2000 adolescents and 500 teachers from all over Spain will participate in a project to develop tools for the evaluation of socio-emotional skills in children between 10 and 16 years old. It is the project, emoTIC, led by the researchers Inmaculada Montoya Castilla (emina group – Universitat de València) and José Antonio Gil Gómez (Institute of Automation and Industrial Informatics, ai2, – Universitat Politècnica de Valencia). This November the validation of the first phase of the project took place at the ai2 Institute of the UPV: TECOEM-NA (Test of emotional competences for children and adolescents). Almost 80 students from an Alboraia institute participated in the validation of this application for mobile devices designed for the evaluation of emotional intelligence.
The objective of TECOEM_NA is “to develop an instrument for the evaluation of emotional competencies specific to adolescents between 10 and 16 years that is more attractive to them than the written tests that are currently used,” explains Gil. The app allows children to work through executive tasks thanks to which professionals can then measure user performance. The activities are included in four modules: perception, facilitation, understanding and regulation. Each of them includes tasks that deal with topics such as comic book thinking, emotional expression, how to modify the emotion or usefulness of a behavior.
Within the framework of emoTIC, the goal is to develop socio-emotional skills in adolescents to enhance their personal and social responsibility and well-being through an intervention in the different agents of the educational community (students, teachers and family), and through a program of socio-emotional intervention supported by a technological platform. The participants are, in addition to adolescents between 11 and 13 years old, teachers from schools and the children’s own families.
The technology platform will consist of two distinct parts: application on mobile device (ADM) and application on web server (ASW). The ADM will work on students’ devices, and will allow them to integrate into their group and execute the activities of the 11 levels of the program. The ASW will carry out the data management of students and teachers, as well as groups. To assess the impact of EmoTIC on the reference population, emotional skills variables will be evaluated; personal and social responsibility and interpersonal variables; Well-being and strength In addition, the project includes objective neurophysiological measures (measures of neural activity -EEG- and measurement of facial expression of emotions -Face Reader-), self-report (questionnaires), and observational (assessment of the quality of program implementation by of teachers).
According to the project researchers, «the starting hypothesis is that the development of emotional skills in the different agents of the educational community will favor the physical and psychological well-being of adolescents, will positively influence the development of a healthy and responsible life project, It will favor the development of satisfactory interpersonal relationships and improve school life. As for teachers, better emotional regulation will prevent the symptoms of emotional exhaustion (burnout) and improve their vital satisfaction and psychological well-being. Regarding families that expand these emotional abilities, they can act as a protection factor against the difficulties and risks faced by their teenage children, favoring good communication and family climate ».
The project, funded by Mineco, will last three years.