Interrogating Spaces

Belonging in online learning environments

July 31, 2020 UAL Teaching, Learning and Employability Exchange Season 1 Episode 5
Interrogating Spaces
Belonging in online learning environments
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Following on from the previous of interrogating spaces that explored concepts of belonging in Higher Education, we move to online learning environments. In the context of Covid-19 and the sharp move to online teaching across the globe, we hear practitioners, academics and students reflect on how we can foster and develop a sense of belonging in digital spaces. We hear about the challenges and affordances of online environments, as well as suggestions as to how we might create a sense of presence and help student feel valued.

For more resources on belonging see UAL's AEM and attainment resources page.

Podcast contributors: 

Hansika Jethnani 
Hansika Jethnani is a poet and visual artist. She graduated from London College of Communication in 2016 and went onto serve two terms as the Education Officer at UAL Students’ Union between 2016 and 2018 where she worked on a variety of campaigns including decolonising the curriculum, and propelling international student support within the university.

Jess Moody 
Jess is a Senior Adviser at Advance HE, exploring diversity and inclusion across the staff and student lifecycles in higher education. She has supported a range of universities with their inclusive learning and teaching, and tackling of structural inequality in access and participation. 

 Dr Bonnie Stewart 
Bonnie Stewart is an educator and social media researcher interested in what digital networks mean for institutions and society. Assistant Professor of Online Pedagogy and Workplace Learning in the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Education, Bonnie was an early MOOC researcher and ethnographer of Twitter, and is currently investigating educators' data literacies. 

 Dr. Terrell Strayhorn
Terrell Strayhorn is Professor of Urban Education in the Evelyn Reid Syphax School of Education at Virginia Union University, where he also serves as Associate Provost and Director of the SEF Center for the Study of HBCUs. Author of 10 books and 200+ scholarly publications, Strayhorn is an internationally-recognized expert on the social psychological determinants of student success. Influencer in education, business, and contributor to ThriveGlobal, HigherEdJobs, and The Conversation, he can reached on social media @tlstrayhorn 

 Professor Liz Thomas 
Liz Thomas is Professor of Higher Education at Edge Hill University, and an independent higher education researcher and consultant. She has more than twenty years’ experience undertaking and managing research about widening participation, student engagement, belonging, retention and success, and institutional approaches to improving the student experience and student outcomes. 

 David White 
David White is the Head of Digital Learning at the University of the Arts London. He has worked at the intersection of teaching, research and digital for over 20 years. David is best known for the Digital Visitors and Residents idea which provides a framework to understand what motivates online engagement in different forms. 

 Jennifer Williams-Baffoe 
Jennifer is Learning Technologist at Central Saint Martins, where she coordinates the technology enhanced learning for the college. Jennifer has been teaching online for over 6 years with the short courses team in an array of creative disciplines from creative business to Manufacturing. Additionally, Jennifer is the part time Virtual Learning Environment Manager at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and is undertaking an MA with a focus on Digital inductions within academia. 

This episode was produced by:
Liz Bunting
Vikki Hill
Gemma Riggs 

Dr Terrell Strayhorn - why belonging matters
David White: Online learning environments
Dr Bonnie Stewart: Online learning environments
Dr Bonnie Stewart: Online identities and data extraction
Professor Liz Thomas: Affordances and challenges of online learning environments
Dr Bonnie Stewart: Online learning environments and presence
Dr Terrell Strayhorn: humanising online learning environments
David White: suggestions for positive learning environments online
Jennifer Williams-Baffoe: examples of how she uses online platforms to open up spaces for discussion
Hansika Jethnani: student perspectives on belonging
Hansika Jethnani and Dr Terrell Strayhorn: importance of student's first term, particularly this Autumn 2020
Jess Moody: closing thoughts on who may or may not feel belonging in online learning environments