Building a sense of belonging and community
With an increase in online learning, the educational experience is evolving at an unprecedented pace for both students and teachers. Now more than ever, it is of great importance that we focus on making our online learning spaces as inclusive as possible to ensure a positive and effective learning experience for all as well as invest in students’ sense of belonging to avoid feelings of isolation that may come with online learning.
In the short video below, Elizabeth Hauke, a Principal Teaching Fellow at Imperial College London, outlines some simple, practical steps that you can take to enhance sense of belonging in your online interactions and is a call to all educators to be bold and share ideas with each other on how they go about facilitating sense of belonging.
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At Imperial’s Centre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship (CHERS), we have been researching sense of belonging across various contexts both within and beyond Higher Education. It is already known that sense of belonging in the educational space is linked to positive academic outcomes, higher student engagement, self-confidence and positive wellbeing. We are currently exploring how to go about cultivating a strong sense of belonging both from a theoretical and a practical standpoint.