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E-Moderating

The Key to Teaching and Learning Online
Gilly Salmon ,
Buchcover
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iconZusammenfassungen

E-moderators are the new generation of teachers and trainers who work with learners online. There has been explosive growth in online teaching and learning, training, resources and events, and the e-moderator is central to its quality and success. This book, based on Gilly Salmon's considerable experience and research, explains the qualities and competencies required of those teaching, training or developing materials in the online field, and how their skills can be developed. It presents a user's guide to working effectively in the virtual world, backed up with case studies and specific information about how to be a successful e-moderator, along with a collection of resources for practitioners, original research material and learner-oriented consideration of outcomes. Contents include: What is e-moderating?; CMC in education and training; E-moderating, the key to the future of online teaching; and resources for practitioners. The book is also accompanied by its own website. "E-Moderating" is for any and all teachers, instructors, tutors or facilitators operating in any electronic environment. From simply posting notes on the Internet at the end of a physical teaching or training session through to fully-fledged distance learning, it makes full use of the most up-to-date communications and information technology. It should also be valuable reading for software designers, teachers in schools, and for anyone with management responsibilities in education or training.
Von Klappentext im Buch E-Moderating (2000)
What initially drew this reviewer to Gilly Salmon’s E-moderating: The Key to Teaching and Learning Online was her straightforward and concise writing style and tone. In the first paragraph of the first chapter, Ms. Salmon writes,
"This book is set in the context of the rapid development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Its key focus and emphasis is on the changes to learning made possible by ICT, but I look at these changes through the eyes of online teachers, for whom I have used the term ‘electronic moderators’ - ‘e-moderators’" (p. 3).
One can be assured that the author has a clear purpose and perspective for writing the book. To fully understand this perspective, it is important to have an appreciation for the author’s background. Gilly Salmon is a leading authority on e-moderating and works as a faculty member with the Centre for Information and Innovation at the Open University Business School in Milton Keynes, England. She has been a contributing author to several other books and journal publications and has presented the topic of e-moderating and computer mediated conferencing to numerous international conferences.
The ideology of e-moderating is likely to present a new modus operandi for teachers and learners, but to completely appreciate these new concepts one must have an appropriate definition for electronic moderating. In the book, Salmon defines an e-moderator as an individual who "presides over an electronic meeting or conference..." (p. 3). It is therefore implied that e-moderating must be effectively integrated into both synchronous and asynchronous computer-mediated conferences, or CMCs. It is not the author’s intent to merely offer up another definition of e-learning and support her argument that her definition is correct and should be adopted; however, Salmon does offer unique insights into the facilitating of a productive e-learning strategy through e-moderating and computer-mediated conferencing. While the foundations of these insights are rooted in the author’s research, her purpose is not to involve the reader in the idiosyncrasies of the research project and its outcomes. Nor is her rationale for writing the book based on offering a "how-to" of e-moderating. In E-moderating, Salmon has struck a delicate balance of providing a forum for both knowledge sharing and knowledge generation. Writing a book in itself expresses knowledge sharing; however, it is rare to find a book that inspires its readers to utilize its content as a source of continued knowledge generation. As previously mentioned, Gilly Salmon does not take a "sage on the stage" approach to writing. Her candor and practicality are evident by her use of diary entries from an e-moderator and actual e-moderated online conferences and chats. Also, incorporated into the book is an entire section devoted to resources for practitioners to utilize when design CMCs. The resources, which are introduced and explained, offer the practicing e-moderator tools to conduct computer mediated conferences in a community environment indicative of "active, practical, theoretical and reflective learning" (p. 72). These tools should be considered as a value-added section of the book. The topics addressed in the "Resources for Practitioners" range from choosing CMC software to developing, encouraging and evaluating participation in an online environment to the utilization of the five-stage model of teaching and learning through CMC.
Salmon’s five-stage model is not only offered as a resource for practicing e-moderators but is also the focal point of this book and the cornerstone of her research at the Open University Business School. The stages of the model are access and motivation, online socialization, information exchange, knowledge construction, and development. Each stage is further segmented into technical skills and e-moderating skills. The author dedicates an entire chapter to the explanation of the many facets of the model and provides historical perspectives, advice, quotations from e-moderators and conference participants, and expected outcomes for each stage. Gilly Salmon celebrates the merits of the model by writing,
"Given appropriate technical support, e-moderation and a purpose for taking part in CMC, nearly all participants will progress through these stages of use in CMC...The chief benefit of using the model to design a course with CMC is that you know how participants are likely to exploit the system at each stage and you can avoid pitfalls. The results should be a higher participation rate and increased student satisfaction" (p. 26-27).
In addition to the wealth of information regarding e-moderating and the author’s model, the book offers a concise and easy to understand background of computer-mediated conferencing by answering many of the most basic questions related to software, infrastructure, costs, and assessment processes. A more in depth discussion of computer mediated conferencing and the participants’ experience is addressed, and offers the reader perspectives on learning styles, disabilities, gender, and "lurkers," those people who review the content of the conference but are reluctant to become an active member of the discussion.
Any discussion of online learning would be incomplete without a discussion of the creation of a social community of participants in an intangible environment. The author addresses this issue throughout the book but summarizes her intentions by explaining, "...the use of e-moderated CMC for learning directly addresses the broadening acceptance and understanding of learning as a socially mediated and constructed process and of knowledge as personal and not ‘fixed’" (p. 93). Salmon goes on to explain the importance of openness, participation, and interaction as "fundamental to learning, so long as it is appropriately e-moderated and embedded in the overall learning methods" (p. 94).
As for the reviewer’s recommendation for who should read E-moderating: The Key to Teaching and Learning Online, this reviewer would be inattentive for not offering kudos to the author, Gilly Salmon. When writing this book, Salmon had a clear understanding of her audience as any good e-moderator and instructional designer should. To reinforce this understanding, the Preface of the book offers a laundry list of readers who would benefit from reading E-moderating. Personally, the reviewer believes the strength of the book is centered in its practical approach to e-moderating and would, therefore, recommend it to all of those considering computer-mediated conferencing as a part of their learning strategy. The reviewer would also recommend the book to those companies and academic institutions that currently offer online conferencing but have experienced inadequate or unproductive participation. Through her book, Salmon has taught this reviewer that the lack of participation may not be the result of unmotivated participants but that of inappropriate or inexperienced e-moderators.
In conclusion, this reviewer was struck by a quotation, which Gilly Salmon uses from one of her colleagues at the Open University Business School. She quotes Ken Giles as recalling, "When I admire ducks swimming in a pond, I’m not much concerned with what’s going on under the water" (p. 70). This is a profound statement with applications to all aspects of online learning environments. The idea of enjoying and appreciating the experience without being hindered by the mechanics of how something is done provided this reviewer with a unique understanding of both e-moderating and e-learning strategies. As simplistic as it may seem, much can be learned from the swimming duck.
[Source: www.elearning-reviews.org]
Von Jonathan U. Dougherty, erfasst im Biblionetz am 13.09.2005

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iconErwähnungen Dies ist eine nach Erscheinungsjahr geordnete Liste aller im Biblionetz vorhandenen Werke, die das ausgewählte Thema behandeln.

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