Abstract Learning activities and course design in the new context of e-learning, such as in web-based courses involves a change both for teachers and students. The paper discusses factors important for e-learning to be successful. The development of an online course in medical physics and technology for high school teachers of physics, details of the course, and experience gained in connection with it are described. The course syllabus includes basics of radiation physics, imaging techniques using ionizing or non-ionizing radiation, and external and internal radiation therapy. The course has a highly didactic approach. The final task is for participants to design a course of their own centered on some topic of medical physics on the basis of the knowledge they have acquired. The aim of the course is to help the teachers integrate medical physics into their own teaching. This is seen as enhancing the interest of high school students in later studying physics, medical physics or some other branch of science at the university level, and as increasing the knowledge that they and people generally have of science. It is suggested that the basic approach taken can also have applicability to the training of medical, nursing or engineering students, and be used for continuing professional development in various areas.