An Exploration Into the Importance of a Sense of Belonging for Online Learners

The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning

View Publication Info
 
 
Field Value
 
Title An Exploration Into the Importance of a Sense of Belonging for Online Learners
 
Creator Peacock, Susi
Cowan, John
Irvine, Lindesay
Williams, Jane
 
Subject sense of belonging
online learning
online group work
online discussions
interaction
tutoring
 
Description Fostering a sense of belonging and a personal connection is seen as fundamental by many educational researchers, regardless of the learning environment. Online learning certainly provides flexible learning opportunities but comes with notable issues. For online learners, nurturing a sense of belonging may present a way of improving their experiences and attainment, as well as reducing attrition rates. Research specifically exploring sense of belonging and online learning is limited. This article addresses that gap and reports on a small-scale exploratory study using qualitative data-collection and analysis methods to investigate the importance, or not, of sense of belonging for postgraduatesā€™ online education by exploring the origins and nature of their lived experience of online learning and their sense of belonging therein. Our initial findings emphasise its importance for them as online learners and have identified three significant themes: interaction/engagement, the culture of the learning, and support. These early findings highlight the importance of these three themes in promoting a sense of belonging and in ensuring that there are opportunities for meaningful group and peer interactions; they will be of interest to all engaged in online education.
 
Publisher Athabasca University Press
 
Date 2020-04-08
 
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion
Peer-reviewed, double-blind
 
Format text/html
application/epub+zip
application/pdf
 
Identifier http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/4539
10.19173/irrodl.v20i5.4539
 
Source The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning; Vol. 21 No. 2 (2020); 18-35
1492-3831
 
Language eng
 
Relation http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/4539/5309
http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/4539/5316
http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/4539/5317
 
Rights http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
 

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