Using short questionnaires to support students' emotion awareness and regulation during an online group project

Hilliard, Jake; Donelan, Helen; Heaney, Caroline; Kear, Karen and Wong, Patrick (2023). Using short questionnaires to support students' emotion awareness and regulation during an online group project. In: “Yes we can!” - Digital Education for Better Futures (EDEN 2023 Annual Conference), 18-20 Jun 2023, Dublin City University (DCU), Dublin, Ireland, Ubiquity Proceedings.

Abstract

Over the past two decades, research has highlighted the profound influence emotions can have on students’ learning, achievement, and wellbeing. Being able to successfully regulate one’s emotions is now viewed as crucial when learning in educational settings. To support students with this process, a growing line of research has explored various ways of helping students understand and manage their emotions (e.g., via the use of digital tools aimed at helping students become more aware of their emotions and prompting ways to regulate these emotions). Despite this, limited research has been undertaken in online group learning settings, where students work remotely together as part of their course using collaborative communication tools. These learning contexts present unique challenges which can make emotion regulation more difficult than in face-to-face learning environments (e.g., delayed response times when communicating with peers and teachers and a reduced sense of how others are feeling, due to limited emotional cues when learning online). In this paper, we describe an approach used at the UK Open University (UKOU) to assist students’ emotion awareness and regulation during a 9-week group project. This involves the use of short questionnaires which have been embedded into the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) of a module. Since their inclusion, these questionnaires have been found to enhance emotional awareness in many students, as well as support the regulation of emotions in the group project. To conclude this paper, reflections on using the short questionnaires are discussed and implications for educators and institutions are identified.

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