete line of human patient simulators, surgical simulators, and medical examination trainers. See www.meti.com
 
Immersion Medical develops systems and technology for integrating touch feedback into licensed medical simulation products. Immersion is helping more and more doctors become skilled at critical new techniques that can save lives every day. See http://www.immersion.com/markets/medical/products/
 
Medical Simulation Corporation (MSC) is a recognized healthcare industry leader in providing full-service simulation training, education, and consulting services to hospital personnel, medical product manufacturers, and medical societies. See www.medsimulation.com
 
Other commercial simulation software solutions or projects of interest include:

'Open Source' Software 

General Physical Simulation Interface (GiPSi) is an open source/open architecture framework for developing organ level surgical simulations. This tool provides an attractive framework to address the needs of interfacing models from multiple research groups and the ability to critically examine and validate quantitative biological simulations. See http://gipsi.case.edu
 
Simulation Open Framework Architecture (SOFA) is an open source framework primarily targeted at real time simulation and the simulation research community. Visit http://www.sofa-framework.organd http://wiki.sofa-framework.org/wiki/Main_Page
 
Finally, various 'open' electronic health record systems (EHR) systems (e.g. VistA, RPMS, OpenMRS, OpenEMR, FreeMed) can be interfaced to human simulation mannequins to further enhance the medical education and training experience. See http://sites.google.com/site/cosihealthit/home/ehr-systems
 
Other 'open source' medical simulation software solutions include:

Benefits

Learning medical procedures traditionally has meant making mistakes on real patients. Hands-on, experiential learning is indispensable for healthcare professionals during their training, but mistakes can put patients in harms way. Considering the potential risk to patients and institutions when errors are made on real patients during training, simulation centers may turn out to be very cost effective, especially in reducing insurance premiums and avoiding litigation.

Conclusions & Recommendations

Simulation technologies will contribute significantly to the revolution in medical education and training over the coming decade and will have a positive impact on the quality of care and clinical outcomes at health care provider organizations.

Large health care provider organizations, medical schools, and nursing schools should consider

  • Establishing a multidisciplinary working group to investigate and oversee the acquisition and use of simulation technologies for medical education and training purposes.
  • Monitor 'lessons learned' and 'best practices' related to medical simulation technology and its impact on medical education, training, and clinical outcomes.
  • Investigating changes in clinical practices, medical education and training programs, and business processes that will need to be made when acquiring medical simulation technology.

For more details, read the following article on this subject published in Virtual Medical Worlds, June 2010. See http://www.hoise.com/vmw/10/articles/vmw/LV-VM-06-10-35.html

Other Selected Links

 

jnasuti

Absolutely

I am trying to figure out is it worth it to learn in detail OpenSim or is it just better to go with Second Life.  AND... I am curious to know if the software is user-friendly... meaning someone who is not entirely tech-savvy can build and create.  I defintely welcome lessons learned as I am just beginning the venture and don't want to go to far in the wrong direction.

luisibanez

Great initiative

This is an excellent initiative, and I think you are indeed in the right Group to further promote the creation of these courses. At the Vista Community Meeting we held a panel on Education and touched on some of the aspects on how to improve existing courses and make them more widely available.

Your points about openness are certainly at the core of what is needed in order to widely disseminate educational materials.

One particular effort that we started in the spring at the RPI Open Source Software Practices class, was to create a M/MUMPS tutorial.

http://www.opensourcesoftwarepractice.org/M-Tutorial/

We are doing that by having the students contribute one page on each one of the MUMPS commands and functions. The pages are written using RST, which is a very straightforward markup, and hosting them in a public Git repository:

https://github.com/OSEHR/M-Tutorial

The repository is checkout every hours and the HTML pages are rebuilt from the most recent content.

During the summer I will be updating the material, in preparation for our class in the Fall, where we plan to use again VistA and other Open Source healthcare software (such as Indivo) as class projects for the students to get direct experience working in open source projects.

All the tutorial materials are available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License 3.0:

https://github.com/OSEHR/M-Tutorial/blob/master/LICENSE

For the Fall class we will be adding more hands-on exercises for M begginers. Our current list of examples is rather weak, so we will be looking to collect 30 to 40 programming exercises that start from the "Hello World" level, and progressively introduce programming concepts that are specific to M.

All this is part of the initiative to bring a large number of young developers into the VistA ecosystem, and get them to be mentored and trained by expert M developers.

Many thanks to K.S. Bhaskar and Chris Richarson for the materials and suggestions that they have provided for these exercises.

Of course, all suggestions on how to improve the course are very wellcome.

 

flopez

That sounds very good!

I am also working on the generation of more webinars to support this effort as a response of a requirement from the VistA Community Meeting attendees.

I am working on a series of webinars called M&M (MUMPS on Monday)  and F&F (FileMan on Friday). The idea is similar to the effort that Luis is doing but in a Webinar format, Short explanation 15-20 minutes with a couple of commands or concepts at the time.

We are looking for volunteers presenters, so if you are interested please let me know and I will contact you with details.

As it was said, we don't need to reinvent the wheel, we just need to combine what is available and complement it with missing pieces.

I hope this add some value too.

groenpj

Open Education for Non-Tech Courses and Purposes

Again, just to reiterate, I want to encourage the use of these 'Open' Education & Training tools not just for technical courses directly associated withVistA (e.g. Fileman training), but for a wide range of other employee education purposes, for medical education, for training veterans to use the My HealtheVet PHR, for exploring entirely new training processes and techniques that may be more cost effective, and more.

jnasuti

Out of the box training

Having been in the clinical IT training arena for over 6 years now, I find myself wanting to expound on my skills and provide better training to my customers.  I want to begin to embrace the software that is being used in games and simulation.  Training is much more than 'show me'... is has now moved into the generation of 'let me experience and teach myself'.  Open software allows for people like me who want to explore more options to do just that.

shabiel

Open Source Education & Training Tools

Luis,

I want to point out that the VISTA Expertise Network published a
couple of books on Mumps and VISTA. The 1995 Standard Mumps pocket
guide is particularly invaluable and is freely downloadable. It is so
useful that I keep a paper copy handy whenever I am programming in
Mumps so I can lookup commands that I don't use that often.

Here's the link: http://vistaexpertise.net/mumpsbooks.html

Sam

On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 3:14 PM, luisibanez wrote:
> This is an excellent initiative, and I think you are indeed in the right
> Group to further promote the creation of these courses. At the Vista
> Community Meeting we held a panel on Education and touched on some of the
> aspects on how to improve existing courses and make them more widely
> available.
>
> Your points about openness are certainly at the core of what is needed in
> order to widely disseminate educational materials.
>
> One particular effort that we started in the spring at the RPI Open Source
> Software Practices class, was to create a M/MUMPS tutorial.
>
> http://www.opensourcesoftwarepractice.org/M-Tutorial/
>
> We are doing that by having the students contribute one page on each one of
> the MUMPS commands and functions. The pages are written using RST, which is
> a very straightforward markup, and hosting them in a public Git repository:
>
> https://github.com/OSEHR/M-Tutorial
>
> The repository is checkout every hours and the HTML pages are rebuilt from
> the most recent content.
>
> During the summer I will be updating the material, in preparation for our
> class in the Fall, where we plan to use again VistA and other Open Source
> healthcare software (such as Indivo) as class projects for the students to
> get direct experience working in open source projects.
>
> All the tutorial materials are available under the Creative Commons by
> Attribution License 3.0:
>
> https://github.com/OSEHR/M-Tutorial/blob/master/LICENSE
>
> For the Fall class we will be adding more hands-on exercises for M
> begginers. Our current list of examples is rather weak, so we will be
> looking to collect 30 to 40 programming exercises that start from the "Hello
> World" level, and progressively introduce programming concepts that are
> specific to M.
>
> All this is part of the initiative to bring a large number of young
> developers into the VistA ecosystem, and get them to be mentored and trained
> by expert M developers.
>
> Many thanks to K.S. Bhaskar and Chris Richarson for the materials and
> suggestions that they have provided for these exercises.
>
> Of course, all suggestions on how to improve the course are very wellcome.
>
>
>
> --
> Full post: http://www.osehra.org/blog/open-source-education-training-tools
> Manage my subscriptions: http://www.osehra.org/og_mailinglist/subscriptions
> Stop emails for this post:
> http://www.osehra.org/og_mailinglist/unsubscribe/819

groenpj

Health IT Training Materials & Courses

The following are links to a range of selected sites devoted to health information technology (HIT) training programs of various sorts that might be of interest and should perhaps be shared.

Links to Health IT Education, Training & Certification Web Sites

Links to ‘Open’ Health IT Education & Training Web Sites

Links to Selected HIT Vendor Education & Training Web Sites

Links to Selected Technical Training & Certification Web Sites

Links to ‘M’ Programming Training Materials

groenpj

Other Federal Open Source Education & Training Resources

Other federal agencies are exploring open source education & training solutions, putting up sites to share resources, developing products, holding meetings, etc.  Interested members of the OSEHRA community should further explore these resources and figure out the possible linkage to OSEHRA.  For example, DOE established the open source National Education & Training Resources (NTER) site at  https://www.nterlearning.org   I also saw the Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds had a conference that demoed several open source solutions http://www.ndu.edu/icollege/fcvw/2012post.html   Check them out.