How Can Online Learning Social And Emotional Learning

Maryanne Roller, HuffPost blogger, author, longtime teacher, and advocate for social and emotional learning.

Maryanne Roller is the author of How To Be Good!: 47 Simple Practices for a Happier, Healthier You and chief value officer for Consolidated Communications.


You’ve probably just finished reading this and you need to know whether you’re eligible for training. You’re spending a lot of money and time, and I want to figure out how best to maximize that.

According to Connected Learning with Dr. Esteban Salinas:

How people learn is mediated by the emotions they feel. To participate meaningfully, students must feel emotionally ready to learn. One of the most significant determinants of the emotional readiness of students and lecturers is social fit. In a high-trust, productive learning environment, employees learn from and celebrate their strengths, not try to get better at suppressing their challenges and weaknesses. You teach students the skills they need to do their job, but because you’re who they’ve come to know, you also help them make new ones.

Often, professors have a lot of different skills, so whether they focus on teaching or teaching as a skill, how can you help them help students become better instructors?

How should an instructor help a student with an idea that isn’t working?

Two big ways: Tell the student about the possibility of having input on the project’s larger goals. Open your classroom and watch as a group or with just one student to work through the steps of proofing the idea. A better part of understanding how to design a lesson may be seeing the strengths in their idea.

We had this on Twitter this week:

@beautypirates what have you done to help a student in a mixed mixed room of students? — Allison Little (@AllisonLdn) October 30, 2018

Whether they’re spending thousands of dollars to learn in a classroom or a company-provided office, it’s important to incorporate social learning in your classroom. Here are four things to consider.

1. Role Model Yourself

To make it clear how serious you are about social learning in your classroom, start by letting students know that you want them to learn more about yourself.

Students who are in classes with a friend or teacher who’s doing this will feel better comfortable talking to that teacher, and trust him or her. Put “student role model” to the side of your preparedness, and instead tell your students:

I want to do my best and share insights with you. Learn from me.

To encourage the student to pursue their goals, you can also say, “If this resonates with you, I would love to help you complete your homework.”

2. Set Up a Peer Support Network

You might have one student who’s better than another, who’s more daring, who plays team sports, or who likes to try new things. Create a group of students to help each other.

Encourage the team to have sessions during class, either over video chat or over campus wifi. A chat to let students know about the talks, whether they get assigned to the group by you or not, is a great way to get started. I’ve posted questions for you to ask your team members here.

Tell them about the time that you enjoy and it costs you. Let the group know if they’re close friends and who their friend’s friends are.

Once they are engaged, get students involved in upcoming meetings by putting up calendar invites for upcoming events in the space.

Have each student invite a classmate to join, or invite a student to be a stand-in, share their current research paper with the group, or do a “project party” where everyone creates homework.

5. Use Streaming Platforms For One-on-One Session

In the past, teachers had to spend so much time making their lessons interactive that they would miss out on the individualized learning. Plus, you could see lots of distractions as everyone worked to guess what somebody else was saying, or what they were doing next.

I have a couple of ideas for how to do this:

Say, you have a student who is doing research and you’d like to get their hypothesis.

To get some feedback from the student, share the clip of what they’re doing. Point at her and let her see how the other person summarizes what you’re discussing.

Set up a Skype session where you can give a live assessment.

Do a discussion on your Facebook page or link to a post on your Google Hangout.

Share a question or a question and answer session where students and you can get ideas to help students have better feedback for the next time you meet.

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