This project aims to gather information about the approaches you adopt to foster a sense of belonging in your course/s.

These approaches might take different forms across disciplines, course modes and class sizes. They could involve strategies that encourage interactions between the students and the teacher/s, between students and students, or enable students to engage with content through different means, including digital technologies and infrastructure. Some strategies might include simply being friendly and visible in online course materials. Others might include adopting collaboration-focused activities such as informal/formal group work and group assessment. Or, perhaps through feedback activities such as peer review or through displaying encouragement, empathy, and support across multiple touchpoints. Whatever strategy works for you, we would like to hear about it.

If you believe you have an approach to share, please contact Dr Deanne Gannaway to arrange for an interview. Deanne will use this interview to develop a full case study. You are also welcome to share additional resources and teaching materials. Case studies will be published on this web page and provide a useful mechanism for you to showcase your teaching.

Project information

Background

New and innovative practices at UQ have been introduced in successfully pivoting around COVID-19. Yet maintaining quality interactions has remained a challenge, with students experiencing a decreased sense of belonging and feeling less connected to the UQ community. In embracing the new digital era, changes to how we build a sense of connection with and between students and help students develop a shared identity as part of the learning community is crucial in enabling them to continue and succeed in their studies.

Aim

The aim of this study is to explore innovative teaching and assessment practices in building and maintaining a sense of belonging. This study is particularly focused on the impact of digital adaptations on course coordinators: changes to teaching and assessment, use of technologies, and reflections on the process.

Benefits

This study is designed to provide an understanding of how staff members build and maintain a sense of belonging in their course by using innovative practices, particularly with regards to incorporating digital pedagogies and assessment adjustments.

Research team

The research team consists of Associate Professor Jason Lodge, Associate Professor Kelly Matthews, Dr Karen Sheppard, Dr Hassan Khosravi, Dr Aneesha Bakharia, Dr Greg WinslettMr Dominic McGrath and Dr Deanne Gannaway.

Confidentiality and privacy

All data will be kept confidential and stored securely in ITaLI. Interviews will be digitally recorded and transcribed into written form. Data will be stored for five years after the project ends before being destroyed. Only the research team and UQ research assistants will have access to identifiable data. Any information you provide will remain anonymous. You will be provided with your interview transcript for review.

Right to refuse or withdraw from the project

Should you wish to participate, we will ask you to provide consent. Participation is voluntary and includes the right to withdraw from the project. You may therefore choose not to participate or to withdraw from the study at any time without prejudice or repercussions of any type. If you choose to withdraw from the study, any contributions you made will be destroyed. This study has been cleared in accordance with the ethical review guidelines and processes of The University of Queensland.

Feedback and results

The results of the study will be available in the following forms: regular institutional reporting structure, published in academic journals, via this website, and a final report. Participants can request a copy of publications at various points within the project. A summary of the project findings will be available on this web page.

Contact

The primary contact for the project is Associate Professor Kelly Matthews who can be contacted via email at k.matthews1@uq.edu.au. This study adheres to the guidelines of the ethical review process of The University of Queensland and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. Whilst you are free to discuss your participation in this study with project staff (+61 7 3365 1169), if you would like to speak to an officer of the University not involved in the study, you may contact the Ethics Coordinator on +61 7 3365 3924.

 

 Creating a sense of belonging in your courses

View examples of small but powerful changes you can make within your courses to foster belonging.

Share your own experience

If you believe you have an approach to share, please contact Kit Elliot-O'Brien to arrange for an interview. Kit will use this interview to develop a full case study.

You are also welcome to share additional resources and teaching materials. Case studies will be published on this web page and provide a useful mechanism for you to showcase your teaching.