Emotion regulation in collaborative learning: Students’ affective states as conditions for socially shared regulation

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Martti Ahtisaari lecture hall (L2)

Topic of the dissertation

Emotion regulation in collaborative learning: Students’ affective states as conditions for socially shared regulation

Doctoral candidate

Master of Arts (Education) Tiina Törmänen

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Learning and Learning Processes

Subject of study

Educational sciences

Opponent

Associate Professor Jason M. Harley, McGill University

Custos

Professor Hanna Järvenoja, University of Oulu

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Shared joy is a double joy – students’ shared emotions create conditions for emotion regulation in collaborative learning

Collaborative learning evokes a wide range of emotions in students, but at times they could use some practice in managing them. This is the result of a doctoral thesis by Tiina Törmänen, who studied the emotions and emotion regulation of 6th and 7th grade students during collaborative learning. The study highlights the need to raise awareness among students and teachers about emotion regulation and its importance for learning.

In schools and workplaces, understanding and solutions are increasingly built together with others. In group situations, emotions can be regulated both individually and together. When group members regulate their emotions in a socially shared way, emotions are mutually monitored and controlled through discussion.

More research is needed on emotions and their regulation in collaborative learning, as previous research on this topic has mainly focused on individual learning situations.

In her dissertation study, Törmänen investigated what kind of emotions students express during collaborative learning, the factors that trigger these emotions, and how emotions create the conditions for socially shared emotion regulation.

The research data consisted of video recordings of authentic collaborative learning situations, and skin conductance was used to measure the activation level of the students' emotions.

The results showed that students' emotions vary a lot during collaborative learning. Emotions are aroused both by learning tasks and by social factors between group members. The different emotional states form the conditions and the need to regulate the group's emotions. When there was a clear shared need to change the emotional state of the group, shared emotion regulation was more likely to occur. If the group was able to reinforce shared positive emotions at the beginning of the learning situation, regulation often occurred also later during emotionally challenging moments.

However, according to the author, it was worrying that emotion regulation occurred much less frequently than it should have. “If negative emotions were repetitive or the emotional states of the group members were different, there was particularly little regulation, even though restoring an emotional state that supports learning would have been central to working together,” says Törmänen.

The study highlights the need to raise awareness among students and teachers about emotion regulation and its importance for learning. “Since collaborative learning situations evoke a lot of emotions in students, they offer a good opportunity to practice and support emotion regulation skills,” Törmänen points out.

The research helps to understand students' emotions as an important part of collaborative learning and highlights emotion regulation as a key learning skill. Methodologically, the study showed that using multichannel data, such as video recordings and physiological measures, can provide deeper insights into emotions and regulation in learning.
Last updated: 9.1.2023