Research Topic

Affective Learning in Digital Education

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About this Research Topic

Digital education opens up novel avenues for students and teachers to learn and interact together. The evolution of digital tools for learning and the constant transformation of educational technology inspire research that seeks to understand how students’ adaptive motivations and emotions for learning might ...

Digital education opens up novel avenues for students and teachers to learn and interact together. The evolution of digital tools for learning and the constant transformation of educational technology inspire research that seeks to understand how students’ adaptive motivations and emotions for learning might be supported and how learning environments can be personalized. Among these tools are digital simulations, serious games, massive open online courses (MOOCs), handhelds and wearables, augmented or virtual reality (AR and VR), pedagogical agents, clickers and audience response systems, learning management systems, probeware and roomware, webinars, video conferencing systems, flipped classrooms, online discussion forums, and social media platforms that are embedded within asynchronous, blended, hybrid, interactive, mobile, online, synchronous, virtual, or web-based learning environments. When we seek to understand how and why students learn in these digital education scenarios, then a focus on students’ (and teachers’) affective processes is particularly useful. These affective processes include, but are not limited to, their motivation, emotion, interest, satisfaction, self-efficacy, values, needs, goals, goal orientations, and attitudes that can be individually or socially regulated.

This Research Topic brings together studies on the nexus of motivation science and educational technology to explore affective learning in digitally mediated scenarios. Grounded in an interest in expanding what we know about learning and motivation in digital contexts, this Research Topic has three main objectives. One objective is to deepen our understanding of how learning and motivation processes interrelate and co-evolve in digital environments. A second objective is to evaluate how effective digital tools, media, and infrastructures are in supporting affective learning. Finally, a third objective is to review and evaluate the development of frontline innovations in methods, measures, and technologies used for the investigation and promotion of the processes and products of affective learning. These three objectives are relevant for research that addresses digital education for people of different age, gender, identity, and ethnicity, and for studies that are situated within various disciplinary fields, cultures, institutional structures, or educational systems.

We encourage submissions that apply various methodological approaches (quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods) in original research articles or present systematic reviews, meta-analyses, theoretical models, perspectives, and brief research reports. We also welcome Methods articles that describe novel or emerging techniques for investigating affective learning in digital environments, and Technology Reports that present cutting-edge technology or software applications used to promote motivation and emotion for learning.

Themes in this Research Topic might include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Analysis of affective learning processes in online, mobile, or blended learning environments
• Motivation support in interactive learning environments
• Affective processes in technology enhanced learning (TEL) and computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL)
• Changes in motivation and emotion through digital education
• Self-regulated learning and socially shared regulation of learning and motivation
• Motivational and emotional variables as predictors of learning outcomes in digital education
• Design and evaluation of synchronous webinars or asynchronous learning management systems
• Triangulation of multimodal methods in research on learning and motivation
• Perspectives of students and / or facilitators
• Age, gender, and identity as boundary conditions
• Affective technology-mediated learning in primary, secondary, higher, and adult education


Keywords: motivation, emotion, technology enhanced learning, computer-supported collaborative learning, digital education


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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