© Articles published in the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET) are available under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives Licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Authors retain copyright in their work and grant AJET right of first publication under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.One of the main challenges regarding online teaching involves creating spaces in which learners establish and maintain connections with the teacher, other learners and the content. By exploring the concept of care in online learning, we aim to address this challenge. Framed by Noddings' (2013) ethics of care, this qualitative case study explored effective course design elements and instructional behaviours in an online course to identify practices that suggest the presence of care. Data collected through student feedback and peer observations provide insights into effective pedagogical practices, and our analysis reveals that these practices overlap with some of the four components of Noddings’ care-centred model of education: modelling, dialogue, practice, and confirmation. Our study suggests that what makes an online course effective might be the invisible care elements underlying its design and implementation. Implications for practice and policy: • Online education experience can be enhanced by applying care-centred pedagogies into online settings to guide course design and instruction. • Educators can incorporate care principles into courses without putting excessive emphasis on emotions, which may be more preferable at higher education levels.