Information flow and children’s emotions during collaborative coding: A causal analysis
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This paper investigates the relation between children’s joint gaze and emotions with the information flow of the screen from a causal point of view, in the context of collaborative coding. We employ Granger’s definition of causality to extend the knowledge we have about children’s collaborative activities from correlational methods. We organised a coding workshop with 50 children (10 dyads and 10 triads; 13-16 years old). While the children were coding collaboratively, their facial video and the screen were recorded. From the screen recording we computed the information flow; and from the facial video we computed children’s emotions (e.g., frustration and boredom) and estimated their gaze. The gaze estimation was used to compute the joint visual attention (JVA) of the team. Our results show that for high performing teams JVA drives the information flow; while for low performing teams we observe causal relation between emotions and information flow. In particular for the low performing teams, frustration and boredom drive the information flow and the information flow then drives children’s confusion. These results extend the understanding of the socio-cognitive processes underlying collaborative performance, which is primarily correlational in nature, with the causal relations between measurements. These novel results have the potential to guide the design of learning tools that scaffold children’s learning and collaboration.