Daniel Staemmler

Things about eLearning, Educational Technology, and more…

Emotional Intelligence and Age

The subject of emotional intelligence (definition) is a little bit of topic when it comes to learning and technology. But in some way I think it has something to do with learning since we as human beings learn and acquire knowledge in different areas that matter to us as an individual. Why do I bring this subject of emotional intelligence up at all? Well, I received an issue of the Chief Learning Officer referring to a study that challenges assumptions about age and emotional intelligence. The study they refer to has been conducted by the Lorenzo Farisell, Massimiliano Ghini and Joshua Freedman and the full text is available on the 6 seconds Emotional Intelligence Network. The white paper states significant findings that are in contrast to existing research, saying that the relationship between age and emotional intelligence is more of a slight nature.

There are many assumptions about emotional intelligence and age. Popular literature and “common sense” asset that older people are more aware, wise, and restrained. Is it true? Existing research indicates a slight relationship between emotional intelligence and age. How strong is this effect, and which areas of emotional intelligence are most affected by age? Are older people more self aware, better at self management, and/or do they make more principled decisions?

One thing in the conclusion paragraph grabbed my attention since they suggest to include different demographic categories and how those influence the combination of age and emotional intelligence. Their example question is that a “… high academic level is correlated with higher IQ, so does increased education likewise affect EQ?” From my own (subjective) experience at two different universities I can tell that some of the academic staff are petty smart but their emotional intelligence goes towards zero. So it should be pretty interesting to see what the result of another study will reveal.

Another interesting questions in regard to emotional intelligence would be for me, if individuals using social networks on the Internet differ from those who stay in touch with their circle of friends more so on a face to face base.

Filed under: Cognitive Psychology, Evaluation, , ,

Learning Styles and Interactive Learning Programs

Cognitive Components of Learning Outcome within Virtual Learning Environments – Abstract
thesis book coverThe objective of this study is to examine the influence of hypermedia systems with different levels of interactivity upon the learning outcome of users with different learning styles. For this purpose, the areas of educational media and differential cognitive psychology have been combined. On one hand, interactive learning objects within hypermedia systems were researched with regards to their learning efficacy. Two learning programs with different levels of interactivity were used. On the other hand, users’ individual learning preferences were surveyed in terms of their learning styles.

To determine the individual learning style, an inventory based on Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory and the Learning Style Questionnaire from Honey & Mumford was developed. Psychometric properties were examined using a sample size of 191 students. Internal consistency of the alpha coefficients ranged from satisfactory to good. Empirical evidence of the construct validity could not be reported.

In an experimental study with a sample size of 84 students enrolled in public health, nursing and nutrition, and home economics courses at the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg was conducted. The influence of hypermedia systems with different levels of interactivity on the learning outcome of users with different learning styles was investigated. A general linear model with repeated measurement was chosen for the examination. Additionally, questionnaires were used to survey previous knowledge, learning outcome and learning styles.

The results demonstrate that learning took place regardless of the levels of interactivity and learning style. Users with a diverging learning style reached higher scores with a low level of interactivity. Subjects with an assimilating learning style achieved, though not significantly, a higher learning outcome in the learning program with higher interactivity. Users with a converging learning style tended to obtain a higher learning outcome with lower interactivity. Subjects with an accommodating learning style tended to achieve a higher learning outcome in the learning program with higher interactivity.

This abstract is the summary of my thesis, which is only available in German for now. If anybody wants to know more about this publication please feel free to contact me. I also welcome very much your opinion if I should translate and publish it. You can do so by using the comment function on this page or using the email address mentioned above.

Filed under: Cognitive Psychology, Evaluation, , , , , , , ,

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