Facilitating Active Listening Using Video-Conferencing: Success Factors, Challenges and Implications for Soft-Skills Training
Authors: Renate Motschnig
Abstract: While active listening as a basic attitude and practice has been broadly applied and researched in face-to-face settings, its practice in video-conference mediated format is far less investigated. To fill this gap, this paper investigates online active listening and open sharing in an academic course on Communication and Teamwork. The research objective is to find out, how active listening can be acquired in online settings and which features are perceived as most valuable from the perspective of the participants and the facilitator. This paper takes a participatory research approach including a thematic analysis of students' reflections on active listening, their ePortfolios, and their self-evaluations. In a nutshell, the vast majority of students reported significant advances in active listening and open sharing, attributing them to features such as the constructive atmosphere in the meetings, the high relevance of the themes and online resources, and the active participation in break-out rooms, exercises, and group discourse. Nevertheless, participants tended to miss the rich real social contact with their peers! Implications for further research and practice on soft-skills training are derived.
Keywords: Active listening online, video-conferencing, collaborative learning, digital humanism, Person-Centered Approach, Action Research
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