University students’ emotions in virtual learning: A review of empirical research in the 21st Century

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This paper presents a systematic review of university students’ emotions in connection with virtual learning based on 91 articles published between 2002 and 2017 in four international journals that focus on virtual learning and educational technology or on learning in higher education. These journals were considered potential channels for research on emotions in virtual learning and higher education. The objective was to analyse the articles for concepts and theoretical background related to virtual learning and emotions, contextual focus, methodological choice, and/or results. The review showed that the most common emotion‐related concept was “satisfaction.” The most common context for the articles was a complete non‐physical learning environment (e.g. Second Life). Approximately 60% of the articles used quantitative methods. The most common design for studying emotions was an explanatory design. Students’ emotions were mainly studied through concepts related to emotion (e.g. “satisfaction”). Yet only a few of the studies focused on the fluctuation of emotions in the course of events, relying instead on post hoc data that treat students’ emotions as traits rather than states.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)80-100
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences

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