Putting whanaungatanga at the heart of students’ online learning experiences


  • Cheryl Brown University of Canterbury
  • Maggie Hartnett
  • Matiu Ratima
  • Dianne Forbes
  • Ashwini Datt
  • Dilani Gedera




student voice, narratives, online learning experiences, relationships, whanaungatanga


This paper explores the role of relationships in students’ experiences of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic in Aotearoa| New Zealand. Students’ voices are foregrounded through narratives and the analysis of four discrete stories of these specific circumstances. Using a conceptual framing of whanaungatanga, a M?ori view of the process of establishing and maintaining relationships, we move beyond who is involved in the relationship to explore how relationships are developed and what counts from the students’ perspectives. Sharing, an ethic of care, a sense of belonging, collaboration, scaffolding of learning, and feedback acknowledging students’ efforts were all considered important aspects of relationships between students and faculty which were enacted online. The importance of broader institutional relationships, such as those with the library and student support services, were also foregrounded.

Author Biography

Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury

Assoc Prof