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Say hello!

Introduce yourselves to the rest of the group.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0 Images by Getty Images

Creating a sense of community from the outset, by encouraging students to share a little about themselves and connect with each other, is critical to learning. Meaningful yet ‘low-stakes’ exchanges early on can help build trust, confidence and a sense of belonging.

A sense of belonging is the psychological feeling of belonging or connectedness to a social, spatial, cultural, professional, or other type of group or a community (Hurtado & Carter, 1997). It ‘involves the feeling, belief, and expectation that one fits in the group and has a place there, and a feeling of acceptance by the group’ (Macmillan & Chavis, 1986, p. 10).

Research shows that facilitating a sense of belonging in students reduces drop-out rates and also leads to improved academic achievement. Conversely, when students do not feel a sense of belonging, it can impact negatively upon their experience, confidence, satisfaction, attainment outcomes, aspirations, employability and their overall wellbeing.

In online learning, community participants create an interactive space for diverse reactions and feedback. Throughout this course, we’ll be working together collaboratively and acting as ‘critical friends’ to support each other’s development and to achieve the course learning outcomes.

So, let’s start getting to know one another.

Your task

Having learned a little about some of the educators in the previous step, please introduce yourself by adding a pin to the Padlet map and sharing at least your name and location. But we’d really like you to tell us a little more than that – perhaps about your hobbies, pets, exciting adventures, ambitions, your job or anything else you’re happy to share.
By the way, don’t feel limited to typing your answers – feel free to create a short video or audio, use images or emojis. Have fun with it!

Help using Padlet

Padlet is a simple tool that allows you to post your ideas and/or share media (eg images, video) with other learners. To add your content to the wall select the + icon or double-click on the wall itself.

For more information on how to post, please visit the Padlet website.

References

Hurtado, S., & Carter, D. (1997). Effects of college transition and perceptions of the campus racial climate on Latino college students’ sense of belonging. Sociology of Education, 70(4), 324–345.

McMillan, D. W., & Chavis, D. M. (1986). Sense of community: A definition and theory. Journal of Community Psychology, 14, 6–23.

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0 Images by Getty Images
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