Metacognition and Learning

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 57–90 | Cite as

Regulation and socio-emotional interactions in a positive and a negative group climate

  • Aishah Bakhtiar
  • Elizabeth A. Webster
  • Allyson F. Hadwin


Collaboration in an online environment can be a socially and emotionally demanding task. It requires group members to engage in a great deal of regulation, where favourable emotions need to be sustained for the group’s productive functioning. The purpose of this cross-case analysis was to examine the interplay of two groups’ regulatory processes, regulatory modes, and socio-emotional interactions that contribute to or are influenced by emotions and socio-emotional climate perceived in the group. Specifically, this study compared a group of 4 students unanimously reporting a positive climate to a group of 4 students unanimously reporting a negative climate after completing a 90-min online text-based collaborative assignment. By drawing on two data channels (i.e., observed regulatory actions and socio-emotional interactions during collaboration and self-reported data about emotional beliefs and perceptions), four contrasting group features emerged: (a) incoming conditions served as a foundation for creating a positive collaborative experience, (b) regulation of emotions during initial planning, (c) negative emotions served as a constraint for shared adaptation in the face of a challenge, and (d) encouragement and motivational statements served as effective strategies for creating a positive climate. Implications for researching and supporting emotion regulation in collaborative learning are discussed.


Cross-case analysis Computer-supported collaborative learning Regulation Socio-emotional interactions Emotions 


Funding information

This study was funded by Social Science and Humanities Research Council Canada (Standard Research Grant 435–2012-0529 awarded to A. F. Hadwin; and Doctoral Fellowship awarded to E. A. Webster).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

A. F. Hadwin and E. A. Webster have received research grants from Social Science and Humanities Research Council Canada. A. F. Hadwin is a current member of Metacognition and Learning Journal Editorial Board.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership StudiesUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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