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Background: Education via the Internet offers enormous potential, but many online courses are pedagogically or technically weak and many good projects are never mainstreamed. Method: In drawing up our recommendations to address the issues around putting a course on the web, we drew on 3 main sources of data: an extensive in-depth course evaluation; a systematic review of the literature, and questions raised by participants on our training-the-trainers courses. Recommendations: For any web-based course to succeed, 10 overlapping and iterative areas of activity must be addressed. These are: the market for the course; course aims and intended learning outcomes; choice of software platform; staff training needs; writing high quality study materials; design features for active learning; technical and administrative challenges; evaluation and quality improvement; mainstreaming the course within the institution, and financial viability.

Original publication




Journal article


Medical Education

Publication Date





1020 - 1023