The Open UniversitySkip to content

Students’ Perceptions And Experiences Of Anxiety In An Online Collaborative Project

Hilliard, Jake (2017). Students’ Perceptions And Experiences Of Anxiety In An Online Collaborative Project. MRes thesis The Open University.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (1MB) | Preview
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This study explored students’ perceptions and experiences of anxiety in an online collaborative project. Using a mixed methods approach, data derived from an online survey of students from the UK Open University (n=76) followed by purposefully sampled semi-structured interviews among survey respondents who agreed to be interviewed (n=11). The results revealed that: a) anxiety was a commonly experienced emotion among survey respondents, with many perceiving these feelings to be greater before or at the start of the collaborative project and then gradually decreasing throughout; b) anxiety derived from various sources which were all related to ‘uncertainty’; c) different learners perceived anxiety to have facilitative, debilitative, and neutral impacts on their participation and performance in the collaborative activity; d) learners used a range of coping strategies in order to manage anxiety, with problem-focused coping being more frequently reported than either emotion-focused coping or avoidance coping strategies; and e) getting to ‘know’ participants before the start of the collaborative project and being able to express and share feelings and emotions were seen as important for supporting anxious learners. Recommendations, aimed at reducing feelings of anxiety and improving learner experience in online collaborative projects, are discussed and future research in this field is suggested.

Item Type: Thesis (MRes)
Copyright Holders: 2017 The Author
Keywords: anxiety; online collaborative learning; distance learning
Academic Unit/School: Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Item ID: 52546
Depositing User: Jake Hilliard
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2018 16:40
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2019 07:30
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU