Could you introduce yourself a little bit and introduce us to your daughter, Ola. What are her ambitions post education?
My name is Alina and Ola, my daughter, is 17 and she is in first grade of high school. She is mostly interested in chemistry and biology and she plans to study abroad so that’s why she is mastering her language and soft skills. Her EtonX course was her first contact with soft skills courses preparing her for university and this is why we appreciated this course!
Could you tell us briefly about what Ola’s school currently covers in terms of soft skill teaching?
To some extent they do cover soft skill development because soft skills are competencies of the 21st century and the European parliament stated that they have to be introduced into the curriculum of Polish schools. In Polish schools, we have big classes, where there is 1 teacher teaching 30 students so there is not much space for soft skills development. As far as I know the schools are trying to implement the soft skills in their curriculum, but not always do they have space. In EtonX you have very small groups, with one tutor and there is more time and more space for this development. In school, academic skills play the bigger role.
Do you think it’s important for Ola to develop her soft skills?
I think it is crucial because it is for life long learning. It’s important so that she knows how to continue development herself, and these days businesses are expecting soft skills more so than academic skills. You can learn academic skills anywhere, but what’s needed are the soft skills to be able to communicate with people on international projects, to think, to be creative… all these things are a base for future careers. They are of course important at school too but also for future careers.
What was your experience like with EtonX as a parent? Could you tell us an insight of what you thought of her experience from a parents point of view.
It was very good! First of all it was the first professional online course Ola tried, and it was a very good experience. There is more and more online courses and teaching, and universities can now deliver their studies completely online. EtonX is something that helps you to break the barriers, so this positive experience with technology and online learning is a kind of base for her and to encourage her to reach out to other trainings and studies that the world can offer. You don’t have to be used products in our country only. Studying online is easy and you don’t have to travel, you can save money, and you don’t have to go to the university to learn from the best.
The content itself, the way it was organised placed on the platform, also was a positive experience. I think she was able to do the course on her own, study independently and decide herself when she wants to learn, study, watch, answer questions. It was like her self-management skills were also developed and you have to organise yourself to be on time, to attend the course, to get ready with assignments on time. This in itself is a soft skill and something that made a difference. I think the tutors are also different. Polish style of teaching is different, saying things in front of a class and I got the feeling that on her course, she was asked more about her life experience, they worked together to find out knowledge and it wasn’t presented in a traditional way. I think the international experience with teens from other countries was also something so enriching and in terms of language practise and also cultural awareness. You could compare your ideas, the way you speak and interact and that was something I observed from this very positive experience.
Have you seen any improvements from the beginning of her course to the end of her course?
She was sharing with a lot with me and the awareness that not all information shared is true, and that you have to be independent and think and not just take things that people say, the news, tell you without thinking. Really this critical thinking became stronger and being independent and critical more about what’s going on around definitely. I see more awareness and confidence.
Do you think Ola’s EtonX course will benefit her in the future?
First of all, I think it encourages her to reach out, to look for courses, at other universities. That helps her to be open to new experiences and workshops from all over the world. In school when you study and specialise in something, it’s very important that you have the critical thinking skills to make a decision. It’s a crucial skill for a student, especially in the western universities where there is less academic teaching, and more self-involvement and learning.