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Supporting Motivation in Collaborative Learning: Challenges in the Face of an Uncertain Future

Motivation in Education at a Time of Global Change

ISBN: 978-1-78754-614-1, eISBN: 978-1-78754-613-4

ISSN: 0749-7423

Publication date: 25 March 2019


This chapter aims to seek insight into engagement in context, conceived through Productive Disciplinary Engagement (PDE), which can be perceived as a condition for sustained disciplinary and interdisciplinary interest and motivation. Despite ongoing trends in the design and implementation of enriched learning environments that are expected to boost effective use of material and digital tools along with new sources of information, the empirical research on their motivational and emotional consequences is still in its infancy. These environments challenge, cognitively as well as motivationally, emotionally, and socially, both students and teachers alike. Keeping in mind the challenging times for future learning and work-life, engagement and motivation are discussed with a focus on science disciplines. In these fields, there is a strong call for proficient skills in collaborative team learning, problem-solving, and collective knowledge creation in anticipation of an uncertain, challenging future. Knowledge-intensive work and knowledge demands are escalating along with fast technological development, and simultaneously tasks that demand new, not yet even existing and partly unpredicted knowledge and expertise are increasing. In addition, knowledge and expertise are progressively more distributed, with new knowledge, products and innovations being created in collaboration that crosses disciplinary borders. In this chapter, three case illustrations in different science fields and learning contexts provide empirical evidence for the discussion on the learned lessons from these illustrated studies designed to support PDE, and the potential significance of PDE for productive collaboration, sustained disciplinary interest, and motivation given later development of adaptive expertise.




This research was supported by the Council of Cultural and Social Science Research, Academy of Finland (Grants no. 268936 and 274117) to the first author, under the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects funding scheme (project numbers DP0986867 and DP150101142) to the second author, and the (US) National Science Foundation (EEC-1261892, DRL-1251595) and Lucas Educational Research (Knowledge in Action Project) to the third author.


Vauras, M., Volet, S. and Bobbitt Nolen, S. (2019), "Supporting Motivation in Collaborative Learning: Challenges in the Face of an Uncertain Future", Motivation in Education at a Time of Global Change (Advances in Motivation and Achievement, Vol. 20), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 187-203.



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