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Contemporary Educational Psychology
Volume 69, 2022, 102050

Detecting shared physiological arousal events in collaborative problem solving

Muhterem Dindar, Sanna Järvelä, Andy Nguyen, Eetu Haataja, Ahsen Çini

University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Finland.


Collaborative problem solving (CPS) is a cyclical process in which team members go back and forth between various cognitive and affective phases as they interact with the problem state and each other. An increasing amount of research has been conducted to explore how sequential relationships between the CPS phases affect team performance outcomes. However, detecting CPS phases mainly relies on labor-intensive methods, such as video coding of all team interactions during the problem-solving process. Furthermore, it is challenging to understand the level of sharedness or togetherness among the team members when they go through a specific CPS phase. Consequently, this study aimed to investigate shared physiological arousal events (SPAE) in CPS. We developed and implemented a new method for detecting SPAEs during CPS by utilizing skin conductance response data. Our findings showed that SPAE can be a promising method for detecting the cognitive and socio-emotional CPS phases that are demonstrated as increasing physiological arousal among the team members. Process-mining analysis of the SPAEs revealed different sequential pathways among the successful and less successful teams both in terms of the CPS phases and the problem variables they address during SPAEs. The current study contributes to the timely agenda of CPS and collaborative learning fields in developing multimodal methods to unearth complex team interaction processes during collaboration.

Keywords: Collaborative problem solving, physiological arousa, lMultimodal data, Sequential analysis, Learning analytics.

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