Replied to Belonging is inconvenient (David White)

Sometimes at my institution we slide into thinking which implies that full, residential courses are the authentic way to learn and everything else is either geared relative to this or simply a pipeline into it. We need to design on the basis that there are multiple authentic modes of learning for multiple communities of students. Not all of these require belonging and community but where they do we need to acknowledge that itโ€™s hard work, time consuming, and that access-to-a-building or being-in-a-cohort is not a proxy for membership-of-a-community.

Dave, I always appreciate the way in which you provide frameworks for making sense of things. In this case the differences between independent, communal and networked learning, and how this is more than being face-to-face or online. I was interested in your point about belonging and its relationship with time.

One of the key reasons that students can feel part of a community on residential courses is because they have made a huge commitment in time and effort just to turn-up. In traditional undergraduate terms this is likely to mean relocating the majority of their life to a new city for three years. Itโ€™s not just about the physical buildings itโ€™s inherent in the format. In this sense, belonging is exclusive โ€“ available only to those who have the time to invest.

This has me thinking about belonging and its association with collaboration, and how whether if we all had the time whether we would naturally wish to collaborate?