Preparing students to be critical thinkers and effective communicators is essential in today’s multinational and technologically sophisticated environment. New electronic technologies provide opportunities for creating learning environments that extend the possibilities of ‘old’ but still essential technologies: books, blackboards, and linear, one-way communication media. Such technologies contribute to engagement and meaningful learning in the higher education sector. Greater understanding in educational psychology and the effectiveness of educational interventions has motivated the development of various student-centred pedagogies (e.g. Problem-Based Learning (PBL)) addressing perceived shortcomings of traditional didactic instruction. PBL as a pedagogy promotes meaningful learning due largely to its power to stimulate critical, reflective and creative thinking.

Can teaching staff, then, adopt technology-based approaches to create multi-disciplinary interactive PBL environments that enhance learning and excite students, inspiring them to take ownership of their own education? This paper presents a cross-case analysis of four cases that explore how classroom-based learning activities have been transferred to online formats in universities to improve critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and other learning attributes across a range of disciplines.