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WikiTox Course by Distance


This course is now run as distance learning course through the PostGraduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo as a Diploma and Masters level degree course.

  • This course is designed to give students a solid theoretical knowledge base for the practice of clinical toxicology.
  • It is best suited to those who have active exposure to clinical toxicology.
  • The content is designed to go up to the equivalent of a Masters Level.
  • The course is delivered solely by internet based distance learning. Successful completion requires attendance and participation in internet discussion groups.
  • The tutors are all experienced clinical toxicologists.


1.1 Selection of Students

  • This course is designed primarily for clinicians.
  • Candidates shall be selected for training, based on their curriculum vitae and references.
  • We aim to have mix of students from developed and developing countries
  • Students would require regular internet access, a computer and a level of English comprehension in reading that is sufficient to read journal literature and English fluency in writing that will allow contribution to the online discussions that will be part of the course

1.2 Course Delivery

1.2.1 Description

  • A modular course delivered to a Diploma or Masters level by an international faculty.
  • The course is delivered as distance learning using a Moodle platform that is browser based.
  • There is no requirement for face to face attendance but students will be advised when such opportunities arise

1.2.2 Duration

  • The course is taken part time over a period of 2 years, with 2 semesters a year. Each semester is approximately 14 week duration
  • There are a total of 4 modules in the course
  • It is anticipated that students would spend 400-500 hours on course work over 2 years (about 4 hours a week) to complete the course. Additional hours would be required for assessment

1.2.3 Distance Learning Course

  • Typical content would consist of modules comprising some background information and notes, required reading and specific problems for discussion.
  • The discussion of problems would take place on the internet using a discussion board forum. The software used is Moodle.
Internet discussion and delivery
  • Responsible tutors will oversee the web based discussion board which will be initiated by a series of questions from within the course material.
  • Each student will be given a secure access password to access to the website. The candidates will be expected to read the reference articles provided and formulate an answer and post it on the web.
Tutorial Group Structure & Operation
  • Students are allocated into tutorial groups.
  • Each course consists of a series of topics, each tutorial session normally deals with one topic in a week. Each week there is a roster for students that designates two important roles:
    • Discussion leader: This person initiates the discussion by attempting to provide their answers or thoughts
    • Discussion reporter: This person would collate the group views towards the end of the tutorial session
  • Thus a typical weeks discussion thread would start with the discussions leaders answer to the question, followed by comments, additional information and discussion by the group, then finally a summation of the groups position on the problems by the discussion reporter
  • Each topic will have an assigned tutors.
  • Tutors assess attendance and contribution.
  • In addition they can contribute and guide the discussion as they see appropriate.
  • Online tutor’s major input would be after the discussion reporter's summation.
  • Prior to that they generally offer guidance or supplementary questions.

1.2.4 Assessment

  • Midmodule and final module assessments 60%
    • These are based on open questions based around clinical problems.
    • Each question would have some pre identified answers to assist marking
      • 30% of total would be from the mid module assignment
      • 30% from the end of semester assignment
      • Participation in Discussion 40%
  • Timeliness
    • Students would be expected to contribute on time, especially those who are discussion leaders or discussion reporters. The contribution from each student will be assessed by the tutors. The criteria used in the assessment would be: generation of new ideas, citing additional references, posting new questions and demonstrating knowledge of new concepts through the answers.
  • Contribution
    • 50% of this would relate to discussion leader and reporter roles
  • Successful candidates:
    • A successful candidate will be expected to score a minimum of 50% from each module

1.2.5 Course fees (Australian Dollars)

  • $1200 for one subject

We are charging a hybrid model of payment. Developed world candidates will pay full fees, developing world candidates are supported through scholarship funded by these fees.

We are also considering alternate course structure which may have a different price structure.

1.3 Content Description and History


  • This course is being offered for the second time through the (a registered charity) whose purpose is to provide accessible public health education to students from the developing world.
  • This toxicology course was first written in 2003 as part of an open source curriculum development project (see an earlier version was then subsequently delivered from Newcastle University Australia and then a further version from University of Colombo. All of the tutors fro the Newcastle course and some from the Colombo course are on the teaching faculty of this course.
  • The purpose of this course was to provide a smaller more intense course than the previous university course using a hybrid model of payment that will allow the support and tuition of students who would have difficulty in paying the fees. Part of the fees will also go to assist the peoples-uni.
  • As we don’t have the normal overheads or profit margin of a traditional university the course is about one third of the price that an Australian student would pay in an Australian university


  • This course commences with modules that introduces the basic principles and provide an introduction to the major topic areas. It utilizes certain poisonings to illustrate the key concepts and to maintain clinical relevance.
  • One advantage of an online course is that material may be added or modified during course delivery to reflect recent developments or identified areas of need. The following course description therefore reflects the current content and layout.
  • As the course is essentially problem based some concepts are introduced early and or are revisited through out the course.
wikitox/wikitox_course_by_distance.txt · Last modified: 2018/09/01 09:01 by

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