Online education, emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills for the 21st century

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University of Alabama Libraries

The purpose of this descriptive, cross-sectional, quantitative study was to compare the interpersonal abilities of online students to traditional students by evaluating their Emotional Intelligence (EI) through the Situational Test of Emotional Management (STEM). The study also sought to determine if there is a relationship between various demographic data and number of online courses completed and EI abilities of online students. The data collection occurred by utilizing a situational judgment test known as the Situational Test for Emotional Management (STEM) with additional questions add for the collection of demographic data. The sample for this study included 865 students comprised of 765 undergraduate business majors and 91 undergraduate business minors. While the study found no significant difference existed in the EI scores of students in the online and traditional environment, one of the most interesting findings to emerge from the data was the significant difference of EI scores surrounding the number of online courses completed. Students who completed at least one online course scored significantly higher on the STEM survey than their counterparts who had not completed any online courses. This finding implies that students might benefit from the time, training, experience, and practice of interpersonal skills in an online environment. Furthermore, the results demonstrated a significant difference in the emotional intelligence of students on the basis of gender. Females notably outscored males on the STEM survey.

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Educational technology, Educational evaluation, Business