THE LEGACY OF THE PANDEMIC FOR ONLINE AND BLENDED TEACHING AND LEARNING; Extending Social Presence to Include an Emotional Dimension

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Research and practice into what make online learning effective accelerated during the pandemic of 2020-2021. This chapter reviews the key findings from recent studies and reports on our own experiences of working with a group of first year higher education students who had to deal with the transition from school to university, isolation because of COVID-19 and for many, the new world of online learning.
We describe the teaching and learning techniques we used in both synchronous and asynchronous modes to help students feel a sense of belonging to the class and to give them confidence to participate in the varied learning activities we had designed. We gathered data from the students at the start and end of the module to try to understand the nature of their learning and we followed up on this two years later to explore whether their perceptions of the module had changed. This data, supported by class attendance information and completion of assignments, gave us insights into the factors that impacted on the students’ experience.
Key findings from the data showed that the creation of social presence by tutors to stimulate high levels of interaction was critical to the development of students’ willingness to engage with the academic demands of the module. However, our data also showed us something we had not expected, namely that it was the emotional presence created by music and the tutors that left an enduring impact. We suggest that this is one of the positive legacies of the work we carried out; nurturing this conative dimension in the student experience is one of the ‘keepers’ and needs to be built into current and future online course design and delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRedesigning the Future of Education in the Light of New Theories, Teaching Methods, Learning, and Researches
EditorsSenol Oracki
PublisherInformation Age Publishing
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)979-8-88730-597-4
ISBN (Print)979-8-88730-595-0/7
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Jun 2023


  • Social presence
  • online learning
  • conative learning
  • the conative dimension in learning
  • blended learning
  • emotional
  • tutor and cognitive presence
  • mixed-method survey
  • connectedness


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