Effective Social-emotional Learning Strategies in the Online University Classroom

Xiaqing Chang, Chunqiao Chang, Julia Price


With the increasing prevalence of online education, especially since the pandemic, there is a growing need to explore effective strategies for fostering social-emotional learning (SEL) in virtual university classrooms. The key components of SEL are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. In this study, the researcher explores effective  SEL strategies in online university classrooms. Although researchers have widely investigated the topic of SEL programs in K-12 settings, few have focused on SEL strategies in adult-level or university settings, specifically for online environments. In this qualitative, phenomenological study, the researcher investigates professor perceptions regarding effective SEL strategies in university online environments. Participants in the study are professors with experience teaching at the graduate or undergraduate level in a private university in Tennessee. The researcher collects data from a questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, and a focus group discussion. Several strategies emerge as effective in promoting SEL, including sympathy building, supportive environment, and building connections. By implementing these strategies, educators can effectively promote SEL in online university classrooms, thereby enhancing the overall well-being of students, academic success, and readiness for the online environment. However, further research is warranted on the implementation of these strategies in diverse online learning environments.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v13n3p44


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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email: ijhe@sciedupress.com

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