Towards a Digital Pedagogy of Inclusive Active Distance Learning

Helen Caldwell, Emma Whewell, Cristina Devecchi, Mary Quirke, Conor Mc Gukin

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter


This chapter focuses upon the concept of Active Distance Learning  [ADL] as a pedagogical approach to designing and teaching in a remote learning setting. This concept has been developed at the University of Northampton to complement their pedagogical approach of Active Blended Learning. ADL combines sense-making activities with focused and engaging interactions in synchronous and asynchronous online settings.  It engages students in knowledge construction, reflection and critique, the development of learner autonomy and the achievement of learning outcomes. The chapter also draws upon the Universal Design for Learning Framework for making ADL inclusive. This approach enables learning to be designed or modified for the greatest diversity of learners possible. This chapter is aligned with contemporary social constructivist, constructionist and connectivist learning theories that emphasise the social situatedness of learning in communities of practice where learners feel empowered to co-create knowledge. Key pedagogical approaches are mapped with the affordances of a range of digital tools  to exemplify inclusive ADL practice. A set of vignettes from practice demonstrates digital pedagogies and tools in action, showing how they can add pace, collaboration and engagement to synchronous and asynchronous online learning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Impact of COVID-19 on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
EditorsSylvie Studente, Stephen Ellis, Bhavini Desai
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)978-1-53619-947-5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Higher Education
  • Covid-19
  • teaching & learning
  • Inclusion
  • Digital capabilities
  • pedagogic innovation


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