Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


Date of this Version


Document Type



Bondi, Stephanie. "Do Expectations and Reflection in a Master’s Level Education Course Contribute to Sense of Belonging and Learning? A Peer Review of Teaching Inquiry Project" (2019). UNL Faculty Portfolios, 134. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/prtunl/134/


This poster describes a classroom inquiry project completed as part of the advanced peer review of teaching program at UNL in 2019. In this project, the course instructor wondered if some small interventions could lead to more sense of belonging and greater learning in the course. Literature suggests a lack of sense of belonging can negative affect a student’s engagement and learning. The intervention plan included (a) setting the expectation that students work to create an inclusive and affirming environment and (b) asking students three times during the term to reflect on the extent to which people have been doing specific behaviors related to creating inclusive environments. The inquiry questions were: Does sharing the expectation that students support each other impact sense of belonging and learning? Is the perception of learning greater in this course compared to others? This inquiry took place in a master’s level course of students in a student affairs preparation program. The course topic was program assessment and evaluation. The students in the class were full time students, who were diverse in race, social class, and sexuality although the class was majority white cisgender women. Students’ perceptions about anticipated learning compared to other course was measured at the beginning of the course then actual learning compared to other course measured at the end. Sense of belonging was measured in the post test at the end of the course and as a reflection back to the beginning of the term using a post, then pre design. The results of this inquiry indicated a statistically significant difference for a few items related to sense of belonging. No difference was found for perception of learning. Setting expectations and regular reflections may have a small influence but more or different interventions should be explored.