The author argues that before adopting any new educational technology we should first clarify the pedagogical basis on which we wish to proceed. It argues for the design of learning environments that would not only support the modern pedagogical consensus but would also be scalable. The study of individual learning relationships may offer further insight into the social basis of the motivation to learn and may point to new ways to exploit vicarious learning. The conceptual framework that we have adopted for approaching the pedagogy of online learning is one that attempts to map a broad account of learning directly onto the design of supportive technology. The framework describes what, in the pedagogical consensus, are the three main elements of a learning process - conceptualization, construction and dialogue. Tertiary courseware, in the sense the term is used here, includes all the resources that support dialogue.