How Can You Measure Social Emotional Learning Effectiveness?

Educator Impact

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We know that integrating social emotional learning (SEL) into a school’s daily curriculum is good for students and the adults who work with them. Schools that invest in high-quality SEL programming understand that the mindset of each student can be transformative to their welfare and development. Teachers, counselors, coaches, and leaders trained in SEL best practices and methods are in a position to provide students with the tools to empower them to become happy, healthy, and flourishing individuals. Furthermore, administration and leadership that understand the importance of highlighting SEL across the entire learning community will also reap the benefits of a healthier, happier, and more productive staff.

Schools committed to high-quality SEL programs see the benefits multiply over time, but how can schools be sure that what they are doing and when they are doing it has the intended impact? How do schools know if they are doing SEL right and achieving their goals?

In the initial stages of effective SEL programming, teachers can recognize small changes, observable in the classroom. These near-term goals include boosts in motivation levels, heightened engagement, bursts of energy around learning, and increased courage to share more. Teachers and staff may experience a rise in curiosity and find themselves fielding more questions about daily activities and learning. Students will begin to take risks and use more expressive language. These telltale signs of emerging SEL competencies will be present both in individual students and the overall classroom dynamic and will ebb and flow throughout the school calendar. These are the early signs of transformative learning.

The five core competencies of SEL are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. They represent the umbrella under which all the long-term gains of SEL occur in the learning environment. The intersectoral relationship between these competencies plays a major role in students’ wellbeing and deeper social emotional gains. The ability to recognize the areas in which students need extra support and what is working in terms of enhancing competency growth is crucial to strong SEL initiatives.

Clear indicators that SEL programs are effective and having a positive impact include:

  • Greater academic success
  • Fewer behavioral issues
  • Less emotional distress and lower anxiety
  • Less bullying
  • Improved career readiness
  • Improved graduation rates
  • Positive school climate
  • Better student-teacher relationships
  • Less teacher stress

Teachers who are well-versed in SEL practice can reflect on their own SEL competencies and better manage classroom dynamics and their reactions to daily challenges. As teachers model these positive behaviors, their students gain valuable insight into their own behaviors. Students learn self-regulation skills and pro-social behaviors to help them navigate their increasingly changing world. Schools that implement and sustain high-quality SEL programs experience less teacher stress and lower levels of burnout. As a result, classrooms can be transformed into inclusive listening and learning environments, where teachers feel fulfilled and understand that they are vital participants in their students’ overall wellbeing and success. As a result, schools will enjoy better teacher retention and build caring, empathetic learning communities where students can thrive.

ei Pulse

Schools can enhance their social emotional learning initiatives and be confident that they are effective by keeping a regular pulse on overall student wellbeing. ei Pulse, a wellbeing platform that connects schools with actionable insights ensures results. It enables schools to bridge the logic gap between implementing SEL programming and making certain that it is impactful and that resources are well directed.

ei Pulse collects wellbeing and experience data from every student, every week, in a user-friendly way. Students spend just one minute answering questions regarding their mental health and wellbeing on an easy-to-use platform. The unique design enables students to check in from anywhere at any time from a mobile device. Students who need immediate attention can connect with help in a way that is respectful of their privacy and needs and on their own terms.

The continuous feedback loop provides decision-makers with a constant flow of relevant data that helps guide the SEL curriculum at all levels of the learning environment: individual, classroom, school, and policymaking. As a result of weekly student insight data, both pre- and post-program implementation, schools can evaluate whether interventions are working. Schools can tailor programs to address challenges in real time and make ongoing tweaks as needed. Teachers and staff will gain confidence in their decision-making, and students will gain trust in their learning communities as they make the connection that their wellbeing matters and is being addressed in real time. Trust builds exponentially and usership grows.

Using timely, evidence-based data to ensure that social emotional learning programs are effective makes all the difference. Schools that include ei Pulse’s high-quality technology platform will enhance overall wellbeing and heighten positive outcomes for students and teachers. Using ei Pulse to monitor the effectiveness of your school’s SEL curriculum will be transformative.

Here at Educator Impact, we help school leaders keep a pulse on their students’ wellbeing and empower them with tools that leverage real-time student insights to inform SEL strategies, identify which students need further support, and enable them to continually improve their SEL initiatives.

To see how we can help you do the same for your school community, feel free to reach out to our SEL and wellbeing experts today!