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E-moderating – review


Title: E-Moderating
Author: Gilly Salmon
Publisher: Kogan Page, 2000
Price: £18.99, Paperback
ISBN: 0749431105

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This book explores the qualities and competencies required by those teaching and tutoring in an online environment. Salmon describes e-moderators as "a new generation of teachers and trainers who work with learners online" and who "preside over an electronic online meeting or conference."

The contents include: what is e-moderating, CMC (computer-mediated conferencing) in education and training, training e-moderators and looking to the future. There is also a resource section.

This book takes a practical and helpful look at the role of teachers/tutors in providing learning support through online conversations and discussions. It is based on research undertaken by Salmon analysing conversations of students on the Open University’s online MBA programme over a two-year period MBA.

According to Salmon, students typically go through a five-stage process. In stage one they learn the basic of using the technology and post their first comments. Stage two is the socialisation stage – the icebreaker – when students start to build trust. Stage three is when students start to find their way around the information available and start to share this information. At stage four the interaction between students becomes more collaborative until stage five they become responsible for their own learning.

The second part of the book contains a valuable resource section giving a variety of tips, checklists and guidance to use as a basis for running your own online workshops and discussion.

The book uses case studies throughout to illustrate and explain the information and experiences.

As an online tutor myself and a developer of eLearning programmes, I found the book very informative, useful and practical. It does not cover the development of materials or running online courses, but is a comprehensive guide to e-moderating and supporting learners undertaking online courses. I would recommend it to anyone working in the online learning environment.

Renée Raper
Director of Learning, Learning Channel
March 2002


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