Changing the face of academic skills workshops

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


The active blending learning (ABL) approach offers flexibility to the way students learn. This approach was adopted within a Learning Development workshop to improve academic skills. Sessions were delivered alongside asynchronous content to scaffold academic skills and feed forward guidance to inform summative assessment preparation. The objective was to assess the effectiveness of the ABL approach in delivering academic skills. A cohort of 50 first year students completed three face to face ABL academic skills sessions together with five asynchronous e-tivities. Each were themed to develop different academic skills using subject specific examples. Attendance data was collected and survey was used to evaluate the asynchronous content and measure the self-perceived academic confidence levels of students. To measure the success of the ABL approach this data was analysed together with the number of attempts at each e-tivity and the formative and summative grades. Results demonstrated those who attended two or more sessions (57.7% +/- 1.43) had a significantly higher summative score (p=0.041) than those who attended 1 or less (51.7% +/- 2.73). The summative grades and the number of attempts at the asynchronous content demonstrated a positive linear relationship for e-tivity 1 to 3. Overall the academic confidence improved in nearly a third of all students for each e-tivity and 17 students (54.8%) stated that they preferred the ABL approach in developing their academic skills. This emphasises that the ABL approach is an effective method to improve summative grades and deliver academic skills.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Learning Development in Higher Education
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2020

Bibliographical note

ISSN: 1759-667X


  • flipped classroom
  • academic skills
  • xerte
  • asynchronous


Dive into the research topics of 'Changing the face of academic skills workshops'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this