University of Oulu

Törmänen, T., Järvenoja, H. & Mänty, K. Exploring groups’ affective states during collaborative learning: what triggers activating affect on a group level?. Education Tech Research Dev 69, 2523–2545 (2021).

Exploring groups’ affective states during collaborative learning : what triggers activating affect on a group level?

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Author: Törmänen, Tiina1; Järvenoja, Hanna1; Mänty, Kristiina1
Organizations: 1Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-08


During collaborative learning, affect is constantly present in groups’ interactions, influencing and shaping the learning process. The aim of this study was to understand what type of learning situations trigger affective states in collaborative groups, and how these affective states are related to group members’ physiological activation. The participants were 12-year-old primary school students (N = 31, 10 groups) performing a collaborative science task. In the analysis, video data observations were combined with data of group members’ physiological activation. The groups’ situational valence was identified based on the group members’ observed emotional expressions and their physiological activation levels were measured with electrodermal activity (EDA). Results revealed that situations with group members’ simultaneous physiological activation were rare compared with the observable emotional expressions. However, when group members indicated physiological activation simultaneously, they also showed visible emotional expressions more often than in deactivating situations. Moreover, the results showed that socially-related factors were more likely to trigger physiological activation with a mixed group level valence. In turn, task-related factors were more likely to trigger physiological activation with a neutral group level valence. The results of this study imply that by combining different process data modalities revealing the different components of affect, it might be possible to track emotionally meaningful situations that shape the course of the collaborative learning process.

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Series: Educational technology research and development
ISSN: 1042-1629
ISSN-E: 1556-6501
ISSN-L: 1042-1629
Volume: 69
Pages: 2523 - 2545
DOI: 10.1007/s11423-021-10037-0
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 515 Psychology
516 Educational sciences
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
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