By George Stergioulas from Akadimos
AKADIMOS hosted and carried out the ‘Emotional Distance Learning’ multiplier event at the Y.M.C.A. center in Thessaloniki, Greece, on October 20th. The event drew 30 participants, primarily adult students and trainers. It aimed to familiarize attendees with the advantages derived from the outcomes of the EDL project.
At the commencement of the EDL project’s multiplier event, the Akadimos’ team introduced the project and its consortium, outlining its aims and objectives. Participants were also familiarized with the results of the EDL Project, including the EDL online self-assessment tool, a collection of twenty-four modules designed to address the emotional challenges within distance education on both personal and interpersonal levels, and the EDL platform, which features a comprehensive array of 36 digital tools.
Apart from the dissemination purposes of the multiplier event, Akadimos’ idea was to include a workshop in order to facilitate better feedback from the participants, due to the fact that active participation in an activity offers a better view for providing effective and valuable feedback. Throughout the workshop, participants were paired up and tasked with selecting a card that featured one of the challenges known to trigger emotional hurdles. These challenges had been identified by the consortium’s partners in the initial phases of the EDL project. The pairs engaged in brief discussions, brainstorming ways and tactics to combat these challenges. This phase highlighted the significance of interactivity in online education. Nearly all participants emphasized that increasing interaction between educators and learners could effectively address the emotional struggles associated with the twelve identified challenges.
As many participants highlighted, fostering interactions between students and teachers allows for the expression of fears or difficulties, facilitating the seeking of assistance. Engaging with others creates an environment where these problems can be more easily solved, either through providing support or offering advice. Additionally, interpersonal interactions play a role in diverting attention away from negative thoughts, which are often the primary source of emotional difficulties.
Undoubtedly, interactivity holds significant importance not only before and during online classes but also afterward. It serves as the crucial mechanism facilitating effective communication between teachers and students, fostering improved comprehension of concepts, ideas, thoughts, emotions, and challenges. Beyond the context of distance education, interactivity significantly influences our emotional well-being. Engaging with others or participating in collaborative activities enhances our mood, almost as though we are shedding a burdensome cloak of despondency that constantly weighs us down. By casting off these emotional burdens, we uplift ourselves.
In summary, our EDL multiplier event can be deemed a success. The active participation of the attendees in the workshop allowed us to gather vital feedback, aiding us in effectively concluding the ‘’Emotional Distance Learning’’ project. We aspire that our efforts, combined with their input, will result in something genuinely beneficial for individuals facing challenges in engaging with online educational settings.