Mapping Students' Emotional Journeys

Colin Beard,
Dr Karen Smith,
Sue Clegg
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This paper presents the findings from a holistic study which used a pedagogic intervention to explore our understanding of the rich, complex undergraduate socio-emotional climate that exists in students undertaking a journey of learning in higher education. Students were given space to articulate a range of student experiences through a number of interventions (blank sheets to note positive and negative feelings; emotional wave mapping; focus groups). As well as being of benefit for student learning, the interventions proved powerful data collection points which allowed us to gather rich, descriptive data about students' learning experiences. The data were initially analysed using inductive, thematic analysis and were later re-interpreted using the seven lifeworld categories (Ashworth, 2003). The paper focuses on the headline findings from the analysis of this data, highlighting the importance of relationships, students' changing emotions over the year, their perceptions of their academic studies and understandings of life at university. The data The data show that students experience a real emotional journey as they progress through the year. The research makes a contribution to our understanding of HE pedagogy and the paper concludes with an exploration as to how the research can provide practical guidance for the design and delivery of learning programmes which enhance the students' learning experience.

Keywords: Emotions, Higher Education, First Year Experience, Case study
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Colin Beard

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Organisation and Management, Sheffield Hallam University

Dr Karen Smith

Researcher, Learning and Teaching Institute, Sheffield Hallam University

Sue Clegg

Professor of Educational Research and Head of Research, Learning and Teaching Institute, Sheffield Hallam University

Ref: L05P0781