Regulating self, others’ and group motivation in online collaboration




Bakhtiar, Aishah

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Collaboration is a sought-after competency in the 21st-century knowledge economy in which the value of collective ideas and innovations are emphasized. Educational institutions have a role to play in preparing graduates to work well in collaborative teams. However, collaborating with peers is often received with mixed feelings. Students raise concerns about group members’ motivation and engagement, in anticipation of unsatisfactory social and learning outcomes. Facing motivation challenges in collaboration is a common occurrence, but limited research examines how students working in groups manage motivation challenges in that context. The purpose of this multi-paper dissertation was to examine undergraduate students’ regulatory responses to motivation challenges during online collaborations. Three empirical studies comprising this dissertation examined: the interrelated process involved in groups’ regulation of the socio-emotional aspect of collaboration (Bakhtiar, Webster, & Hadwin), the tactics and strategies students enacted in response to salient motivation challenges (Bakhtiar, Hadwin, & Järvenoja, 2019), and the dynamic interplay between individual- and group-level regulation during motivationally challenging situations (Bakhtiar & Hadwin, 2019). The first study was a comparative case analysis between two groups with contrasting socio-emotional climates. Groups’ self-report and observational data (collected before, during, and after a 90-minute collaboration) were examined in relation to the COPES-model of regulation to identify the similarities and differences between groups’ prevailing conditions, operations, products, evaluations, and standards in regulation. In Study 2, group members’ perceptions of motivation challenges that emerged during planning, early, and towards the end of a semester-long collaborative project were explored. Students’ open descriptions of strategies adopted in response to their salient motivation challenges were qualitatively coded. Study 3 was another comparative case analysis between two groups, who experienced high levels of motivation challenges during collaboration but achieved contrasting group perceptions of team learning productivity. The groups’ use of self-, co-, and socially shared-regulation of motivation in three collaborative sessions were examined and contextualized using group members’ self-reports and log data. Findings across the three studies were discussed in terms of their contributions to the COPES scripts of regulating motivation in collaboration, to develop a catalogue of individual and social strategies for regulating motivation, and to identify adaptive forms of motivation regulation in collaboration. Overall, groups that experienced a more positive outcome regarding motivation regulation had group members who (a) were more prepared going into the task, (b) engaged in proactive forms of regulation, (c) more metacognitively attuned to individuals’ and groups’ diverse needs and challenges, (d) used diverse types of strategies, and (e) regulated each other in a positive and encouraging way. Future directions are discussed in terms of examining the metacognitive information students base on when regulating motivation individually, for others, and as a team, as well as designing tools and instructions to support motivation in collaboration.



motivation, collaborative learning, computer supported collaborative learning, self-regulation of learning, co-regulation, socially shared regulation, process-based approach