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The role of emotions in e-learning in psychotherapy: a mixed methods study

Blackmore, Chris (2015) The role of emotions in e-learning in psychotherapy: a mixed methods study. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Research questions 1. What is the role of emotions in e-learning (in particular as it relates to a case example of online psychotherapy education)? 2. What methods can be used to detect and measure emotions in e-learning? Methodology These research questions are addressed by a systematic literature review and analysis of the following student data from the University of Sheffield’s online MSc in Psychotherapy Studies: i. a set of mental health/well-being outcome measures ii. a linguistic analysis of forum postings using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) iii. qualitative interviews with ex-students Findings i. the mental health/well-being measure scores do not reliably detect changes in emotional processing ii. the LIWC picks up individuals’ emotional change but does not correlate strongly with the outcome measures. iii. those learners who can trust others online are more satisfied, and more likely to engage in transformative learning. Of the methods employed, the student interviews gave the best insight into students’ emotional experience. Conclusions Emotions are central topics for learning in a psychotherapy course; they are pivotal in terms of how students engage with an e-learning course, and with learners and tutors. Student engagement and satisfaction in e-learning are engendered by a collaborative learning approach, which encourages sharing of emotions through self-disclosure. Being online may provoke anxiety and make it harder for some students to develop the kind of trusting relationships needed to self-disclose; for other students, the anxiety is less problematic, and being online is a liberating and positive factor in their learning. The research suggests that learning could be personalized according to students’ emotional preferences by adopting a learning analytics approach – providers of e-learning need to be aware of the emotional experience of e-learners, and equipped to respond appropriately to maximise opportunities for engagement and transformative learning.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: e-learning online learning emotion psychotherapy training education research methods
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Health and Related Research (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.684577
Depositing User: Mr C Blackmore
Date Deposited: 09 May 2016 14:26
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 13:12
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12614

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