University student and teacher perceptions of emotions and learning: a qualitative study

Anna Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


Purpose: Findings from an explorative study of University student and academic staff perceptions of emotions in the teaching/learning context are reported. Originality: This study is innovative in that it will contribute to our understanding of how particular kinds of emotional experiences are perceived to relate to a variety of learning outcomes, for both students and lecturers. Key literature / theoretical perspective: Traditionally, psychologists have differentiated three aspects of human learning: cognition, motivation and emotion. Research to date has tended to study these processes in isolation from one another and the role of emotions has been regarded as a less significant factor in affecting successful learning outcomes than cognition or motivation. However, more recently the importance of emotion is being emphasised, particularly in higher education. Design/methodology/approach: Semi-structured interviews with students and academic staff at an Australian university were undertaken. Respondents were asked about the experience and functionality of feelings and emotions within the teaching/learning context, and about a range of discrete emotions (e.g. interest, anxiety) and their relationship to engagement, self-regulated learning, motivation and relationships with others. Findings: Results from a content and thematic analysis using NVivo software will be reported. Research limitations/implications: There are some limitations to using interviews in the evaluation of emotional responses, i.e. reliance on participants’ willingness to disclose their emotions. Practical and Social implications: An analysis of individual perceptions and experiences within a pedagogical context is valuable in determining whether student and academic perceptions of the role of emotions and relationships in learning are aligned.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-71
Number of pages2
JournalExpo 2010 Higher Degree Research : book of abstracts
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventHigher Degree Research Expo (6th : 2010) - Sydney
Duration: 19 Nov 201019 Nov 2010


  • appraisals
  • emotions
  • higher education
  • student and academic staff perceptions
  • teaching and learning


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