Softer Skills in e-Learning

When identifying skills for a job role it is often hard to identify the softer skills, but they are important to explore and develop in a team.  They are often the qualities which make the difference between a reasonable learning event and an excellent learning event.

The list below identifies some of the softer skills needed within a team developing and delivering e-Learning.  You may wish to identify which of your team members possesses these skills.

Pedagogical (concerned with learning)

  • Belief in e-Learning as a mode of delivery and an enthusiasm for taking it forward
  • Ability to integrate e-Learning into existing teaching and learning processes
  • A desire to try new ways of delivering training and continually look to improve
  • Empathy with the learners and how learners perceive their learning situation
  • Ability to encourage, engage and motivate learners
  • Ability to generate enthusiasm and maintain interest
  • Guide progress in small unthreatening steps
  • Skills and knowledge to help break down barriers
  • Ability to build rapport
  • Persistence to keep learners on track and deal with problems as they occur
  • Ability to communicate ideas and instructions clearly

Technical (concerned with the computers and the networks)

  • Desire to explore and use technology to its maximum potential
  • Identify what people can already do with ICT and how that can transfer into the learning environment

Creative (concerned with the development of engaging content)

  • Creative in identifying content for programmes
  • An ability to see the end product and the stages towards it
  • Ability to evaluate materials, seeing the learners view
  • Ability to adapt materials for different levels of learning

Personal Qualities

  • Patience
  • confidence in yourself and your abilities
  • positivity, proactive
  • welcoming change

Think how you would test these qualities.  How do you recognise them?

How do you gain the softer skills?

For many the first process is self-analysis.  The ability to look critically at yourself and your abilities, the way you do things or deal with people, things and situations.  Additionally the following may help:

  • Completing personality questionnaires
  • 360 degree questionnaires – a tool by which peers, colleagues, managers, that is, the team around you, provide input into your qualities and skills knowledge and training in the workplace. Used mainly as part of an appraisal process.
  • Self Help books, DVDs and other media
  • Learning from the way colleagues behave – both good and bad often best achieved by working honestly with peers or with a mentor as part of a mentor programme
  • Learning your craft well – confidence increases

Courses and Qualifications

Softer skills are often hidden in knowledge and skill based qualification courses and these have to be investigated carefully. Courses do exist in relation to the softer skills and often these are short-term courses with no qualification attached.

What skills are required to support e-Learning?

Back to the Trainer readiness page

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