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Improving Social Competence via e-Learning?

The Example of Human Rights Education

Sandra Reitz

This book analyses whether improving social competence via e-learning is possible at all. Therefore, an e-learning program for human rights education is developed and evaluated with pre- and post-tests. Social competences as well as human rights education are often divided into areas of «cognition», «attitudes» and «behaviour». In order to achieve the pedagogical goals, all three areas have to be considered. In contrast to the cognitive area, the attitudinal and behavioral areas pose a particular challenge: so far, hardly any programs exist that explicitly consider these areas – most e-learning programs focus on the dissemination of knowledge. Thanks to the participation of over one hundred learners, some generalizing conclusions can be drawn from this program.

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6 Planning the E-Learning Course on HumanRights Education

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111 6 Planning the E-Learning Course on Human Rights Education “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professio- nals built the Titanic.” - Anonymous With the background of the theoretical part, a new e-learning course on human rights education is planned in this chapter. First of all, chapter 6.1 analyzes ex- isting e-learning offers on human rights education according to the theoretical findings from the previous chapters. As the e-learning course focuses on ex- change between the learners, a platform evaluation follows in chapters 6.2. Chapter 6.3 describes the background of the learning groups, while chapter 6.4 summarizes the learning goals of this course before chapter 7 describes the rea- lization of the courses. 6.1 Existing E-Learning Courses on Human Rights Education Early e-learning experts often mentioned that e-learning has its strengths in the cognitive area, but immense shortcomings in the attitudinal and behavioral area. One still recent example is by Frank Elbers and Felisa Tibbitts of Human Rights Education Associates (HREA), who write: “Although new technologies are particularly useful in transferring knowledge and skills – they are not as conducive to other aspects of the learning process (i.e. values, attitudes and behavior)”.353 However, this notion seems to change recently. For example, Dö- 353 Elbers, Frank & Tibbitts, Felisa (2004). Using Information Technologies for Human Rights Education. In: Viola B. Georgi & Michael Seberich (Eds.): International Pers- pectives in Human Rights Education. Bielefeld: Bertelsmann Foundation Publishers. Pages 128-145. Quotation on page 144. Cf. the other following...

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