‘It does not feel like I am a university student’: Considering the impact of online learning on first-year students’ sense of belonging in a ‘post pandemic’ academic literacy module
Keywords:academic literacy module, undergraduate students, academic belonging, social belonging, belonging, higher education, senior students
Belonging is important for student motivation, retention and engagement. However, belonging is difficult to foster in the online environment, and the pandemic necessitating a shift to online learning has meant that many senior students may not feel that they belong at university. Drawing on qualitative data obtained via two online questionnaires, this paper conceptualises the impact of online learning on students’ sense of belonging by focusing on the interconnected nature of spatial, academic and social belonging, which serves to foster an overall sense of personal belonging. The paper also considers what the role of academic literacy modules is in this situation, as they are uniquely situated to foster a sense of belonging in students. A model for conceptualising the interconnected nature of belonging is also presented.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Martina van Heerden, Sharita Bharuthram
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