The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Virtual & Blended Learning

March 17, 2022

EQ and the world of Virtual & Blended Learning

The world constantly evolves and expands, adapting to diverse people and surroundings. Having emotional intelligence allows for effective communication and understanding of others' feelings. How someone responds to challenges and expresses their emotions impact their relationship with others. In any learning, training, or coaching environment, it is vital that an environment of emotional intelligence is cultivated in order to harness the shared learnings and energy of the group. Both the facilitators’ and learners’ ability to be empathetic towards others, and actively communicate their emotions, affects the tenor of the experience and the outcomes.  But how does emotional intelligence fit into the world of virtual and blended learning?

As the pandemic continues to unfold, more and more of our interactions rely on virtual communication.  One of the struggles of online learning courses is isolation, boredom, and disconnection felt by the participants. So how do we empower a connected and engaging learning environment when people are physically alone? The lack of face-to-face interaction necessitates tools that allow for connection and shared learning. Once in those spaces, it also requires people to actively listen to others in order to understand their unique perspectives and needs. This means asking questions and actively listening to them. The development of emotional intelligence allows both facilitators and learners, who may face challenging situations and needs in the learning environment; to have an awareness and understanding of their own behaviors and emotions, and those of others in the group. This helps foster a healthy foundation for a new modality like asynchronous reflection, practice, and comments on these activities..  The role of emotional intelligence in online learning is to help facilitators and learners build relationships, reduce stress, develop conflict resolution skills, and motivate them to become better versions of themselves.  Online learners can achieve their professional and personal goals by enhancing their emotional intelligence.  

The benefits of Emotional Intelligence in Virtual and Blended Learning

Enhance nonverbal communication skills: Learners can become self-confident, develop empathy, and positively influence others' behavior when they practice nonverbal communication skills. Learners must communicate in several manners in online learning, and non-verbal communication is a critical part of this equation. Empowering learners to share thoughts, support, and reflections in a variety of modalities encourage a supportive environment with best-in-class outcomes

Openness to Feedback: When learners are able to take constructive criticism and improve with every critique,  the foundation for a growth mindset has been set and can be cultivated. It is essential to have the proper tools for facilitator feedback in order to enable this online. Many platforms only have passive content, and cannot support this type of feedback, so be sure to find a solution that matches the quality and needs of your training and coaching arcs. 

Become Mindful: Mindfulness is an essential component of emotional intelligence, especially with online learning. In practicing mindfulness, a learner can adapt to change and tap into their own innate self-motivation. Motivation is challenging in virtual spaces, but engaging learners in these scenario engaging activities with practice and reflection, allows them to focus,  and interrupt the stress cycle. They're also more likely to work in social groups confidently and engage with others. 

The role of emotional intelligence in online learning can increase connectivity with others, help people better manage their emotions, improve their performance, and gain self-confidence.  DSD lets learners participate in activities that enhance their emotional and social intelligence, including creating a safe space to express their ideas, strengths, and weaknesses.

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