In a recent interview, 3C Institute’s CEO and founder Dr. Melissa DeRosier said that “effective online learning is here to stay.” These words demonstrate how quickly education has changed in the past year. With schools worldwide shutting their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic, e-learning became the key mode for delivering instruction to millions of students. By August 2020, nearly 93 percent of U.S. households with school-age children reported at least some experience with e-learning, and many schools now see e-learning as an essential tool for educators. In fact, according to RAND Corporation, around 20 percent of school districts in the United States have already integrated or may integrate permanent e-learning options.
The widespread, rapid transition to e-learning has drawn conflicting responses. Many students report feeling empowered by e-learning, especially students with behavioral differences. Others have praised e-learning for eliminating distractions, making lessons accessible, and incorporating technology-based collaboration. On the other hand, some administrators, teachers, and parents worry that e-learning during the pandemic negatively affected students’ social-emotional well-being. A recent survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speaks to these concerns.
Fortunately, e-learning can also help solve these issues. A forthcoming research article, published in Frontiers in Education, reveals the effectiveness of pairing game-based social-emotional learning (SEL) with other e-learning strategies. The results speak for themselves. The team of researchers found that playing Adventures Aboard the S.S.GRIN, one of 3C’s many SEL games, improved students’ interpersonal strength, communication skills, and prosocial behavior during the pandemic. In particular, students in the study became more empathetic and cooperative, and they demonstrated better emotional regulation and impulse control. In the post-COVID educational landscape, e-learning for behavior change and e-learning for content acquisition need to go hand in hand.
E-learning for behavior change is where 3C’s services and technology shine. Drawing on 20 years’ worth of success, 3C approaches e-learning as a distinct form of educational experience, with its own challenges and opportunities. In studies of game-based social skills development, resilience as students transition to college, and the link between positive racial identity and academic success among Black youth, among other topics, researchers have consistently found that 3C’s products significantly improve participants’ social skills and other behavioral health outcomes.
3C’s technology produces such powerful results because it adheres to the principles of research-informed e-learning: equity, interactivity, accessibility, and personalization. Together, these principles lead to immersive educational experiences that treat learners as active participants. The key to our success, as DeRosier says, is effective e-learning.