Effect on Learning of Emotions Experienced by Computer Science Students During Team Projects

How is learning in computer science team projects affected by social emotions experienced by team members?




Team-based projects present unique challenges and learning opportunities for students. For teams to function effectively and facilitate learning, students must possess a baseline level of positive social emotions, such as liking, warmth, and compassion (Tormey, 2021). Within project teams, students should be able to engage in constructive challenges, which can elicit positive emotions like interest and negative emotions like anger or disdain. Creating a safe environment where mistakes are tolerated without severe consequences fosters learning. Power dynamics within teams also evoke emotional responses, including anger, disdain, awe, or admiration, and these emotions may intersect with social identities like gender or ethnicity.


Thus, this study aims to enhance our understanding of how social emotions, specifically those linked to trust, warmth, and status, influence the learning process of team members within a computer science team project. The research will investigate the relationship between the emotions experienced by team members, the social meanings attached to these emotions, their social identity, group learning outcomes, and satisfaction with the team project. The ultimate objective is to identify pedagogical strategies to optimize learning, minimize social inequalities, and reduce exclusions in computer science education.



Conducting qualitative research on students’ emotional experiences within teams provides valuable insights into the dynamics of teamwork (Zoethout et al., 2017). Given our interest in understanding how emotions are perceived in social and educational settings, particularly how engineering students process and manage emotions during teamwork, it is most appropriate to employ qualitative methods to address our research inquiries (Maxwell, 2012). There is a need for more comprehensive theories that explore the interplay between power dynamics, emotions, identity, and learning. Existing theories often fail to adequately address this intersection, as they tend to separate theories on “learning and emotions” from those on “social identity/position and emotion” (Lönngren, Adawi & Berge, 2021).


We will collect data through student interviews, observing team meetings using facial emotion recognition software, and implementing experience sampling via smartphone devices. Combining observations and interviews will provide a comprehensive understanding of team learning and emotions during teamwork. We will investigate social-emotional reactions and their relationships, and team members will evaluate their teamwork experiences and associated emotions. Computer science students involved in team projects will participate in the research. Data for the research project will be collected from FFHS and EPFL, with ten to twelve participants divided into three to four groups enrolled in Computer Sciences Courses at each university. The data collection period will be from August to December 2023, covering a twelve-week semester.


Beteiligte Personen

Beteiligte Institutionen