Globalization and concurrent development in computer and communication technology has increased interest in collaborative online teaching and learning for students in higher education institutions. Many institutions and teachers have introduced computer-supported programmes in areas including dental hygiene. The potential for the use of this technology is exciting; however, its introduction should be careful and considered. We suggest that educators wanting to introduce computer-supported programmes make explicit their pedagogical principles and then select technologies that support and exploit these principles. This paper describes this process as it was applied to the development of an international web-based collaborative learning programme for dental hygiene students.