The Wheel of Academic Emotions

Year: 2016

Author: Hall, Stephen, Walsh, Chris

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Vocational educators often use YouTube edutainment films to engage learners in an attempt to reduce boredom - a precursor to student attrition (Cuseo, 2012). While there is a abundance of YouTube content, production values greatly vary. Importantly for educators and filmmakers, the question needs to be asked, “does an edutainment film activate those Academic Emotions (Pekrun, 1992) known to support learning?” An understanding of academic emotions by educational filmmakers is paramount if they want to emotionally engage students in a way that supports their learning. Few filmmakers and even fewer educators draw on the field of academic emotions to produce edutainment or reusable digital artifacts that emotionally support learning. The Wheel of Academic Emotions (WAE) (Hall & Walsh, 2015) was designed to specifically assist educational filmmakers, educators and students, assess what academic emotions their productions activate in learners. The WAE is a novel self-reported tool available as an app or in a paper-based form. The emotional categories are reflective of both academic emotions and filmic emotions. The app produces a report that illustrates what self-reported emotions are activated by a film at timed intervals. An online app of the WAE was tested quantitatively with a small sample of 12 vocational learners for usability and accuracy. A sample of five educational filmmakers also used the WAE and participated in qualitative interviews to determine if they believed the WAE could be used in their production workflows. The results of the research are highly relevant to educational filmmakers. On interview, they reported they are keen to use the WAE to understand if their films actually activate the academic emotions believed to support learning. Discussions with the filmmakers about the WAE led to the design of an updated version of the app that now contains the emotion of Awe. Awe is a complex emotion that can be activated by educational filmmakers when using footage from drones and in immersive virtual reality environments.We argue that WAE is suitable for understanding the academic emotions that are activated in new and emerging digital learning and Virtual Reality (VR) contexts. The WAE is a unique app that allows educational filmmakers and educators to critically assess the extent to which their productions do/do not activate the emotions believed to support learning. Critically, the WAE can also be used to assess face-to-face seminars, VR learning content and other media content.