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E-motional Interaction Between Teaching Assistants and Students:Expressing emotions via WebCT
Unformatted Document Text:  Teaching, Emotion, & Technology 15 The identification of emotion requires additional explanation. For the purpose of this study, the researchers understood emotion as “any of the feelings of joy, sorrow, fear, hate, love, etc.” (Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, p. 637). Thus, if at least one emotionally colored word (according to a definition) was used in e-mail, such e-mail was considered as one with expressed emotion. Although there can be many ways to argue the process of identifying emotions in the emails, for the purpose of this stud, the researchers have decided to carry on an original Webster’s definition. Thus, some potential limitations of the study, which will be discussed later, are written with this in mind. After reading all emails in the data, researchers agreed upon the list of words they perceived as emotional. This list can be found in the Appendix 2. If the researchers came across words or context/content that was questionable or difficult to identify (researchers equally split in their identification, as two voices for and two voices against), they considered the e-mail as non- emotional. Then, all emails were read by a fourth researcher, who was not a TA for the course. She initially organized all the data into several themes, based on the emotional words that were identified by three other researchers. The criteria for categorization were a similarity or identical expression of emotions. For example, if a specific word (“sorry”) or its synonym (“apologize”) was used in several emails, these emails were placed in the same category. If there were fewer than five emails with the same emotional words, they were not organized in a separate theme. Again, for the purpose of this study, a specific categorization was adopted. Its obvious advantages will be presented in the discussion section, and its potential disadvantages will also be discussed in the limitation section of this study.

Authors: Tsetsura, Katerina., Bigam, Mellisa., Buford, Laura. and Chen, Xiaolei.
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Teaching, Emotion, & Technology 15
The identification of emotion requires additional explanation. For the purpose of this study,
the researchers understood emotion as “any of the feelings of joy, sorrow, fear, hate, love, etc.”
(Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, p. 637). Thus, if at least one emotionally
colored word (according to a definition) was used in e-mail, such e-mail was considered as one with
expressed emotion. Although there can be many ways to argue the process of identifying emotions
in the emails, for the purpose of this stud, the researchers have decided to carry on an original
Webster’s definition. Thus, some potential limitations of the study, which will be discussed later,
are written with this in mind.
After reading all emails in the data, researchers agreed upon the list of words they perceived
as emotional. This list can be found in the Appendix 2. If the researchers came across words or
context/content that was questionable or difficult to identify (researchers equally split in their
identification, as two voices for and two voices against), they considered the e-mail as non-
emotional.
Then, all emails were read by a fourth researcher, who was not a TA for the course. She
initially organized all the data into several themes, based on the emotional words that were
identified by three other researchers. The criteria for categorization were a similarity or identical
expression of emotions. For example, if a specific word (“sorry”) or its synonym (“apologize”) was
used in several emails, these emails were placed in the same category. If there were fewer than five
emails with the same emotional words, they were not organized in a separate theme. Again, for the
purpose of this study, a specific categorization was adopted. Its obvious advantages will be
presented in the discussion section, and its potential disadvantages will also be discussed in the
limitation section of this study.


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