The Collaborative Model for Teaching o-SEL: Preparing Educators to Design Online Environments for Social-Emotional Learning


Geesa, R.L., Robbins, K., & Shively, K. (2022). The collaborative model for teaching o-SEL: Preparing educators to design online environments for social-emotional learning. Journal of Online Learning Research, 8(1), 67-100. 


In this study, we sought to develop a model to provide educators with training and resources to effectively support and guide social-emotional learning (SEL) in PK-12 online environments, which we refer to as o-SEL. We utilized five national sets of standards and competencies to guide the development of six online modules for educators to gain skills, knowledge, and resources to help students learn SEL-related skills. Qualitative methods and analysis were employed to examine our research question. We utilized design thinking as a strategy for developing o-SEL professional learning. Five SEL experts were identified and invited to participate in a brief survey to determine areas of focus and then we conducted two one-hour focus groups. The focus group discussion was transcribed, coded, and analyzed to determine emergent themes related to areas of SEL needs in online learning environments. Based on our findings, we identified six elements (i.e., Empower, Engage, Motivate, Include, Collaborate, Extend) for educators to foster inclusive o-SEL environments for PK-12 learners that we describe as the Collaborative Model for Teaching o-SEL. We discuss the positive impact that o-SEL instruction can have on student learning outcomes, while also designing inclusive and culturally relevant support structures. This study calls for further investigation regarding teacher application of the o-SEL model and impact of o-SEL on student learning.


  • Geesa, Rachel Louise
  • Robbins, Kirsten
  • Shively, Kate

Reference Type



  • Social-emotional learning