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LINKING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE TO ACHIEVE TECHNOLOGY ENHANCED LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION

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Higher education institutions (HEIs) increasingly use technology-enhanced learning (TEL) environments (e.g. blended learning and e-learning) to improve student throughput and retention rates. As the demand for TEL courses increases, expectations rise for faculty to meet the challenge of using TEL effectively. The promises that TEL holds have not yet materialized, as not enough faculty master the skills and knowledge to integrate TEL into their teaching and learning. The role of emotional intelligence (EI) in attaining TEL in e-learning and blended learning environments is not yet clear. This article reports a case study at a South African university where the former Department of Telematic Education introduced a program to prepare faculty for the implementation of TEL for ODL. This research explores and describes links between emotional intelligence and faculty’s ability to cope with new learning technologies. The purposive sampling comprised ten participants who completed a set of e-activities. A mixed methods approach triangulated the findings which provided insight into the coping tactics participants used to accomplish TEL for ODL. Five trends emerged: perception of adequate ability, cognitive decision making; perception of stressful situations; emotional disclosure; and social networking. Although the study identified links between emotional intelligence and coping strategies, the interdependency of coping strategies and emotional intelligence remains elusive.

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