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Seb Anthony

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E Learning -Emotional Intelligence -Equality and Diversity


A new book will be published next week by one of the founders of "emotional intelligence",Dr Daniel Goleman. His book "Social Intelligence-The New Science of Relationships" has a good deal to say about new research in this field which essentially builds on NLP.

The quote that caught my eye concerned e learning. This is what he has to say:-

"Reject the "inexorable technocreep" that results in so many of us conducting relationships by e-mail which is faceless and voiceless,and thus deprives the brain of vital social cues. Tests largely reflect what we know about social situations rather than how well we operate in social situations. It's how we operate that tests should assess. And if you're going to do that,you can't just ask people questions about it.You also need to assess how well their automatic and unconcious circuitry operates,for example,the circuitry that tells me your eyes are expressing interest and curiosity right now"

My conclusion is that e-learning has its place within a blended training package but a course as emotionally loaded as equality and diversity needs a hefty focus on how social behaviour is shaped as much by instinct and interaction,as opposed to rational thought and process via a computer screen! E learning should therefore be a secondary consideration with the main driver coming from training room encounters.

What do you think?



Jennifer Topping

2 Responses

  1. e-learning – the new fad??
    e-learning like ANY delivery method is only a tool – right for some people not for others – and then it gets complicated by the nature of the content you are looking for…

    Using e-learning as the only tool for any training or development is a dangerous route.

    I was at a lecture by Prof Heinz Wolf some years ago (10+) and he also believed this premis that the human interaction with a computer was limited because the letter “a” is just the same action as the letter “s” – therefore there is little emotional link to technology. and reading text is just that text – limited emotion.

    I for one would avoid over simplification by saying that only emotional subjects should not be ‘taught’ by technology, but say that its about appropriate use of each methodology for the content, context and individual.


  2. What do you want to develop?
    As a specialist trainer in E & D I half agree with Goldman but I think it depends on what your learning outcomes are. I am considering using e-learning for some of my E & D stuff but focusing on knowledge based material.

    If I want people to develop particular skills and try things out (eg challenging inappropriate behaviour) I would prefer a classroom context.


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