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How Students’ Feedback-Evoked Achievement Emotions Shape their Learning Process: An Event-Sampling Study

IDA alumna Mihaela Izikilova presented her Master thesis at the graduation ceremony of the IDA cohort 2021-2023.

While the role of emotions in student learning has been of increasing interest in the past decades, the emotional aspect associated with such an important learning factor as feedback has been overlooked. The current research proposes that receiving feedback can be considered an affective event for students because it triggers discrete achievement emotions, such as pride and disappointment. We draw on Affective Events Theory to understand how four discrete achievement emotions (pride, relief, frustration, and disappointment) shape the learning process through (immediate and delayed) engagement with feedback, and whether this process is influenced by individual differences. A convenience sample of 109 thesis-writing students (Mage = 24.02, SDage = 4.58, 66.7% female) completed self-report measures in three online questionnaires. Event sampling was used to capture students’ real-time emotions following the feedback moment. Separate path analyses for each emotion in SPSS AMOS showed that all four emotions were related to delayed but not to immediate engagement with feedback. Specifically, pride and relief were positively related, while frustration and disappointment were negatively related to delayed engagement and, subsequently, perceived learning. Moreover, students who felt proud and were high on emotional intelligence reported higher immediate engagement with feedback compared to students low on emotional intelligence. Contrary to expectations, selfregulated learning did not moderate the relationship between delayed engagement and perceived learning. We contribute to the educational literature by showing that feedback is related to learning through students’ emotions and their effect on the engagement with feedback process. 

Keywords: pride, relief, frustration, disappointment, engagement with feedback, student learning

Congrats Mihaela and best of luck with your future career!

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