‘Made good connections’: Amplifying teacher presence and belonging at scale through learning design and personalised feedback


  • Lisa-Angelique Lim University of Technology Sydney
  • Amara Atif University of Technology Sydney
  • Ian Farmer University of Technology Sydney




sense of belonging, online learning, learning analytics, feedback


While online learning offers much flexibility for students in terms of time and place, students’ experiences of online learning have been less than positive. A sense of belonging is key to students’ success and retention in any learning environment. Teaching or teacher presence is significant for setting a climate for belonging. However, few studies have documented how teachers can foster students’ sense of belonging in online settings and students’ experience of these initiatives. This paper presents an exploratory case study of a teacher’s initiatives to foster students’ belonging in an online subject by amplifying teacher presence through technology-mediated, personalised feedback embedded within interactive, engaging subject design. Students’ experiences of the subject and perceptions of their personalised feedback were captured through surveys and focus groups. Together, the findings indicate that the primary role of personalised feedback in fostering belonging was building connectedness between the teacher and students, thereby enhancing students’ motivation to learn in the subject. The findings also resonate with other research highlighting the importance of teacher presence throughout the subject, not just during synchronous classes.