Active Blended Learning – Pardon? Gimmick or good practice?

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationTeaching


At the University of Northampton we have celebrated our first year at our state-of-the-art new campus. Coinciding with the move to the new campus we have developed and implemented a new teaching strategy throughout the curriculum “Active Blended Learning” (ABL). This workshop will share examples and ideas for making information literacy instruction more active and engaging. Taking the emphasis from presenting to facilitating learning.

The premise of ABL is to utilise good practice from traditional teaching pedagogy and innovative technology based sessions. In theory students are given engaging pre-sessional work to do to prepare for the face-to-face session. In the face-to-face sessions they will build on and apply that knowledge through discussion and activity facilitated by the tutor or subject expert. Then they will consolidate that knowledge in a post-sessional activity which may also build into their next pre-sessional activity. Hence, ABL builds and consolidates subject expertise and provides an engaging learning experience for students.

However, this can be very difficult to deliver as an Academic Librarian if you are only meeting students for a one-off face-to-face session. It relies on tutor buy-in to encourage students to get involved in any pre- or post- sessional activities. Therefore, it is essential that I develop close relationships with subject tutors to integrate the information literacy sessions into their curriculums.

The move to our new Waterside campus also coincided that the implementation of the new integrated learner support (ILS) system. The ILS system put the student at the heart of University life and ensured all students received the same support and specialist skills sessions. This translated to each first-year student receiving an hour and a half of teaching from an Academic Librarian, a second year received two hours and a third year an hour. With the rollout of these sessions it was essential that they were active and engaging both for the students and me – to relieve some of the time pressure and delivery.

In this workshop you will be able to try out some of the activities. Testing how engaging they are and providing your feedback. You can take away ideas and it may spark other ideas that you can use in your own practice. Examples like keyword bingo, articulate and “credit where credit’s due”. A good opportunity to try and test ideas, to update your information literacy sessions and to use ABL strategies to engage your learners.
Period26 Jan 2022
Event titleHLG Virtual CPD event - 26th January 2022: (Day Three)
Event typeWorkshop
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Academic Librarian
  • Active Blended Learning
  • Information Literacy
  • Health Libraries