Online learning environments have a major role in providing lifelong learning opportunities. Lifelong learning is critical for successful participation in today's competitive work environment. This paper describes an online problem‐based learning approach to the creation of a student‐centred learning environment for the study of the biological sciences subject in the Graduate Diploma of Applied Science (Medical Ultrasonography) course at the University of Sydney. The environment is interactive and collaborative, with all communication taking place online. Students work in groups to study clinically relevant problems. A Web‐database system provides learner control in the process of knowledge acquisition, access to reference materials on the Internet and communication with the tutor and with peers through synchronous chat and asynchronous threaded discussion forums. Other online features include a protocol for problem‐solving, self‐assessment and feedback opportunities, detailed help, streaming audio and video and pre‐course, ongoing and post‐course questionnaires. This technology may be adapted to a range of disciplines and can also be utilized in on‐campus teaching
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