What is an e-tivity?

E-tivity is a term coined by Professor Gilly Salmon (2002) to describe a framework for facilitating active learning in an online environemt.  An E-tivity involves learners interacting with one another and with the course tutor (who Salmon refers to as the e-moderator) in an online communication environment (e.g bulletin board/chat room) in order to complete a particular task. 

E-tivities generally involve the tutor providing a small piece of information, stimulus or challenge, which Salmon refers to as the 'spark'.   Learners then take part in an online discussion or activity which requires them to respond in some way to the 'spark'.  This generally involves each learner proving an individual response and then commenting on, or contributing to, that presented by other group/course members.  A summary, feedback or critique is then provided, often by the e-moderator but in some cases it may be provided by the learners themselves.

One of the key features that Gilly Salmon highlights in her definition of E-tivities is that they take place asynchronously.  One of the novel things we will be doing during this module will be to introduce synchronous E-tivities during the regular online meetings on Tuesdays.

Further information about Gilly Salmon's E-tivities framework can be found at:

http://www.atimod.com/e-tivities/intro.shtml

and in her book:

Salmon, G. (2002) E-tivities: a key to active online learning.  Routledge, London.

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