Fostering the affective and cognitive dimension of learning in exploratory search

Valerie Mannix

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the motivational capacity of individual and collective future self-guides and images that blend motivational, cognitive and affective experiences of learners in the formation of future identities in higher education. It emanates from a qualitative research project at Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland, which explored how learners in the Department of Languages, Tourism and Hospitality studies creatively learned their way individually and collectively into new possibilities in formal, non-formal and informal learning spaces. Creative activity pertaining to the formation of individual and collective future learner identities depends critically on the interplay of thought, feeling and action and is activated by both individual and collective appropriate emotions (reflecting ontogenic and situational dimensions) and a variety of task-specific cognitive plans, scripts, and self-regulatory strategies. The chapter draws on Markus and Nurius’s (Am Psychol. 41:954–69, 1986) notion of “possible and ideal selves”, Baxtor Magolda’s (Learning for a complex world: a lifewide concept of learning, education and personal development, pp. 79–99, 2011) idea of “self-authorship,” Law’s principle of “explorativity,” and the literature on affect and the affective experience in psychology, psychodynamics, and neurobiology to craft a theory on how emotional investments in individual and collective creativity may be nurtured in multiple spaces simultaneously to optimize learning. The chapter concludes by advocating for the adoption of a dynamic perspective that considers the ongoing, multiple influences between environmental and learner factors, and in particular the psychology and neurobiology of affect.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Innovation of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationTransgressing Boundaries
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319104829
ISBN (Print)9783319104812
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2015


  • Affective learning
  • Cognitive learning
  • Explorativity
  • Lifewide learning
  • Ontogenic dimension
  • Self guides
  • Situational dimension
  • Waterford Institute of Technology


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