The effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, the confinement, the suspension of face-to-face training activities, as well as the various security and social distancing measures have definitively established e-learning as a key element in the education and training industry.
The importance of socio-emotional skills in the transmission of content is clear, especially in adult education or andragogy. As UNESCO itself ratifies, “the development of socio-emotional learning skills helps stressful situations to be dealt with calmly and with balanced emotional responses, strengthening critical thinking and decision-making”.
In this sense, EDL aims to develop socio-emotional skills in adult trainers, so that they can better manage their online training. The aim is to improve these skills from both an intrapersonal and interpersonal point of view, enabling the trainer to regulate their own emotions when faced with the difficulties involved in remote training. The educator, at the same time, will learn how to manage the emotions generated in the group of learners.
Some teachers or educators might not be aware of their own level of intra and inter-personal skills or might not even have taken these aspects into consideration and reflection. For this purpose, the EDL partners have developed a self-assessment tool to help teachers assess their own level of soft skills when teaching online. This tool, which has been translated into Spanish, Italian, German, Greek and Irish, consists of 60 questions that have been grouped in three areas: management, communication and adaptability. Respondents can choose to answer the three quizzes individually, according to their preference.
Before creating the tool, partners dedicated a few months to conduct a needs analysis (surveys and focus groups) in order to identify the following 12 menaces that have supposed the biggest challenges in distance learning:
- Technical problems: poor internet connection, lack of digital tools, software
- Lack of non-verbal and para-verbal communication
- Adaptation of activities and materials to online teaching
- Difficulty in creating a good rapport and interaction with students
- Difficulty in keeping students motivated and engaged online
- Emotional distance
- Students’ fatigue
- Poor time management
- Feelings of fear toward change and new scenarios (adaptability)
- Group activities
- Concentration problems
- Discipline problems and classroom management
We encourage every trainer who teaches in an online setting to answer these quizzes in order to acquire a better understanding of their emotional management skills. Enjoy it!