E-tivities are online learning activities designed for learner engagement and active participation. If you are involved in any aspect of online learning and teaching, E-tivities is a book you must read. Let me zoom into two of the many reasons why I believe that to be the case.
Firstly, when you are designing a course, what really matters is not the actual course material, but what learners do with that content to achieve their learning outcomes. E-tivities provide a cheap, scalable, versionable and effective scaffold for learners to make sense of those materials and turn input into intake - together. Even today, in the second decade of the 21st Century, some people create a content repository and pretend it constitutes an online course. Not so: the resource is not the course. Designing for active online learning demands much more of teachers, designers and learning technologists. E-tivities help to make this crucial aspect of online learning and teaching practice fast, focused and fun.
Secondly, the general "obsession with the content", i.e. pushing content of varying quality to learners, expecting them to make sense of it and "use the discussion forum for queries", besides being naïve, relies heavily on learner-content interaction. Such interaction may take the form of reading a document, watching a video, listening to a podcast or doing a quiz. E-tivities invite teachers to embed and learners to benefit from the two other key types of interaction: learner-learner and learner-tutor, in a structured manner, aligned with the course aims and learning outcomes.
I invite colleagues involved in any aspect of online learning and teaching to experiment and innovate with different types of e-tivities. I believe that the impact you might generate will not just be positive, but also transformational.
Professor Alejandro Armellini University of Northampton, UK
At 203 pages, this little book packs a huge amount of information into it for teachers and academics interested in excellent exemplars of online learning. Prof. Salmon's elucidation of the five-stage model of teaching and learning is itself worth the price of purchase. Don't let the clunky page layout put you off as the writing is accessible and straightforward. The section on the technology spectrum does not cover the entire gamut of possibilities available, but you will be kept busy investigating the numerous platforms listed. Perhaps my only reservation is that I would have liked to have seen more detail about the advantages and disadvantages of each platform identified and some discursive commentary on API design and an indication of useability in different learning contexts but, overall, the book is not diminshed by this commentary being excluded. One of the best texts I've seen on this subject.