Using Challenge Episodes to Identify Social Regulation in Collaborative Groupwork
Other conference contribution, 2022

In recent years, researchers have shown increased interest in the question of how groups regulate their collaborative work and how this in turn affects their learning experience. There is a lack of empirical studies that explore social regulation in student group work. This study in progress attempts to identify instances of social regulation of learning in group work through examining challenges that students experience throughout interdisciplinary group projects. Building on existing conceptual work, we target different dimensions of social regulation – Planning, Monitoring/Performance and Evaluation. Data is collected from four courses within Tracks – a ten-year educational initiative, aiming to respond to the changing educational needs of future engineers. Within Tracks, students meet and learn collaboratively across programme boundaries and take on relevant challenges with a basis in real-world problems together. Students were asked to self-report in form of reflective writings about challenges and coping strategies. First results indicate that groups employed different forms of social regulation though their affiliation with different study programs made it difficult to schedule collaborative, synchronous meetings. Our findings further highlight the role of motivation in collaborative group work and stimulate a discussion about ‘desirable challenges’ that act as catalysts for learning in group work.


Interdisciplinary groupwork

Social Regulation of Learning

Socially shared regulation

Standards 5

Challenge episodes




Michael O Connell

Chalmers, Communication and Learning in Science, Engineering Education Research

Christian Stöhr

Chalmers, Communication and Learning in Science, Engineering Education Research

Patric Wallin

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

18th International CDIO Conference
Reykjavik, Iceland,

Subject Categories


Pedagogical Work


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2/9/2023 9