Medical Observer

The Medical Observer is a weekly printed publication with associated online resources ( that is available to Australian General Practitioners. The publishers required an online system to develop and deliver a series of Web-based articles and assessments that GPs use to keep their medical knowledge up to date and to gain professional development points. New content is created and managed using the Ensignia® Learning Content Management System.

Template Driven Web Page Creation

The Medical Observer (MO) learning website is updated weekly to reflect the regular publication of a printed publication. Multiple authors are involved in contributing articles and assessment questions, and all content must go through a defined quality assurance and publishing process to ensure high standards. The Ensignia® Learning Content Management System is the content authoring and management platform used by Medical Observer. Ensignia, a fully web-based application that uses page templates for authoring, supports the publishing workflow processes andsimplifies management of contributions from multiple authors while ensuring a consistent visual style across the site.

Custom Design and Page Layouts

In this project, the online articles and assessments supported by Ensignia are accessed via a Medical Observer portal site which had previously been established with its own visual style. In order to maintain consistency between the portal site and the learning content, it was important that the page designs and layouts generated and served by the Ensignia application matched the existing pages. This requirement was easily met by Ensignia, which allows virtually unlimited customisability of generated page design. An added advantage of Ensignia is that when content is authored via the LCMS the page content is stored separate from the page design. This means that if the Medical Observer’s design rules ever change in future, it will not be necessary to recreate all authored content; the pages will just need to be republished with a new layout configuration.

Producing Rich, Engaging, Interactive Content

Ensignia’s built-in page templates for content authoring support a range of useful interactions that keep the information engaging and interactive. Using a wizard-style interface, it is easy to create sophisticated assessments including feedback, or courses that incorporate many different interactive exercises such as drag-and-drop activities or Flash-based exercises. Authors need no programming or other technical knowledge to be able to produce rich, engaging, interactive content.

Fully Managed Application Service Provision

As a business with core expertise focused on medical publishing, it would be uneconomical for Medical Observer to acquire and manage the infrastructure required to deliver a learning content management system. Instead, MO takes advantage of hosting and maintenance services offered by MCQ International, whereby we take care of the difficult technical issues such as installation of software updates, security management, 24 x 7 server monitoring and performing nightly offsite content backups.