Create a sense of belonging online the return of empathy into education

ZOOMiquette - Mute all, raise hand for question, or put question into chat

Online Teaching Etiquette (OTE)

Short formula

Care! Listen! Be authentic!

tbc. with your help

Tips and Tricks for online teaching

Clear agreement! L&T Contract

  • §1 I log in to the iLearn every 24-48 hours
  • §2 on Sunday afternoon you have got feedback
  • §3 Q&A forum used for questions, no email
  • §4 Netiquette to be followed at all times
  • §5 time on task
  • etc. What would you put into this agreement?

over to Sonia!

Task 1: Breakout rooms to discuss your possible paragraphs of an agreement, and note on white board, please save white board and share later.

How to set up break out rooms - guide

Quick reminder how to create a collaborate white board in your breakout rooms:


Michael R., Richard, Kate's breakout room
Gai's breakout room

DO's and DO'NTs

To promote intrinsic motivation to encourage students to persist or persevere, an experience should provide as many of the following as possible:


  • Rules – clear and effective
  • Establishing ground rules, e.g Netiquette
  • Set clear standards for responding to messages/postings
  • Communicating openly and frequently
  • Clear and consistent communication, eg communicate your webinar agenda and timeframes at least 48 hours
  • Clear goals with inherent, clear reward structures
  • Set up regular points of interaction such as contributions to discussions
  • Use ice-breaker activities to get to know each other
  • Provide examples from your own research and professional experience
  • An appropriate level of challenge – if possible tailored to students at different levels
  • Develop a shared sense of vision and purpose
  • Allocating roles, task and responsibilities
  • Conflict, competition, cooperation – small teams provide support within the team and competition between teams (the dependent hero contingency)
  • A sense of progress (levelling up) as the students progress through materials/activities
  • Narrative/curve of interest – hard to do but can provide great engagement – sometimes presented as big picture learning
  • Aesthetics – evidence shows that if it looks good, engagement is better/longer
  • Fear of failure reduced – means of giving students repeat attempts, practice tests etc.
  • Student control over actions – perhaps choice between deliverables or types of deliverables (a video presentation rather than a paper etc.)
  • Offering support, eg. "ILearn insight"
  • Meeting deadlines
  • effortless involvement (pick up and play)
  • Reviewing performance and reflecting on contribution (feedback)
  • Immediate and continual feedback
  • Poll students to check understanding of concepts
  • Provide online office hours


  • Gush with little content
  • Disappear without explanation
  • Do not summarise mid discussion, weave or add learning points
  • Ignore some participants and focus on others
  • Response only at a surface level (oh yes, good)
  • Respond only a deep level (show off your greater knowledge)
  • Manipulate
What motivates?
  • Tone/Climate: Psychological Safety, Comfort, Sense of Belonging
  • Encouragement: Feedback, Responsiveness, Praise, Supports
  • Curiosity: Surprise, Intrigue, Unknowns
  • Variety: Novelty, Fun, Fantasy
  • Autonomy: Choice, Control, Flexibility, Opportunities
  • Relevance: Meaningful, Authentic, Interesting
  • Interactivity: Collaborative, Team-Based, Community
  • Engagement: Effort, Involvement, Investment
  • Tension: Challenge, Dissonance, Controversy
  • Yielding Products: Goal Driven, Purposeful Vision, Ownership
The narrative makes us human

Sense of Belonging

Task 2: What does belonging mean? Please put into the chatbox your definition of belonging.

Sense of community

Elements of sense of community:

  • membership
  • influence
  • integration and
  • fulfillment of needs
  • shared emotional connections

over to Sonia

Where do you belong?

  • being safe
  • being safe to be you
  • sense of community
  • going "home", feeling at home
  • network of relationships you can fall back on
  • knowledge, strength and acceptability of this network

Question: how do we create this feeling for our students, and for ourselves?

  • through personal and authentic storytelling
  • through shared experiences, common powerful experience
  • through shared hobbies, things we like
...providing goals, rules, and the other elements of enjoyment..

If the sense of belonging comes from a shared experience, let's try it out:

"Stand by me" - Karaoke

Task 3: raise your hand and share the activity you did so far to create a sense of belonging (see chatbox and recording for results)

The End





Possible task for students:

Find your shared story!

University Teaching (c) Claudio Furnier, used under license from CartoonStock.com, (Hunt &Chalmers 2012, p.6)
Personalise, Socialise, Mobilise, Surprise
Created By
Bettina Pfaendner


Created with images by Renee Fisher - "untitled image" • Richard Hoskins - "A heron catching air at the Ninepipe Wildlife Refuge in western Montana near the Mission Mountains. " • James Baldwin - "People sat on a wall - Shoes and Converse" • Allie Smith - "You belong here. " • Neel - "untitled image"