Using avatars to improve engagement and community in online learning

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


Both students and staff have reported that student engagement in MS Teams breakout rooms has been poor. MS Teams is also limited in how these breakout rooms can be set up, with no opportunity for students to self-select groups or easy way to ensure the groups remain the same each week (to create a greater sense of community). This project aims to see if the use of the online games environment from can solve the problems of - engagement, classroom management and community building.

Without doubt the recent Covid period has accelerated the move towards more online and blended learning for students. Online learning has also led to reports of isolation and reduced feelings of belonging. At the same time, students resist putting on their cameras, which might help them make more personal connections and feel more engaged with their study. The use of avatars in business education to create a pseudo-persona through which students feel more comfortable representing themselves and removing fears of being on camera may lead to more active online classroom and better outcomes – both academic and social. This case study will explore whether this hypothesis is correct and determine if there is value in creating a larger study across multiple institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Mar 2022
EventLearning, Teaching & Student Experience Conference 2022 - International Conference Centre, Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 May 202225 May 2022
Conference number: 12th


ConferenceLearning, Teaching & Student Experience Conference 2022
Abbreviated titleLTSE 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Student engagement
  • Student belonging
  • Learning and teaching


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