Engaging students in active blended learning: transparent pedagogy

  • Elizabeth Palmer (Author)
  • Sylvie Lomer (Author)

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsInvited talkResearch


Delivering a talk and workshop on behalf of the JISC experts group.

Abstract: This talk reports on a qualitative research project undertaken at the University of Northampton which is moving towards an entirely Active Blended Learning [ABL] based curriculum. Staff are putting this approach into practice in various ways in different disciplines and student engagement, particularly in the online components, is highly variable. The project aimed to establish what factors mediate engagement in ABL. We collected qualitative data in focus groups across the institution with over 200 participants in multiple subject areas. Thematic analysis of results confirmed well-established practical factors such as access, technological proficiency, and communication but also surfaced that underpinning concepts of knowledge, teaching, learning, and relationships played important roles in engagement. Many students protested vociferously about the high expectations of independent learning in H.E., questioned the rationale behind blended learning as ‘cost-cutting’ and often considered online tasks not to be ‘proper learning‘. Some even viewed teachers setting online tasks as ‘lazy’ and demonstrated a reified view of knowledge as transferable directly from staff to students. Data suggests that where teachers explicitly discuss pedagogy with students in classroom, justifying activities in relation to concepts of learning, and building in relationships across all modes of engagement, students are more likely to meaningfully engage with ABL.
Period18 Oct 2017
Event titleJISC Student experience experts group
Event typeWorkshop
LocationBirmingham, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational