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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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A.1 Relationship between theoretical chapters and practical activities in the chronological sequence of the chapters Chapter 2: Going back to chapters 2.1 and 4, the course tries to cover both aspects of assimilation and assertion, or, in the words of chapter 4, aspects of defending other people's human rights (solidarity) as well as aspects of defending one's own human rights (empowerment). This is the case in the groupwork activities (see chapters 7.7 and 7.8), in which the group members are encouraged to assert their positions, while at the same time make group decisions and help other learners if necessary. The course material covers cognitive, attitudinal and behavioral aspects, as implied by the theoretical background in chapters 2.2 and 4 does the pre- and post-test described in chapter 8.2.The internet research task (see chapter 7.5) mainly covers cognitive aspects, whereas the forum discussions related to di- lemmas (see chapter 7.4) cover mostly attitudinal aspects; the groupwork activi- ties (see chapters 7.7 and 7.8) cover mostly behavioral aspects. Also, the impli- cations are taken up resulting from teaching social competence as described in chapter 2.5, such as self-evaluation (see chapter 7.9 on reflection activities), role models (see chapter 7.3 on working with pseudonyms) and role-plays (see chap- ter 7.8) Chapter 3: The stage models developed by Kohlberg as describedin chapter 3.2 are not be used as diagnostic instruments due to a number of reasons explained in chapter 8, amongst others the impracticability of open interviews in distance learning settings. Howe,the activities...

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